Tag Archives: maine

Climate change & Maine bees at MSBA

unloading the tractor at runamuk

Former president of the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association and retired state of Maine acquatic biologist, Matt Scott gave a presentation at this year’s annual conference entitled: “Climate Change and Habitat Fragmentation to Honey Bees in Maine”. Scott acknowledged that climate change is something of a controversial topic, but admits that at his age he is less constrained by society’s rules…. Read more »

Winterizing the farm — with free printable checklist

winterizing the farm

Cold weather is once again on our doorstep. Farmers and homesteaders alike are racing to finish their winter preparations before the first snowflakes fly. We have gardens to put to bed, livestock to prepare and equipment to get ready for the long season ahead of us. If you’re new to farming or homesteading, the list of chores for winterization can… Read more »

Looking in the beehive with Dr. Dewey Caron

dr. dewey caron at msba

Well it’s been 2 weeks today since I went to the annual meeting of the Maine State Beekeepers’. It’s taken me that long to get all of the different bits and pieces, lectures and presentations written about in full detail. For the last 3 years I’ve provided the written coverage of the day for the MSBA’s bi-monthly publication “The Bee-Line”,… Read more »

Bring your leaves to Runamuk!

runamuk wants your leaves

  Mulching is a key aspect of our organic gardening practices here at Runamuk. Mulch helps to keep the weeds at bay, maintain moisture within the soil, which reduces the need to water, and can contribute valuable organic matter and nutrients, too. Inspired by Maine farming legend Tom Roberts over at Snakeroot Farm in Pittsfield, Keith and I have decided… Read more »

Beekeepers swarm to the annual meeting

maine state beekeepers annual meeting

    I’m still coming down from the high that the annual meeting gives me.  I love the atmosphere, I love learning new things and meeting new people.  And when all of that involves talking about bees I am on cloud-9. To show my support for the Pensobscot County Beekeepers and their northerly venue at the Hampden Academy, I volunteered… Read more »

Getting ready for the state beekeepers’ conference

msba annual convention

You’d think I’d be over it by now–all the excitement I feel over the Maine State Beekeepers’ Association’s annual conference.  Like a kid at Christmas I wait all year for the day to arrive when I can make the pilgrimage to the meeting location. And in the vast state of Maine where cities and towns are spread far apart, separated… Read more »

Bee days

Samantha Burns   August 26, 2014   Comments Off on Bee days
swan's apiary & beekeeping supply

The last few days have been bee-days for me here at Runamuk. I’ve been more hands-off with the bees this year, which is odd for me, but good for the bees I think. However when I began to see bees crawling down the driveway with shriveled and deformed wings, I knew something was wrong in my hives.  Saturday I needed… Read more »

Licensed to process

Samantha Burns   July 30, 2014   Comments Off on Licensed to process
honey at farmers' market

A week ago today I was in a frantic frenzy to get the Runamuk homestead de-cluttered, cleaned, and scoured in preparation for an inspection by Maine’s Division of Quality Assurance and Regulations.  Marshall Piper, the Consumer Protection Inspector who manages inspection and licensing of home-processing and commercial kitchen licensing for our area was due to arrive on Thursday, and the… Read more »

Major storm hits Runamuk and surrounding areas

Samantha Burns   July 23, 2014   Comments Off on Major storm hits Runamuk and surrounding areas
runamuk logo

It was the first thunderstorm we’d had since moving back onto the property–and what a doozy of a storm it was!  Howling winds and torrential rains, hail, and deafening thunder berated the area.  Pease Hill, where the Runamuk farm is settled near the peak of the hill (one of the highest hills in this area), is in a corridor of… Read more »

Opening day at market

Samantha Burns   May 6, 2014   Comments Off on Opening day at market
temporary summer coop

Sunday was the first market of the season for our local Madison Farmers’ Market–Runamuk was there with 4 other vendors, and also the local boy scout group was there with us.  It was a big improvement from last year when it was just myself and 85 year-old Thelma Lawrence of Hawley’s Little Acre in Madison.  After all my work promoting… Read more »

Runamuk’s Indiegogo Campaign is now live

runamuk indiegogo campaign

My first attempt at making video for the internet is–well–not great, but it’s not completely horrible either. Honestly, I’m just not comfortable in front of a camera. But I did it, and I added it to our Indiegogo campaign page and with a deep breath I went live with our fundraising campaign. I’ve got all kinds of great promotions coming… Read more »

Join the Runamuk team and help create something amazing!

Samantha Burns   April 1, 2014   Comments Off on Join the Runamuk team and help create something amazing!
raising funds for runamuk

We’re gearing up to get underway here at Runamuk, we’ve got animals lined up to come to the farm (you know–as soon as the snow melts so that we can build shelters for them!), we’ve arranged for a neighbor with a tractor to come till the new gardens, and the bees are flying!  I’m so excited to finally be able… Read more »

Winter beekeeping: Checking your hives

Checking hives in winter_FI

What’s a beekeeper to do during the winter?  Those–like me–who hold such passion and adoration for their honeybees–for whom there is no better feeling in all the world than watching these busy girls coming and going, carrying pollen and nectar to the hive; for whom opening the hive, viewing the larvae-grubs in their cells, or finding the Queen amidst her… Read more »

Carpe Diem: 2014; Moving forward with our farm expansion

solstice gifts from santa

We’re finally moved in at the new homestead and the family is settling back into our familiar routines.  With my kitchen unpacked, I am at long last able to get back to my typical Sunday baking habit–admittedly, homemaking (cooking, baking, cleaning, etc.) is not my most favorite of activities, but baking my own breads really seems to make a place… Read more »

Somerset’s 2014 Bee-School

beekeeping clipart

It’s that time of year again–no, I’m not talking about the holidays–it’s time to start thinking about Bee-School!  This year is the 3rd annual Bee-School offered by the Somerset Beekeepers, hosted by the University of Maine’s Somerset County Cooperative Extension. I’m excited to be able to teach this course yet again.  Last year we had over 30 people sign up… Read more »

Honey pricing & marketing management at MSBA

deborah delaney at msba

At the Maine State Beekeepers’ annual convention, Deborah Delaney took the floor for a second time that day to present a talk that was entitled: “Honey Pricing & Marketing Risk Management Education for Honey Producers”. Deborah told the crowd about yet another aspect of her research which involves scientifically identifying how to improve marketing of locally produced honey, which would… Read more »

Sustainable beekeeping at the state beekeepers’ conference

deborah delaney ude scientist at msba

I love the assortment of people who are drawn to beekeeping.  Young and old, eccentric and conservative, financially solvent–and bootstrappers like me–those who make do with less.  People from all over the state come together for the annual Maine State Beekeepers’ conference to join together in the spirit of learning; to bask in the feeling of community generated by a… Read more »

UMaine studies how to enhance native pollinator habitat

dr hanes & eric venturini

At the August meeting of the Somerset Beekeepers, we hosted two of UMaine’s academics who have been actively researching native bees in Maine and in the agricultural system.  Dr. Sam Hanes’ is an anthropologist studying the perceptions growers have relating to the benefits of incorporating native pollinators into their farming efforts, and the methods they are using to do so… Read more »

Maine promotes native pollinators

somerset beekeepers

Tuesday night the Somerset Beekeepers met for their monthly meeting, and were joined by a number of the county’s master gardeners in welcoming Dr. Sam Hanes and Eric Venturini, a masters degree student, both of whom came over from the University of Maine at Orono to speak with us. I’ve mentioned before the good work Maine’s academics are doing in… Read more »

If you build it, they will come

A new farmers’ market has been proposed in my local community, and I have stepped up to take on organization of this project. The town of Madison sits adjacent to my hometown of Anson, directly across the Kennebec River.  While the people of Anson and Madison may not necessarily share a love for one another, the two communities are reliant… Read more »

Home gardeners beware of pesticides in potting soils & nursery plants

This past Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the Somerset Beekeepers, we hosted Gary Fish from the Maine Board of Pesticide Control to talk with us about “Pesticides and Pollinators”.  We are a small group, so I’m always grateful that any knowledgeable speaker should come to Skowhegan to share their knowledge with us, and I know that our beekeepers are… Read more »