Tag Archives: somerset beekeepers

New pollinator conservation planning services!

bee-habitat-planning

Over the last decade my personal mission in life has slowly evolved into one that is two-fold. One the one hand I’m dedicated to sustainability and all that word encompasses: sustainable energies and industries, sustainable living, sustainable communities─and especially sustainable food systems. On the other hand, and perhaps just a little overzealously─is the part of me which is committed to pollinator… Read more »

2016 Year-End Review

runamuk-apiary-bees-on-a-hive

A full rotation of the Earth around the sun has brought us once again to the end of the calendar year. It’s been a busy year for Runamuk, with some ups and some downs too, and some life altering moments. Before we shift our focus to 2017 and all that the new year may bring our way I’d like to take… Read more »

Success at the Common Ground Fair

honeybee on royal hybrid

Saturday, September 24th, was the day of my big talk over at MOFGA’s Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. In the weeks leading up to the fair I’d spent the majority of my time packing, and immediately following the fair I launched into the #greatfarmmove so there really wasn’t time to share the story of that day’s events. However, I… Read more »

Friends at Johnny’s Selected Seeds

johnnys selected seeds

I’ve been back to work at Johnny’s Selected Seeds since the start of the new year, and while it’s always a little bittersweet to have to work off the farm, I’m really very happy to be able to work for this company. This is my 2nd year working in their Call Center in Fairfield, Maine. I answer the phone, take… Read more »

Bee-school crash course

basic beekeeping crash course

I’ll be at the Somerset County Cooperative Extension in Skowhegan this Saturday giving my annual bee-school. This will be my 5th year teaching the course as president of the Somerset Beekeepers and I’m looking forward to spending a day talking with folks about bees. It’s lots of fun helping prospective new beekeepers to learn how to get started with their… Read more »

Saying farewell to North Star Orchards

At North Star Orchards

I never did get around to writing much about my work at the orchard. It’s been a hectic fall season for me; working 5 days a week at the orchard made farming very difficult, especially once I found myself living here alone. It was incredibly challenging to me to find time for everything─for Runamuk or the farmers’ market, for the… Read more »

One random act of kindness

random act of kindness

Some people may not have much faith left in society and their fellow man-kind, but I certainly do. I’ve seen it demonstrated to me personally time and time again, and every act of kindness fills me with warmth and love and gratitude, and lends me the strength to go another day. I’ve had help along my journey, and people continue… Read more »

Bee-school with SAD 54 adult ed

adult education center

Yesterday marked the start of the fall session of my bee-school. I loaded my laptop, and a variety of beekeeping gear and equipment into the back of my Subaru Outback and drove to Skowhegan and to it’s high school where I was scheduled to teach more than 20 peoples about the basics of beekeeping here in Maine. Back in July… Read more »

Workshops at Runamuk

I’m excited to announce the opportunity to participate in workshops here at beautiful Runamuk Acres! In the five years since I established Runamuk and the Somerset Beekeepers I’ve spent a fair amount of time teaching the local community about bees, beekeeping, pollinators and pollinator conservation, salve and soap-making. I’ve volunteered as a master gardener for the Somerset County Cooperative Extension, spoken… Read more »

My local farmers’ market

For those who don’t already know, I volunteer my time and services with not only the Somerset Beekeepers, but also with the Madison Farmers’ Market. As market manager, I serve local farmers and the communities of Madison-Anson, as well as the surrounding area. I’m privileged to work with some really great farmers, gardeners, and artisan crafters. We have a group who… Read more »

How was the Open-Hive Event?

With the Open-Hive behind me, the garden in maintenance mode, and the bees content to do their thing, there’s a momentary lull in the activity here at Runamuk that affords me the opportunity to write. Generally speaking, things are going well here at Runamuk’s new location. It’s painstakingly slow progress, but it’s progress and I’m content with that. The Open-Hive Event… Read more »

Open-hive event at Runamuk

We’ve got a beautiful location for this event, and new Queens arriving this week–so as long as the weather cooperates, beekeepers from around the area can participate in making splits at the Runamuk apiary. I also plan to demonstrate some of the various mite-testing methods since this is such a crucial aspect of beekeeping these days. These open-hive events are a great… Read more »

The new farm

blueberry bushes

With just 3 weeks left til moving day, I’m looking forward to getting to work bringing Jim Murphy’s old farm back to life. But before I get to dig in there, I first have to get through a marathon work-spree. I haven’t had the chance to share with my readers and followers that not too long ago I went into my… 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 »

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 »

Open-Hive for Summer Solstice

Samantha Burns   June 24, 2014   Comments Off on Open-Hive for Summer Solstice
beekeepers' open hive

It wasn’t the way I had intended to celebrate the summer solstice, but because last Saturday was raining and wet, the Open-Hive Event (OHE) that Runamuk was hosting for the Somerset Beekeepers was postponed til the 21st–which just happened to be the longest day of the year–the Summer Solstice. Most farmers, I think–are particularly attuned to nature–seeing as we are… Read more »

6 tips for handling bees

how to handle your beehive

When I got started with beekeeping, I had spent a year prior to bringing my bees home, just researching and doing my homework.  My dear sister-in-law, who had watched over a hive in her youth, was by my side, and we were so brave and confident in our abilities to tame the stinging bees with our sweet song and beauty,… 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 »

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 »

How and why to make your own apiary splits & nucs

how to make your own apiary splits and nucs

Swarming is a natural tendency for bees in the spring and early summer, and making splits and nucs is just another part of good management of your hives.  Whether you want to grow your apiary, or just insure against winter hive losses, making your own splits and nucs is an ideal way to grow or maintain your apiary.  It’s easy… 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 »

Splits & nuc-making workshop at the Runamuk Apiary

I am excited to announce that Runamuk will be hosting it’s first-ever workshop! Sunday, May 19th 11am – 3pm Splits & Nuc-Making Workshop This Sunday I will be leading local beekeepers to the Runamuk apiary at Medicine Hill for a workshop on how to make splits and nucleus colonies (otherwise known as “Nucs”).  My only regret is that the workshop… Read more »

Basic beekeeping with the Somerset Beekeepers

kennebec-somerset open-hive

It’s getting to be that time of year again–the Somerset Beekeepers are planning their annual bee-school for the communities of Somerset County, here in Maine.  And I’m thrilled to be teaching the course again. As president of the Somerset Beekeepers it is my duty and privilege to teach new beekeepers the basics.  To be able to connect with people, to… Read more »