Tag Archives: spring

Making the most of it as a land-less farmer

spring hives 2017

One of the great things about beekeeping is that I can do it from anywhere. Everyone wants beehives on their property, especially if someone else is going to do the work and all the land-owner has to do is sit back and enjoy the bees. I’ve had so many offers for apiary locations that I’ve lost count. Even if I… Read more »

Installing Packaged Bees

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packages waiting installation

This past Saturday I installed packaged bees into the existing equipment of my recently deceased hives in the Runamuk apiary. In my 7 years of beekeeping, this was a first for me; I’ve always bought locally raised nucleus colonies with hardy overwintered Queens. With so much comb and honey and pollen stores available following winter losses, and the promise of… Read more »

April apiary update

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March is always a dirty month. As the snow melts all of winters dirty secrets are revealed. The snow banks along the roadside created by the municipal plows are coated with dirt while frost heaves and pot-holes in secondary roads can make for treacherous driving. Trash that had been buried under a blanket of snow now litters the landscape, and… Read more »

No honey to sell….again

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honeybee on royal hybrid

It’s difficult to be at market and have to tell customers that I’m not going to have any honey this year, but that’s the state of things at the Runamuk Apiary. Two years in a row and no honey to sell. The reason for this honey-shortage is largely related to the fact that we’re still building up the Runamuk Apiary… Read more »

Spring is in the air

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runamuk logo

It’s that time of year when we’re all sick of winter and looking ahead to spring. Winter is worn and tired and every living thing is waiting with baited breath for the warmth and rebirth that comes with spring. But it’s not here yet, and most of us are frustrated with waiting and sitting on our hands watching more snow and… Read more »

New market garden is in!

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tilling the new garden

Is it strange to be so excited–so ecstatic–over the establishment of new garden plots? Perhaps this is something that only fellow gardeners, homesteaders, and farmers can understand–and if that is the the case–then I imagine that I am in good company. The lingering winter delayed our farm expansion quite a bit, but now that the snow is gone and mud-season… Read more »

Spring hive management

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Hooray for spring!  Let beekeepers everywhere rejoice!  The sun is shining, and the trees are beginning to bud, it’s warming up and the bees are flying again! How did your bees fare during the long cold winter?  With diligence, and perhaps a little bit of luck–your hives came through the winter, and if you’re anything like me–the long winter months… Read more »

Gearing up for spring; planning Runamuk’s farm expansion

planning for a tractor

Mother Nature brought us a whopping 12-14 inches of snow last week, forcing me to postpone the first class of bee-school, and while I’m sure we’ll get more snow between now and then, the first day of spring is just 6 weeks away now.  Here at Runamuk, Keith and I are gearing up for the rush of the growing season. … 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 »

Hardening seedlings in a mini hoop-house

After the devastation of last year’s seedling fiasco (read about that here), I was more than a little anxious about hardening off my seedlings this year. My mini hoop-houses (more about that here) have been working so well this spring that I decided to construct something similar to protect my tender tomato and pepper seedlings during their hardening off period. … Read more »

3 trees that offer early season food sources for Maine bees

The early spring season is a very difficult time for bees and beekeepers.  When the temperatures start warming the bees begin increasing activity, rearing brood, and flying on warm sunny days.  This is a tricky time for bees because there is not much available to feed the growing population.  Many beekeepers feed sugar-syrup or candy, to supplement the bees’ food… Read more »

Feeding bees pollen-patties in early spring

feeding bees in early spring

The sky is clear, and brilliantly blue the day after a big Nor’easter.  Here in central Maine, where the Runamuk Acres Farm and Apiary is located, the roads are still covered with packed snow, and road crews work to clean them up after the snowstorm.  But I make my rounds to our 2 out-lying apiaries, to check on the hives,… Read more »

23 early spring vegetable crops

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Many American gardeners cling fast to the idea that the growing season doesn’t begin until Memorial Day weekend. Yet in Europe gardeners use a variety of methods to extend their season and increase their garden’s harvest. Thanks to Elliot Coleman’s book Four Season Harvest, more and more Americans are discovering the possibilities.  Even in Maine you can get a jump… Read more »