Prairie flowers

We Need Wild in our Lives

 

Prairie flowers

Reader, as you know by now, wild is better for bees. And when I say “wild,” I mean a wild habitat. Wildness. Wild flowers.

Manicured lawns have absolutely nothing to offer the bees.

Those bees that I keep in neighborhoods with manicured lawns—those lawns sprayed to remove all hint of dandelion and clover and gorgeous weeds—starve. The bees starve because after the trees lose their blooms and leaf out in the spring, nothing remains on which the bees can forage. Summer and autumn and winter become a prolonged dearth.

Those bees living in areas with wild prairie and meadows, those hives that have access to three-season forage, thrive.

I drive through my neighborhood and I see nothing but manicured lawns. I live in a beautiful, affluent neighborhood. One known for its stewardship of green spaces. But I’m coming to realize that my affluent neighbors and I have been neglectful. We’ve neglected the wild. We keep the wild too much at bay. Much to the detriment of our wildlife. And our wild lives. We need our wild lives.

So, this year, Reader, I’m on a bandwagon.

I plan to gather my affluent and influential clients…those who have lawn to spare. Those who hire landscapers to keep their expansive lawns nice and green. Those who can afford to do what I propose. I want us to meet together with representatives of Ohio Prairie Nursery and with our landscapers and with our city council representatives. I want us to begin devoting parts of our lawn to wildness.

Watch us, Reader. We’re gonna transform our lives. And it will be gorgeous.

 

 

Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop

Local TwoHoneys Honey—Now at Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop

Reader, I know you love your coffee. I know you love your coffee in quirky little local coffee shops. And when you drink your wonderful drinks there, you like to add a small bit of local honey to your cup.

I’m here to introduce you to Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop, which is where I often go when I want to write and daydream. Redtree is filled to the brim with local art, which makes it a delightful place to wander. What’s more, Redtree and Brazee Street Studios—the beautiful art studio surrounded by native Ohio prairie flowers and where TwoHoneys maintains a number of beehives—are neighbors. Close neighbors. And now Redtree offers our very own TwoHoneys Bee Co honey…local honey collected by the bees that fly in the neighborhood in which you drink your coffee. And that, my friends, is seriously¬†local.

Go there. Add some honey to your day.

Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop

 

 

 

 

 

Bees flying

2014 New Year’s Resolution: Keep a hive of bees!

 

Happy New Year, Reader, and what a perfect time for our thoughts to turn to the bees. :)

These past weeks, I’ve received a surprising number of emails and phone calls from those lucky people who received beehives for Christmas. And I must say, what a terrific gift idea! And for this very reason, next Christmas I plan to offer TwoHoneys gift certificates.

So, here are my January and February suggestions for those of you looking forward to your first season with bees:

  1. READ!
  2. Beekeepers are a smart bunch, and they read, read, read.
  3. Devour everything on Michael Bush’s website. Devour every word and image.
  4. Alternatively, buy Michael Bush’s book…same information…the website is free, but the book is more organized.
  5. Read The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping. WHICH IS NOT FOR IDIOTS! This book is written for smart people by two very smart people.
  6. Join the beekeeping forums through which beekeepers from around the world become friends and share knowledge: Beemaster and Bee Source. For some reason I can’t explain, I lean toward the crowd over at Beemaster.com.
  7. Learn the difference between Langstroth hives and top-bar hives.
  8. Don’t discount the idea of running top-bar hives. I love them. Keep an open mind about it. I implore you.
  9. I run about half Langstroth hives and half top-bar hives, though I strongly strongly strongly prefer top-bar hives for backyard beekeepers or urban beekeepers or older beekeepers or young beekeepers or physically-challenged beekeepers or female beekeepers or short beekeepers.
  10. To learn more about top-bar hive beekeeping, please read Les Crowder’s Top Bar Beekeeping
  11. If you’ve determined that you’ll run Langstroth hives, Reader, I STRONGLY encourage you to run 8-frame, medium-depth equipment. This is a rather new practice, so if you’re not keeping up with the reading, you’ll probably follow the old path. And it will take you years to work your bees out of the old-thought system and into the newer one.
  12. I also STRONGLY encourage you to let your bees build their own beeswax foundation. In other words, don’t purchase any type of foundation for your frames. Your bees will respond exuberantly. And exuberance cannot be overrated.
  13. Once you’ve finished your first reading list, feel free to contact me. We can decide where to keep your hives and how to get your bees.
  14. In Ohio (which is where I live), we order our bees in February.
  15. The bees arrive mid April, which is when we need to have our equipment in place and our tools in order.

There. That should get us all started into the new year, yes?