Monthly Archives: October 2015

Multiple Choice

A.  How to heat up your Kitchen-Aid
B.  Sorry, honey, it’s not mashed potatoes
C.  Boy I’m glad we live close to a sugar factory
D.  Making fondant for the bees
E.  All of the above

The correct answer is E.

This year I’m making fondant as an emergency food source for the bees.  Winters in Michigan are long, and Spring has wide fluctuations of temperatures.  In the event the bees have used their winter stores of honey and pollen before the first available food source in Spring, they will have fondant to munch on.  Sometimes bees starve even though there is plenty of honey avIMG_0901ailable for them because the temperature is so cold they can’t break their cluster around the queen to move to the next frame in their hive.  It’s so sad when that happens.  In the Spring when cleaning out the hive, you can see their little butts sticking out of an empty honey cell.

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Here it is cooling in aluminum pie tins to harden up.  It actually stays somewhat flexible.  Totally off topic, but isn’t that a cool bread board painted in rosemaling style that I got at Norsk Hostfest this year?

And check out the spatulas from the MBA conference.
Cute, right?

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And here’s a few of the hives as seen from my kitchen window.  I’ll bet the girls (the drones get kicked out in the Fall) are just waiting for another gallon of sugar syrup so they can fill every available cell with food for the winter.

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Michigan Beekeepers Association 2015 Fall Conference

🐝🐝🐝 What fun we had at the conference!  It was held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.  We had our honey judged (first time ever) and received the highest possible scores for honey density, color, and flavor. We’re quite incredibly pleased with those results!  We took classes about the Cottage Food Act, building bee houses, making creams and lotions, marketing, overwintering, queen rearing, bee management, and small scale pollination. I’m already anxious for winter to be over so we can start our next honey season. BTW – the Farmer’s Almanac predicts a milder winter, so maybe we won’t lose 50% of our hives this year. Fingers crossed.

And we did manage to find a little time for fun and sightseeing.

Tell you what, being a beekeeper is sweet! 🐝🐝🐝