Saturday, July 26, 2014

Frustrations of Urban Beekeeping Part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how sometimes beekeeping in an urban environment can be very frustrating and disheartening. This past weekend, the frustrations continued. When we went to the first beehive location, we were shocked to see that there was yet again, another huge die off of bees. Has this ever happened to your hives? What did you do to combat this?
I’m not exactly sure what is causing the bees to die off in this manner. We are looking into moving this hive to another location in hopes that whatever is causing this will stop. Luckily, when we opened the hive, the bees looked healthy. They weren't disoriented like last time.
There was also pretty good numbers of bees, so the hive had healthy numbers as well. We saw that the Queen was laying very good brood. So that is a good sign that it hasn't affected the inside of the hive. We suspect the die off the bees are likely the foragers. Hopefully with the Queen laying well, the foragers will be replaced with the newly hatching brood.
We pulled some frames and they were also building out wax and filling the frames with honey.
We looked inside our other hive and they have also been busy with making honey. In fact, they built some honey on top of the frames.
That looked and smelled so incredible, so we scraped these off the frames. And had a little taste for ourselves. Oh wow, is this every good! Floral, sweet, deliciousness!
After beekeeping duties were done, I saw that my favorite Cesar's taco truck was sitting outside the subway station.
I picked up one of these beauties. This is a chicken empanada. It's a perfect snack after beekeeping. Yum.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Making Sourdough Pizza!

I have lots of sourdough starter and have been looking for ways to use it. I found a sourdough pizza recipe that uses up one whole starter! Sweet! I decided to give it a try!
I followed the recipe and let it rise. Then I put the pizza dough in a ziploc bag to make pizza the next day. Since the dough takes awhile to rise, it's best to start this in the morning or early afternoon if you want pizza for dinner. Or do as I did and put the dough in the fridge for the next day.
Rolled out the dough and added marinara sauce and cheese.
This came out soooooo good! The pizza didn't come out as crispy as I liked so I'll have to see if I can invest in a pizza stone. I'll definitely try this recipe again when I want to get rid of some of my sourdough starter. Do you use starter? What do you bake with it?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Frustrations of Urban Beekeeping

I love beekeeping, but sometimes it can be frustrating in an urban environment. Especially when you have neighbors that don't want you there. Two weeks ago, at my last inspection, I arrived to the backyard where I keep two of my hives. It's a beautiful yard, full of blooming flowers. I was getting ready to do an inspection, I started up the smoker. Only to be greeted by an angry neighbor behind the fence, screaming at me. In a very angry voice she was shouting at me to stop what I was doing and to not open the hives or continue with my inspection because she had guests in her backyard for a party. I was going to comply with her requests, and then she starts threatening to call the police on me. Upon which I stated, "Go ahead, call the police. My beehives are registered with the Department of Health. These hives are completely legal to own and have." I proceeded to tell her that she didn't have to scream at me in that manner and all she had to to was ask nicely to not do the inspection, and I would have complied. Apparently, she was stung by a bee the previous day, and now she feels scared of them. But how does she know they were my bees? And what if it was a yellowjacket, or wasp, or hornet? They all can be mistaken for honeybees. I now feel frustrated with having my hives here, if there is a chance that I will be accosted every time I show up for an inspection. I can tell she seems pretty unreasonable to talk to, since every time I tried to calm her down, she would talk over me loudly. People like that don't care that honeybees are an integral part of the eco-system, and that without them and their pollination, we wouldn't have the fruits and vegetables we consume.
Have you ever experienced something like this? It makes me really sad and start to rethink the location of this hive. Would I need to move it elsewhere? Somewhere where there are less neighbors perhaps? I have an upcoming inspection this Sunday. I'll have to see if I get into another verbal altercation with this neighbor. Hopefully, she has calmed down a bit. Fingers crossed.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Forgotten Spring Photos

I downloaded photos off of my phone and found some I completely forgot to post on this blog. The photos show how amazing the spring flowers are in one of the gardens where we keep our beehives in Brooklyn. Don't these irises look amazing? I wonder if the honeybees like them.
Here's a view from another angle. Way in the back are the beehives.
A closeup of the irises. So pretty!
Closer to the hive are some blooming alliums. I just love these flowers. They remind me of cotton balls!
Here is our other beehive location. The fun part of this location is that we are always greeted by Oscar the kitty who lives at this location. He loves it when we are doing a beekeeping inspection. He watches us beekeep the entire time.
On this day, we also had to build our bee nucleus that we purchased. I've been wanting to raise bee nucleuses for awhile. I finally went ahead and ordered a kit.
And here is the nucleus completely built. It looks awesome! I can't wait to raise nucs!!

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