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Winter prep n musings of an older beekeeper. Coalfield, Wa (Renton), USA


Greeting Loungers,

I know a cross section of fellow beekeeper wander in here, see nothing new, probably disappear back to the main forum, right !?

Just a note… I believe the Flow-hive forum has been successful n beneficial to most of us. I’ve been able to bounce ideas n thots off the more advance of the group with excellent results.

Thankz a lot for helping this old guy achieve a good returning to this hobby ! It’s been good for me to feel beneficial n needed as I wander into my 70’s n semi-retirement. As some know my dear Sweet Heart has Musclar Dystophy … We take each day together as gift from God. This hobby I’ve returned to with many changes helps keep my mind more relaxed as I now do all the cooking n housekeeping … N I’m guessing more n more of my Honey’s personal needs.

Thank you for your continue caring n encouragement. Just sharing a couple of personal pix’s here so I don’t disrupt the main forum.

Now out to my apiary to continue getting things ready for last small fall flow ( few weeds n English Ivy )… My Flow-Frames are off so they don’t become clogged with any possible crystalize sweet stuff… That was something I gleaned from someone plus my “Girls” don’t need the excess room with winter soon on our doorstep.

. Cooked this Crispy Cheesy Hash Brown cassarole ( not for Dawn ). Just trying to add new dishes within my skill level to Vera n my pallet n meals.

Ta ta all,

. Have a great day !



So much for retirement Gerald, your day must be filled with chores and then you go and add “how many hives in the backyard?” Are you crazy? … :grinning:
Hope you realise you are going to need a way to sell all that honey and wax. I have only a few more hives than you and are having to sell 200 jars a month to keep the honey stock at a manageable level. Please keep the food dishes coming, I have not seen anything like what you eat over here, might have to get a recipe or two down the track. Best I can offer is what we do with the varying types of honey we get off our hives.

Local Market Stall

Suggestion for honey that is beginning to candy, drizzle around the rim of a dry champagne with a couple of fresh strawberries.

New product for the market this weekend, burr honeycomb in a jar with winter honey.

Latest product that we are trialling, Creamed Honey Bars.


Love your ideas for honey Rod. I’m going to try the champagne & honey tonight. I would really like some of your creamed honey, the packaging is lovely too. I’ve been playing with recipes for honey semi fredo, mousse, bavarois, parfaits. Am still working on a sort of honey version of Tiramisu, no coffee-too strong.
The burr comb in the jar with the honey is beautiful. I saw someone in Melbourne selling honey with propolis, pollen, comb (I think some brood?!) & the bottom board scrapings (I hope minus any pest larvae) as a sinus/hayfever cure. Just a little too many optional extras for me.


Oh really? Loving the sound of these, its almost limitless what you can do as a replacement for sugar. I am planning to make creamed honey filled chocolates for next months market. They take a month or two to set.

OK, that’s a bit too gross for me… Where I live, honeycomb in a jar is going out on a limb, so I think I’ll stick to the simple stuff for now… :slight_smile:


Yep me too! There were some testimonials, but nothing that made me want to try it. Those chocolates sound gorgeous.
Once I get the quantities right I’m happy to share the recipes if you’re interested? At the moment i can only use other peoples honey & it seems to differ with honey variety in terms of quantities & setting. Sometimes I get great flavour but won’t set & never like using setting agents if I can help it. I have some family driving down from Port MacQuarrie in couple of weeks, I might see if I can get them to detour & pick up some of that creamed Honey & chocolates (if any left :wink:)


We may have to setup a honey recipe trading post… would love to get a recipe or two… you can never have too much. I make the odd Honey wine (Mead) and am happy to post the ones that work and are simple if anyone is interested.


I think it’s a great idea. And I would like to try your mead recipes, although it’s going to be a little while I think before I have lots of honey to play with. :slight_smile: It would be interesting too to because this is an international forum to see what people come up with. There must be some traditional honey recipes out there too that forum members know of or make in their families? Honey having been around for so long & part of so many nationalty’s diet.
I might go down the Blumenthal path & see if I can find some really old recipes to try.



I so appreciate your comments n encouragement. Yah ! I know I bit off a big chuck getting back into the “Girls” after 55 year recess …

As Vera gets worst I won’t be able to run my furnace repair business anymore. Often I spend many hours in the field working on customers heating sýtem… I know that becoming less n less possible.

I was also getting tired of climbing a ladder to pollenate my few fruit trees I have plus my garden. Since I got the bees pollinating all that is no more an issue. Even my near by neighbors have mentioned how well their trees n gardens are doing … Thanking me n learning over the back fences to see what I’m up too.

The bees hopefully will help replace some of revenue I will loss retiring. I should be able to be less away n spend more time caring for my Sweetheart of over 49 years this last August. I truely remember from my school Aquaculture project… Beekeeping take time.

Well, got to get my bees thru our long cool wet winter … So not counting honey jars before it happens.

Again Rod … A big " Thank You ". Love to share my recipes or should I say my wife’s. She was the truely awesome cook n baker. I was SPOIL rotten a lot of years.

. This was tonight’s beef roast with taters, onions, carrots, mushrooms n piles of fresh herbs from my garden.

Cheers bro,


Hi all you loungers,

Living in the Northern Hemisphere but below the N 49th parallel line things are chilling n few leaves flashing oranges, yellows n reds a bit now. Autumn brrr is in the air each morning as the sun rises a bit further South each day as I watch it rise on some of our sunny mornings. Each day I record the times of sunrise n sunset that show each day 2 to 3 minutes shorter in our region !!

. We’ve had a 4 day run of Sunny Fall days our bees have loved … . They continue to bringing in pollen n seem heavy with nectar this morning. The pollens are creamy white (ivory) … I did see some Laurel in a late bloom… @ Dee … You might know … I know English Ivy has nectar (that crystallizes easy) but as a teen I guess I never knew if they bring in a pollen from it also ?! Maybe that’s the creamy white on their legs. . Our good weather is changing quickly this morning as a rainy front closes on our coastal region of the Norhtern Paicific.

Anyone or Everyone: question. Made up couple gallons of 2:1 syrup … Is that mix like thick corn syrup ? It seems dense n thick. I used the 1:1 ratio mix this Spring but we didn’t feed back in the 1950’s n 60’s. At least I didn’t ( I was on my own back then … No mentor n little info for newbees then… It was the “School of Hard Knocks”! I guess I’m
Just topping off my upper deep honey super, right ? I have one 5 frame Nuc I’m trying to get the upper honey super filled too … I’ve never tried to winter over a 5 frame. I guess " nothing ventured n nothing gained " !!

Let me know if I’m all wet behind the EARs or moving ahead. Winter is coming FAST …

Penny (1 cent) for your thots, (Thankz)!



Wow, what better medicine is there than sitting down to a lovely homemade beef stew like that?! Other than watching bees come & go in your garden of course :heart_eyes:

About all your honey, have you ever tried making mead? Cowgirl brought me some of hers when she visited last week & it was divine! I’d only ever tried it once before, and was turned off by its rather medicinal taste - which was more to do with the maker’s lack of expertise. Cowgirl’s was subtle, complex & reminded me of a rich sherry.

It’s just starting to get snappy at night here too, & the sumacs are fiery colored. I’m going to take another look at the candy board/moisture quilt combo on Rusty Berlew’s site as a way to feed and reduce condensation in the hive this winter. I’ll post a link if you’re interested!


Amazing goodies you have there Rodderick! Very inspiring - wish I could swing by your lovely market stand :blush:

Love the idea of a honey recipe trading post. I’m a pretty avid cook & baker but I’ve never actually used honey except to drizzle on cheese.



Hmm, never ever tasted a dip yet ! I like a little wine so guessing I might enjoy a sip or two some day ! This next summer should be might first honey harvest but not counting me honey jars n comb before it happens. :wink:.

Autumn diffinately in the air ! Our mornings are getting dewy n much cooler !

. Enjoy your local Fall/Autumn ! :maple_leaf::fallen_leaf::sunny:

Happy :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee: Keeping ,



Hi everyone …

Autumn is Soup n Getting our bees ready for winter … What are you doing where you are ? My mentor is coming to my small apiary tomorrow to see how well I’m ready. Can hardy wait.

. Cheers n happy Autumn,



Hi all,

Kind if wintery last few day in the Pacific NW. Not have Midwest blizzards with sub freezing temps or 60 mph winds but some Snow, Low Temps (25 dgs F) n day time mid 30’s.

I’ve got a new Beta beehive monitor online now. Only trouble was solar panels exposure to good sunlight.

I had to add extra supers to my Flow-Hive to get the height I needed. Then I filled the super full of wood chips to help absorb moisture n add insulation.

My brood temp is holding near 92 to 94 dgs as outside temps dip 25 dgs F. Humidity is holding about 50% to 55% so guessing the quilt is helping some…

Now I’ll watch n see if the battery holds or gains above the 30 to 40% mark or greater now I have the solar panels above the fence line.

Here’s a few pix’s of our recent snow … No major deep snow but pretty good for us we got 1" …

Enough stuff n pix’s from my apiary here in Coalfield. Happy beekeeping !

Ta ta,


Beautiful snow. It must be reassuring to know your cluster is so toasty in the hive you’re monitoring - safe enough to assume the others are ok too. It’s odd for me as a first year beek to do pretty much nothing now, just gaze over at my little stack & wonder how everybody’s doing :thinking::two_hearts:

No snow here in the Philly suburbs yet, but we had a downpour of icy rain on Tuesday that included a bit of sleet. I still have some roses & geraniums blooming!



This is also my first season BACK to raising bees. I was a beekeeper for a few years back in the 1950’s n 60’s. Beekeepers had some issues/problems but nothing like now.

Last winter i started a line of classes that has progressed to being class assistant because of my background n quick adapting to new methods to trying to raise n help the BEEs.

My hives have become part of a local n regional bee health study group. If I’m going to learn n help I saw this as a wise addition to moving ahead at my age.

I’m somewhat lucky because at 71 years old I am remaining active n only semi-retired. This has give me some extra funds to invest for hives, bees n some specialized equipment. Some day I plan in investing in a Flir/Infra-red adaptor for my I-phone. But for now my youngest brother has one so he drops by to let me view my colonies n take infra-red photos to have some visual idea of each colonies health, size n position in the double deep n one triple deep hive bodies. I am trying to get one five frame double deep colony thru our long moisture usually rainy climate here in the foothill region SE of Seattle.

Yes ! We also have been rather mild this Autumn here. Our weather has just changed to cold n snowy but it will just as quickly return to just cold, wet n long :smile: winter. I had added winter Emergency patties above my upper frames but my colonies quickly devoured that supply as bee population was still larger than normal for entering winter. Each colony is now quickly dropping population wise now …

. Don’t get in any panic about being a small beekeeper. Just do your best n learn as you can. I do keep records of my bees pluses n minus, problems n successes. It give me important info to learn n remember from. I also have added notes of what is flowering when n how long. At least here flowers bloom is a certain succession but not the exact week or weeks. The pattern does excess so once I know when the first flowers will bloom it should give me approx times to try n encourage my colony population. I hate just totally guessing. I suggest to add to your beekeeping skill try keeping a log in a ledger or on an extra calendar. It helps make beekeeping more fun n predicible. At least it helps. Now is the time for planning n getting additional bee help n supplies. I hope to replace two hives I lost to mites this Autumn n gain one to three addition hive. I plan to top out near 8 to 10 hives max n keep 2 to 3 five frame Nuc’s as back up then improve my stock n methods as I do.

it’s been nice chatting n encouraging you ! It’s a continued learning curve for all of us no matter what our experience or size of apiary.

Good luck n happy beekeeping young lady,


@Gerald_Nickel just a note to say I appreciate your more personal posts…and sometimes your meals give ideas for other things I can add honey to :wink:

I hope your weather is warming and you have a great bee season coming up. My bees have been a bit antsy recently. During the last inspection I was stung 7 times…down my shoes! Tomorrow I’m showing a friends young kid inside the hive and we’ll be doing a harvest too. My friends get a kick out of it too, sometimes more than the kids I think!

Keep well.



I’ve got this one @Dawn_SD

That’s terrible, you need to pull your socks up mate…


Morning from Cascade foothills,

I’m overjoyed you are sharing your buzzy girls off to others. My two oldest kids come around for a Look-see once in awhile n a neighbor or two at times. Yes ! They are amazed n enjoy the experience but as you … I’m flying high with enthusiasm too !

Yah ! The old ankle sting ! Hunts a dab … I’ve bought the heaviest thick socks I can just for armor :grinning: down there :exclamation:️I also band my pants @ my ankles to stop an exploring little girl finding access ! Ooooooaasch ! :grimacing: that can be a HIGH !

. I have acquired two full bees suits, one half to the waist suit n the Flow-Hat/Net which I often use for quickie top inspects (don’t need one of the ladies getting under my glasses. Rather not get stung around that area. I get my share of sting. Got my first for the new season adding winter patties about 6 weeks ago. They didn’t enjoy the chilly draft even if I was bring in the chow-wagon ! :eyeglasses::eyeglasses:

If anyone gets a sting (kids n adults) quickly attend to that ! Show your student how to quickly n safely remove the little stinger n I apply a dab of tooth paste ! An older beekeeper shared that with me n seem to work pretty good. It isn’t a miracle drug but I carry couple travel tubes in my truck, pocket n tool kit.

. Also watch them while they are with you n have their parent continue ( some people get a delayed reaction). If no reactions … They n you know they probably aren’t allergic. Stay calm n your observers will have a habit of staying happy about Beekeeping we all love. If you know all this already … It never hurts to review … I go thru dry runs a lot just to know I’m prepared for most stuff. Crap can always hit the fan … So it helps to :honeybee: ready. I’ve had a box slip, fall over, etc n things get exciting very fast. That’s why I band my pants n double check my zippers.

Dang ! I’ve done it again … I was only going to say hello ! Sorry Allan ! I guess it’s an old mans rambling ! :wink:

Cheers n Ta ta,



Toothpaste? Hadn’t heard that one. I’m going to be taking advice from @BruceLonsdale and trying Apis30 (I’m ordering it this week…). I’ve just been taking Telfast and topically rubbing Vicks onto it…that alleviates swelling and the itch.

Usually they just crawl over my ankles but that last time they crawled down my shoe!!