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B&T's Urban Honey

Here is an interesting post on Seed companies supplied by monsanto. If you think it is relevant please pass it on to the growing food and justice listserve….
•Totally Tomato
•Vermont Bean Seed Co.
•Burpee
•Cook’s Garden
•Johnny’s Seeds
•Earl May Seed
•Gardens Alive
•Lindenberg Seeds
•Mountain Valley Seed
•Park Seed
•T&T Seeds
•Tomato Growers Supply
•Willhite Seed Co.
•Nichol’s
•Rupp
•Osborne
•Snow
•Stokes
•Jungs
•R.H. Shumway
•The Vermont Bean Seed Company
•Seeds for the World
•Seymour’s Selected Seeds
•HPS
•Roots and Rhizomes
•McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers
•Spring Hill Nurseries
•Breck’s Bulbs
•Audubon Workshop
•Flower of the Month Club
•Wayside Gardens
•Park Bulbs
•Park’s Countryside Garden
And one final thing: here’s a link to another seed company, Fedco, who posted information on their website about their own decision to forgo using Seminis any longer once they had been purchased by Monsanto: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/monsanto.htm

Fedco Seeds – The Monsanto Debate/Monsanto…

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Here is an interesting post on Seed companies supplied by monsanto. If you think it is relevant please pass it on to the growing food and justice listserve….
•Totally Tomato
•Vermont Bean Seed Co.
•Burpee
•Cook’s Garden
•Johnny’s Seeds
•Earl May Seed
•Gardens Alive
•Lindenberg Seeds
•Mountain Valley Seed
•Park Seed
•T&T Seeds
•Tomato Growers Supply
•Willhite Seed Co.
•Nichol’s
•Rupp
•Osborne
•Snow
•Stokes
•Jungs
•R.H. Shumway
•The Vermont Bean Seed Company
•Seeds for the World
•Seymour’s Selected Seeds
•HPS
•Roots and Rhizomes
•McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers
•Spring Hill Nurseries
•Breck’s Bulbs
•Audubon Workshop
•Flower of the Month Club
•Wayside Gardens
•Park Bulbs
•Park’s Countryside Garden
And one final thing: here’s a link to another seed company, Fedco, who posted information on their website about their own decision to forgo using Seminis any longer once they had been purchased by Monsanto: http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/monsanto.htm

Fedco Seeds – The Monsanto Debate/Monsanto Buys Seminis
Adding to the list od Seminis (daughter company of Monsanto) purchasers direct from Seminis website:
•Burpee
•Dege Garden Center
•E & R Seed Co
•Earl May Seed
•Garden Trends
•Gardens Alive
•Germania Seed Co
•Johnnys Selected Seeds
•J.W. Jung Seed Co.
•Lindenberg Seeds
•Mountain Valley Seed
•Nichols Garden Nursery
•Park Seed
•Rocky Mountain Seed Co.
•T & T Seeds, Ltd.
•Tomato Growers Supply
•Willhite Seed Co.

Today, we decided it was so nice outside, we would wax some of our new equipment and check out the girls just to see how they were doing. We had a few bad days of rain and during that time one of the hives swarmed (I’ll talk more on that in another blog I plan on posting soon) so we thought after 5 days we had better check them and the others, just to make sure things were looking good. everyone had their job in helping out, Pops got the smoker up and going while my daughter waited to take pictures for us. My Husband and I finished up the sealing of the new boxes and top feeder and then we both jumped into our suits and off we went.

Waxing the inside if all our equipment really helps to seal any cracks they may have that is not seen to the human eye. We like to use the Girl’s own comb when we do this, not only does it smells familiar to them, but it also provides less work on repairs and more time on making honey. Anything that we can do to help our Girls out makes us feel better, because we know later when we rob them of their yummy treat, we won’t feel so bad. Tell me what you do, if anything that help you make your bees work less on.

Thanks for reading

Well it seems to be that the hives are up and ready for a nice batch of yummy honey flow this year. After thinking we may have lost our first hive it is nice all 3 hives are looking healthy. Added boxes on all three hives and fed them a little yummy drink to help keep them happy and busy while we deal with some up coming rain. While my husband decides to help with sealing the top feeders today with wax, we discovered that the drone pupa is being built up in the top feeder. a little worried as to what we were seeing, we rush to call and chat with some of the old timers, only to find out what we are seeing was a good sign. I never realized what a bad rap the drone often gets. Known for being so lazy and piggish, some might even think “what good are they”

Well like the male human they are often cared for by a woman, may I even say; known for even being high maintenance! However they do play a very important part in the bee world. If it were not for the drone bee life could not continue. The worker bees put up with them because they are needed with new virgin queens, or if the old queen needs to be superseded. This is done outside the hive in mid flight 200 to 300 feet in the air. This is the “drone mating area” and can happen more than a mile away from the hive. (what big eyes you have) well; theses are needed in order to spot the virgin queens taking their “nuptial flights”. and those who do get the chance to mate with her are in for a big surprise. They die after matting!

This is because just like the worker bee whose stinger is barbed, so to the drone and their sex organ. The organ inside the queen is called a spermatheca, it is a receptacle for the sperm. The queen will mate with more than one drone while in fer flight, and after mating the drone most personal apparatus and the significant part of it internal anatomy is torn away. The drone falls to its death; another day in the bee world! As soon as the weather gets colder and matting season ends, the workers don’t tolerate the drones lying around, so the eviction process begins with little warning, literally being tossed out the door, which tells the bee keeper that the seasons is over for the year.

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This was how some of the frames looked after the cold days ended and I was able to get inside. I did not see the girls out and knew something was wrong with them. When I realized 1/2 the colony was dead I felt like a family member was ill, and was devastated. Like any family member who is ill, I wanted to do my best in fixing them. It was at this moment I knew I was hooked and was indeed a beekeeper.

I am diffrent!

Well our first year in beekeeping was an experience I will never forget! I finally understood the old timer’s passion when one said: “After your first year in beekeeping, you will become a different person, the bees will change you.” While another once told me; “After your first year in beekeeping you will know if you are a beekeeper or a beehaveer which ever one you are you will never be the same!.” How true they both were.

When we realized we lost ½ our hive this winter due to bad bee management, which cause a huge infestation of the Varroa mite, I was devastated. Being new at beekeeping I thought for sure I was doing everything right, little did I know there was more to it than just checking the monitoring tray for the normal Varroa mite signs and making sure the queen was still visible to me.

Varroa mites are just one of the many things that could and do go wrong, in our case, the nasty little critter was a big concern I totally overlooked. When inspecting your hive for varroa mites the following symptoms are a clue something may be wrong.

1. Mites that may be visible with the naked eye (a female mite measures about 1/16’ in width).

2. Checking your bees, or the uncapped larvae and pupae, on the monitoring/trapping trays (Preferred means of detection).

3. Inspecting the brood pattern to see if it appears to be a scattered pattern, and check to see if the cappings may become discolored and sunken.

As a whole, these symptoms are known as Parasitic Mite Syndrome (PMS) and this was the case in my hive this past winter.  Because of my love for our bees and my guilt of being a bad bee mother, I decided I was going to try and save the hive. I went and picked up some healthy frames of brood and bees, caged my queen and now am waiting for 3 days to release her. I am hoping this may fix the hive? With strong healthy bees to fight off any mites that may be left, I am hoping that the queen will continue laying eggs and that brood will be good? In the mean time this is what I have learned about the importance of prevention/Treatment.

  •   Know how to use your screened bottom (important), as this piece of beekeeping equipment in effect reproduces the configuration of the lower part of a natural nest inside man-made hive.
  •   Propagate bees that demonstrate resistance or tolerance to the mites through hygienic, grooming or other innate behavior.
  •   Hive division with period of queenlessness. This is similar to what happens when a hive swarms.

I have heard a lot of other conflicting treatments such as. Chemical compounds, such as coumaphos, to so-called soft treatments as power sugar dusting. I am still learning about these and this time in my learning I am deteirmend to be chemical free in all my hives in doing this I am using the power sugar treatments. One Teacher told me the “Bees groom themselves just like monkeys and that they will take care of the mite problem”. Until I learn how to breed my bees to be more resistance or tolerance to the mites I will continue to powder sugar my hives.

As we enter our second year in backyard beekeeping, who knows what will bring about; in our venture to learn how to preserve the bees and keep our garden growing with the yummy treats we get each year from our harvest. As we wake up to see them guarding the entrance of the golden honey the James girls produce for us each year. We have come to realize that we (I) am a different person, I am a Beekeeper, and my girls make me happy.

pomegranate

A family member surprised me with a huge box of pomegranates this year, we must have been digging the savory nuggets of goodness out from the inside forever; so it seemed. Once we had all of the seed of goodness out and ready for the juicer, I realized the beauty it held, the color was so vibrant and rich! I could only imagine how pretty it would look in the jars. A little nervous-yet excited I hoped my jellies would be a hit? To my surprise the taste was like nothing I have ever had before. I hesitated on throwing out the seeds I just knew if I search the web I could find something just as yummy to make with them too. After a few minutes I found a recipe for scones, and I have to admit, those were just as good.