Designing the Perfect Birdhouse

Designing the Perfect Birdhouse

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encycloBEEdia: Why Do Bees Need Honey?

encycloBEEdia: Why Do Bees Need Honey?

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Encyclobeedia: What Do Drones Do?

Encyclobeedia: What Do Drones Do?

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Small Business Spotlight: Bread and Badger

Small Business Spotlight: Bread and Badger

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The many benefits of the newly designed Langstroth Hive Roof

The many benefits of the newly designed Langstroth Hive Roof

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Product Spotlight: The Ultimate Hive Tool

Product Spotlight: The Ultimate Hive Tool

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encycloBEEdia: how do bees cool off?

encycloBEEdia: how do bees cool off?

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The Mead Journal- Tastings this weekend

The Mead Journal- Tastings this weekend

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encycloBEEdia: what do worker bees do?

encycloBEEdia: what do worker bees do?

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Keeping a Mason Bee House

Keeping a Mason Bee House

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Hive Highlight: Emma

Hive Highlight: Emma

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Local Beekeeper Spotlight: Alexander Howitt

Local Beekeeper Spotlight: Alexander Howitt

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Honeyed Meyer Lemon Curd

Honeyed Meyer Lemon Curd

Although this article was posted by our marketing team, the content was provided by Hillary Bergh of foodheals.net.
Hillary Bergh is a 5th generation chef with a passion for kitchen play. Growing up in the kitchens of her families' multiple restaurants gave her a solid foundation that was then developed further while working as a manager at Bouchon Bakery, chef and wine club manager at Swanson Vineyards, and executive chef at Google with Bon Appetit Management Company. She holds two culinary certifications along with a nutrition certification and is currently earning a bachelor of science in healthcare management. 
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encycloBEEdia: How do bees keep track of the queen?

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encycloBEEdia: are swarms cause for concern

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encycloBEEdia: How Do Bees Reproduce?

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encycloBEEdia: What Is a Superorganism?

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Producer Highlight: Fringe Meadery

Producer Highlight: Fringe Meadery

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Weed of the Month: Dandelion

Weed of the Month: Dandelion

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Planting for Pollinators: Your Planting Guide for March

Planting for Pollinators: Your Planting Guide for March

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A Review of 2015 For The Bees

A Review of 2015 For The Bees

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Hive Highlight: Brittanie

Hive Highlight: Brittanie

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Advice for Beginner Beekeepers

Advice for Beginner Beekeepers

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Preparing for Spring

Preparing for Spring

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Winterizing Your Bee Hive

Winterizing Your Bee Hive

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Beeswax Basics and Wax-Cloth

For foundationless beekeepers who crush and strain their honey, beeswax becomes an inevitable byproduct of any honey harvest. Rather than discard your wax, we’d love to help you turn it from a waste product to an ingredient for crafting and wellness. Before we cover that process, let’s cover the beeswax basics: 
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The Mysterious Bee Escape

Few of our beekeeping supplies can seem as perplexing to new beekeepers as the 8-way bee escape. On its own, the yellow plastic bee escape hardly looks intuitive (is it a hummingbird feeder? A water trough? A Frisbee?). Once mounted to a Langstroth inner cover or other exit board, however, the bee escape board becomes a beautifully simple honey-harvesting tool.

Bee escape boards for beehive

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Checking Hives with the Rauchboy Smoker

As busy beekeeping equipment suppliers and hive builders, own beekeeping adventures often happen in the early hours. With the morning sun soaring upwards, two of our staff beekeepers and I packed coffee and breakfast out to our apiary. We wanted to check up on a few hives, and we used the opportunity to field test our new Rauchboy Smokers. The smokers recently arrived from Germany, and we're excited to become one of the only US retailers to offer the Rauchboy. 

Bee smoker used for beekeeping

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Vineyard and Apiary: Part II

For part II of our visit with Dundee Hill wineries, I visited Winderlea Winery and Vineyard. Winderlea stretches 20 acres across a stunning hillside and produces around 5000 cases of wine per year. The vineyard has employed Biodynamic agriculture practices since 2009 and is currently working on becoming Biodynamic certified. They have been a certified B corporation since early 2015.

Owner, winemaker, and Warré beekeeper Bill Sweat joined us to discuss the role honeybees play in his vineyard ecosystem and show us his hive.

Winderlea bee thinking blog front sign

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Vineyard and Apiary: Part I

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Bee Day

If you’ve never seen the Live Animal arrivals terminal at an airport, let me tell you—it’s a fascinating place. The live animal area at Portland International Airport has seen everything from purebred puppies to steel-caged cheetahs, and yet our packages unnerved them:

“You’re kidding right? You’re telling me 800,000 bees are coming off that plane?”

No kidding! Last weekend Bee Thinking co-founder Matt Reed and I traveled out to PDX to pick up nearly 80 3lb packages of Russian-Carniolian bees from our preferred supplier, Honeybee Genetics in Vacaville, California. We like Russian-Carniolans for their hygienic behavior, and we work with Honeybee Genetics because they share our commitment to treatment-free beekeeping. If you're new to beekeeping, these 3lb packages are one of the standard ways new beekeepers purchase bees to start a colony. The boxes typically include about 10,000 workers and one queen in a special queen cage. For more information on packages and installing bees, check out our Youtubepage!

Bee Built Matt Reed looking out window at beehivesapparently it takes a while for bees to deplane…

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Thanks for Watching Beyond the Tank!

Thanks for Watching Beyond the Tank!

Thank you for joining us in watching Beyond the Tank!
We're deeply thankful for the opportunity to educate the world on the importance of honey bees and other pollinators, as well as the dire situation many of them face.
 
Interested in continuing to hear the "buzz" about us? Sign up here for our newsletter. 
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The Basics of Bearding

The Basics of Bearding

The Basics of Bearding
We've gotten a lot of questions this year from new beekeepers regarding bees clustering on the front of their hives. What is it? Why are bees doing it? Is it normal? Should it be discouraged? It's an easy answer, with one or two caveats.

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Did Pesticides or Starvation Kill Those Bees?

Dead bees on a bottom board

Almost two weeks ago on the sunny morning of June 19th I visited Dena Rash Guzman's beautiful 60 acre organic farm where she keeps, among other things, her honey bees that make up Lusted Road Honey Company. I was there to aid in the inspection of her colonies housed in a variety of hive designs -- Langstroth, Warre and horizontal top bar hives. She told me she was particularly concerned about the Warre hive, as in the past day or so she's seen a tremendous number of dead bees suddenly appear on the bottom board. 

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Why Hobby Beekeeping Matters

Spring Bee InspectionIn the Pacific NW, whether you are a seasoned beek or a novice, your bee season has already begun. Packages (of bees) and nucleus hives have arrived, swarms have started, but this isn't a normal season already.

The Portland Urban Beekeepers (PUB) estimate hive losses in the area last year at a troubling 45%. Researcher Dr. Dewey Caron estimates local losses at 70%.

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2014 Package Bees a Success!

Package Honey BeesIt's been a long couple weeks, but we (and 1.2 million honey bees) survived! This year we brought 120 Russian-Carniolan hybrid bee packages from Vacaville, California to rainy Portland, Oregon. They were created on the afternoons of Thursday, April 24th and May 1st, given some fondant for the trip (no liquid feed allowed on airplanes), taken to Delta and loaded as cargo.

The first week went splendidly. The bees made a detour to Atlanta (apparently no direct cargo flights to Portland) and then arrived on the morning of April 25th. We immediately whisked them from the tarmac to our truck, sprayed them with syrup to replenish them after a long trip. They looked fantastic; the strongest packages we've seen! They were taken to our store where they huddled together on a couple pallets until 50+ customers arrived in waves on Saturday morning. I gave install tutorials to customers who needed it, and others checked in, took their packages and left. 

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Top Bar Hive Plans

Top bar hive plansThey are finally finished! It took a few months longer than expected, but the plans to make our top bar hive are ready for purchase and immediate download from this page: http://www.beethinking.com/products/top-bar-hive-plans

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From the Beekeeper's Desk

Varroa mite on bee Beekeeping is like any faction of agriculture. Just as there are a hundred ways to grow carrots, there are hundreds of ways to keep bees, given the available components and philosophies. With this in mind, there is a surprising phenomenon beekeepers encounter early on when they become new beekeepers which is extreme prejudice, peer pressure, and mockery if they choose a path other than using commercial-type Langstroth hives and treatments. To explain this further, I need to take a side-step and head down a small, well-worn rabbit hole...
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Mother Earth News Fair

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The Sign is Up!

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Ventilated Beekeeping Jackets

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Top Bar Hive Nucleus Box

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Cedar Bee Hives - Langstroth

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Happy Holidays and Holiday Hours

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Podcast with the Survival Podcast

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Quilt Box Effect on Hive

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Podcast with SOMD Beekeeper

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Difference Between Bumble Bees, Hornets, Wasps and More!

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Honey Harvest and Processing from Top Bar Hives

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Summer Recap: Swarms

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