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Learn in Person with Me!

Will Rompala
Betterist in:
Beekeeping!Learn with me!

The Podcast

The Suburban Beekeeper Podcast
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Copy the feed link and paste it into your aggregator

Subscribe to this podcast with iTunes

Subscribe to this podcast with iTunes

I return.. to see narrowly avoided destruction.

Hello folks! I’m back from a (business) trip to Paris, France for the last week.

I received a call from Mrs. Beekeeper while over there. “We had a bad storm- and we have a huge tree down. It is INCHES from the beehive, but all is fine!”

I love Mrs. Beekeeper- she loves the girls in the hive too.

And she wasn’t kidding. It is an immense tree, about two feed around. I took a few pics with my bberry camera so you all can see it.

It really is amazing that I’m not reporting a massive catastrophe today. If you see in one of the pics, this huge tree shattered at its base, sending the entirety of it’s bulk crashing down less than a hand’s width away from the landing floor of the hive stand. No exaggeration.

To those of you who have watched the videos here, you will recognize the stump that I use as a mini table in front of the tree and the hive behind in one of the pictures below.

I have a large amount of work to do to clear the tree away, but I’m so grateful that the hive was safe. There is plenty of activity at the hive entrance and all is well. It could have been so much worse.


Photos from inspection by Mrs Beekeeper.

Here are a collection of 6 photos from Mrs Beekeeper taken during the last hive inspection. Beautiful stuff.  Make sure you click on the photos to see them in their full size glory. 🙂

(This will be a long page, so I’m breaking this post into multiple parts so the front page doesn’t become too long. )

Continue reading Photos from inspection by Mrs Beekeeper.

First honey super on!

under fog and constructionHowdy all! I added the first honey super today. I rushed to build one quickly and get the frames together, so I don’t have any pics of the construction (I knew I had to get this super on asap) – I will take pics and vid of the second one as I build it so you can see how that goes together.

I just put the super on the hive a few moments ago – I’m looking forward to see how things go over the next week. Looking forward to that hive visit! I’ll be sure to video that one.  (Confession time – I didn’t gear up or smoke the hive to put this on- I just quickly pulled the feeder and vent frame off, popped the queen excluder and super on then replaced the vent and feeder.  A bit scary as they were very active this afternoon – we’ve had great warm weather. )

Have any of you put a super on so far? I’m surprised that I’m having such production already this season – first year! I had already resigned myself to not getting any overage till next year.. but they have a bunch stored in the two hive bodies and they are looking for room to expand. 🙂

Regards all,


Bees have friends in California

Newsboxes...It seems that attitudes may be changing in a good way towards bees and beekeeping in California – in this article you will find that laws regarding keeping bees at home are being reconsidered (among other good bee news).
Link to the BBC article


New Podcast Episode – Hive news and smoker tips.

Old Time RadioHey all! Episode 5 of the podcast is up and alive – I catch you all up on the hive, the site and I discuss my ‘lessons learned’ on smoker lighting, fuel, and keeping that darn thing going during a hive inspection. If you don’t subscribe, you can do so by clicking on the podcast links in the podcast box on the right sidebar.

(or, pssst – you can click on the picture of the radio!)

The podcast is in the iTunes directory! Heck, if you enjoy the podcast, please rate it and comment on it in iTunes – it helps the podcast get more attention in the index.



Fourth hive inspection HD video – all ready!

Here it is! The second hive body surprised me with it’s progress. FOTB Greg and Mrs. Beekeeper were on hand to film and photograph. I just finished the video edits – I hope you enjoy experiencing the visit with the bees!

Here is a link to the video in HD quality.

I was pretty shocked, to be sure. The population is heavily increased, the foundation is well drawn out and honey and brood are being stored and raised throughout.

Photographs from Mrs. Beekeeper to follow once we collect them from the camera.

I’m going to begin constructing the honey supers now – I’ll try and document the build out for all of you.


Hive inspection done- wow! Second hive body looks great.

Hello all. Left the bees to themselves for two weeks and wow, what progress! Video needs to be processed yet but I think you’ll be surprised! Great progress in the foundation buildout. The top hive body is 80 percent built out. I can’t wait till you all see the video!


New hive inspection video – and new poll!

Inside Bloor CinemaHello all! Yesterday was a great day – warm and sunny. Had a great visit with the bees. Lots of activity and yes, many more bees are in the hive now. FOTB Greg was there to capture the action as we did a full hive inspection frame by frame. Mellie makes an appearance, as well as some burr comb. I added the second hive body so ‘Mellie’s House’ is fully complete.

Link to the video at YouTube directly here
Also, I added a new poll on the side – about how you feel about bees / beekeeping in your own lives. Please take a second to record your thoughts / opinions for all of us to see!

Hope all is well with all of you – If you have a moment, let me know your thoughts on the video and on the podcast.. I’ve been tweaking sound settings and would love to know what you think.



Beekeeping – a source of joy.

Beehive (see it large)“How blessed I am to have grown up in a village where bees were kept, to have known beekeepers who taught me about them and to have had a loving family to encourage my interest in them. I believe this has been the constant source of the most lasting joys of my lifetime, and my existence would have been indescribably poorer without it.” Richard Taylor, “The Joys of Beekeeping”.

Just a moment of introspection – I read this quote from Richard Taylor and it struck home.  I’m just entering into the world of beekeeping this year and already it has been a source of wonder for me when I am out with the bees as well as a source of sharing and a way of bringing people together for me that I never would have imagined.

Its already given me much more than I could have imagined.  How about you?


New Podcast episode: To Feed Or Not To Feed

KLH Model 21Just uploaded the latest podcast episode: remember to either subscribe via iTunes by using the box to the right or you can stream right from the site here.
What do you think about feeding your hive? All season? Just the first month? What are you currently doing? What do you plan to do?

I discuss recent site events and I tell you where I stand on the feed/no feed question and why.

Hope you enjoy it! Please chime in on what you are doing with your hives in the comments here.