The Pickled Prepper

Beekeeping

A frame of bees with pollen and honey

Testing for Mites to Raise Healthy Fat Winter Bees

The bees look strong heading into the fall, but our mite check turned up some Varroa mites in one of our larger hives.
look closely and you can see the larvae

The Exciting Part of Bee Season Comes to an End

Bee season has peaked and the brood nests will get smaller and smaller. What you do now will determine if your bees make it through winter.
Pet's bee yard

A Busy Day in the Bee Yard

Monday's beehive inspection revealed some surprises, both good and bad. We've got supers on two hives and are making honey for our spring harvest.
Two boxes of Zatarains rice

We Find Time to Prep as Food Shortage Looms

Walmart continues to be well stocked and while prices are up, there are still good buys to be found for preppers
Five bee hives in a rpw

I Double the Size of my Bee Yard Overnight

I started the year with two beehives that successfully overwintered. After splitting the hives, I now have five with a six on the way.
Placing a white dot on a queen bee.

It is Queen Rearing Time in the Bee Yard

Finding and marking recently mated queens is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, but we managed.
Bees on a frame of capped brood

How to Check for Spring Swarms Before Your Bees Abscond

If a beehive swarms, the bees may be gone for good. It's a good idea to inspect your hives and take steps when you see signs of a swarm.
Five frames of bees

Checking on my Bees; My Beekeeping Reputation Depends on their Survival

With my beekeeping reputation on the line, I was hoping for at least two of my three hives to make it through the winter.
The Lorob Bees oxalic acid vaporizer

Rain, More Rain, Snow, and Gassing my Bees

We got warm weather, but there was no sun, just rain and more rain. As soon as it clears up and warms up, we're going to kill some varroa mites.
Bees on Asters (left) and Goldenrod

Goldenrod and Asters Help our Bees Prep for Winter

You could consider bees preppers. They stock up nectar (carbs) and pollen (protein) to help carry them through the long. cold winter.
Stihl trimmer with metal blade installed

Taking Advantage of the Cooler Weather on the Homestead

We are working to make fall plantings, clean up the homestead, stock up, and generally make sure we are ready for winter.
Our dog on the mountain

Prepper Diary September 4: A Homestead Update

We face our second hurricane in two weeks, prepare for cooler temperatures and ready our bees to get through the winter.
Rows of honey jars

Good News from the Bee Yard

It's finally time to harvest some honey and see how our bees performed this year.
Comb honey just minutes after it was removed from our beehive.

Our First Honey Harvest is in and it Tastes Delicious

I didn't expect to harvest any honey this year, our first with the hives, but just 60 days later, we pulled our first frame of honey from one of the hives.
A box full of bees.

We Test Out the BeeScanning App on Hive Inspection Day

We opened up three hives and took a total of 62 photos to test in the BeeScanning app as a tool to measure a varroa mite infestation.
Bees in an open beehive

Warm Weather and Nectar Flow Sends our Bees into Overdrive

Only four weeks after we added bees to our hives, they have doubled in size, the bees are drawing comb, and the queen is laying lots of eggs.
Chicks that are 18 days old

The Chicken Coop is Complete, but the Chicks aren’t Quite Ready...

We got off to a slow start back in mid-March and the weather wasn't the most cooperative, but we've finally finished building the chicken coop.
Bees on a frame of honey

Feeding the Bees and Cleaning the Chickens

We may have small stock, but its keeping us busy! From feeding the bees to cleaning chicks with pasty butt, it's all part of a day in the life of a homseteader.
Chicks in their brooder

Wow, Talk About a Busy Day

They say that when it rains it pours. That was the case today when all the livestock we had ordered months ago showed up on the same day.
Bees at the hive entrance

One Hive Down, Two to Go; Plus Cyberattacks on Essential Services

After a clandestine meeting in which I slipped a woman a wad of $20s and she handed me a small, carefully built wooden box, I was the proud owner of some bees.
Beehives and chicken coop

The Chicks and Bees are on their Way!

Work continues between the rain drops as the chicken coop and beehives await their new occupa
Fist pump

Ending our Weekly COVID-19 Report with a Victory

When Charlie Sheen famously said "Winning!" it came back to bite him, but we're still declaring victory over COVID-19. For now, at least.
Plastic nesting boxes

Prepper Diary May 8: Chicken Coops, Bee Hives, and Cold Weather

The weather interferes with our plans, but work progresses on the homestead as we continue to ready for our chicks and bees to be delivered.
Installing the roof

The Chicken Coop Moves One Step Closer to Completion

The weather turned warm and sunny, allowing us to continue to work on our bee projects and our chicken coop. We are now ready if the bees come early. The coop needs more work.
Beehive equipment strung up to be painted.

Building and Tracking Bee Equipment

With cold weather bringing a halt to work on the chicken coop, I worked in the shop assembling bee hives until it was finally warm enough to paint them.
assembled frames

Over Hill and Dale: The Quest for Beekeeping Equipment

We put some miles on the truck and some wind in our hair as we cruised the back roads in search of beekeeping equipment.
Bees on a frame of capped honey

A New Beekeepers Guide to Feeding Your Bees

You would not think twice about feeding your chickens, your goats, your pigs, and other livestock. Feeding your bees is important for hive health and honey production.
Beekeeping Basics - Articles and Guides