What’s New in the Apiary!
Winter and a new year are upon us here at Hillside Hives! We lost 7 hives already going into winter, so I’m researching into the possible causes of this loss. I added sugar and pollen patties in mid-December to our remaining 18 hives so hopefully they make it through the rest of the winter! Here are some other Hillside Hives highlights!
Hillside Hives Merchandise
We are so excited to add merchandise to our line of products. It is so fun to see folks walking through town with our Hillside Hives hat, shirt or mug! Click here for HH merch : more added daily!
Hillside Hives Bee-Cause Program
I am so thrilled about this program…its all about giving back to our community. The Hillside Hives BeeCause Program is our dedicated program of giving back to local causes, whether it’s with honey, time or services. My favorite part of this program is our dedicated hives! These are full beehives hives that I manage throughout the year, but the proceeds of the honey from that hive go to a specific cause.
We have two dedicated BeeCause hives for the 2020 season…again these are focused on supporting our community, One is for the Woodsville Elementary School and the other is for the Woodsville High School JAG program. The students from both schools will be painting/decorating their hives however they want! I will do video updates for the students on the bees throughout the spring and summer or they are welcome to be there when we go through the hives as well. The high school JAG students will be more deeply involved in helping manage the beehive, helping with decisions throughout the entire process!
We will harvest what honey we can from the hives in the fall with the proceeds of the going to each specific program! There is a ton more potential for this program…I just need to think it out with some smart people to see how it can grow!
Bath Public Library is participating as well in a hybrid combined Adopt-a-Hive Program plus HH BeeCause Program. The kids from the after-school STEAM Program are going to paint a hive plus will be learning about bees throughout the summer as they watch their hive grow! They even picked out a name for the queen in their hive- Queen Beeatrice.
Winterizing the Bee Hives
Winterizing our beehives is a long process that actually starts with the last honey harvest of the season. Each hive has to maintain around 75 pounds or so of honey to survive the winter. There is also the step of putting on mouse guards, entrance reducers, pre-winter mite treatments, making sugar boards for emergency food, plus insulating the hives.
The insulation method I chose this year was a knock off of a product called the bee cozy. I took contractor trash bags, cut them down the center and put a length of roll insulation in them. I used black duct tape to seal them and wrapped them around the hives.
I also am trialing three other methods of insulation to compare. One hive is just the corrugated plastic (on my Russian Hive), foam insulation, and Reflectix insulation. I should have left one hive uninsulated as a control but I chickened out. Hopefully good results in the spring.
UPDATE: We EXCEEDED our goal!!! We raised 820 pounds to feed the bees for the winter. A huge thank you to all who donated to help us feed the bees! I am leaving this up a few more days then will pull it off the main page until next year!
I love it when our community (both physical and online community!) jumps in to ask what they can do to help the bees. We are looking for sugar donations if you want to help. Look for more information here. Check out how we are doing to reach our 750 pound goal!! Click here to learn how YOU can help!!
Fall Mite Treatments
I purchased a Mightly Mite Thermal treatment device this past spring (thanks to donations from our adopters!!). It is a natural way to kill mites in the hives- which is great because we are an all natural apiary! We treated 10 hives last month and will treat all 25 at the end of this month before it gets to cold here in New Hampshire. I am really liking this natural way to treat for mites!
For more information, here is a link to their website (no affiliation or compensation from this- I just like the product!)
A little about us!
I am a novice beekeeper who jumped into beekeeping with both feet- and I love it! I first became interested when I learned how vital these magnificent creatures are to our environment and society as a whole. Then I learned about their decline and decided we needed to do something about it.
Take a look around the site to see all our happenings here at the Hillside Hives apiary. I make my own beehives and sell them locally, as well as from our place. I also have set-up an adopt-a-bee program so YOU can help save the bees and become a virtual beekeeper- part of what you get (besides knowing you are helping the bees) is video updates of your adopted hive as we do hive checks!
Here is a little about us. Go to the About Us page for our entire story!
Hillside Hives: From an Idea to Reality
We are so fortunate in life to own a small urban farm with tons of gardens and a growing apiary. I had wanted bees for years but did not know an appropriate area on our ~1/4 in-town acreage. I was tapping our maple trees one cold spring day when I had an idea!
I saw the perfect area for bees- well at the time it was a vision of what would be a perfect place but would require some elbow grease!
Check out the rest of our story here!!
One of my favorite past times is to build beehives! I share my plans with other beekeepers so check out my Free Plans Page. If you appreciate the plans and would like to donate to our apiary, feel free- we appreciate all the support!
Donation to Hillside Hives