Welcome to Hillside Hives

 

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What’s New in the Apiary!

We are almost done with our late fall/early winter tasks here at the apiary! We combined weak hives this fall and will go into winter with 24 hives. We have insulated and have sugar boards on all 24 hives.  Here are some highlights!

Hillside Hives Bee-Cause Program

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I am so thrilled about this program…its all about giving back to the community. We will dedicate one hive (to start) in our apiary starting in the spring of 2020 to the Hillside Hives Bee-Cause Program. We chose the Woodville Elementary School as the beneficiaries of the hive. The kids will be painting the hive over the winter and we will put it in the apiary in the spring. I will do video updates for the kids on the bees throughout the spring and summer (although they will be on summer vacation) plus an update in the fall when they get back. Then, we will harvest what honey we can from the hive in the fall with the proceeds of the honey going to the elementary school! 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!

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.

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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.

 

Winter Sugar Drive to help feed the bees!!

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.

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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!

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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!IMG_1730

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!!IMG_0260

FREE PLANS!

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

$5.00