• On The Farm

    Pollinator Garden Cart

    This fun little project was something we put together on a whim while trying to use up some of the barn wood from our collapsing barn. If you follow our blog, you know we’ve done quite a few projects with barn wood now including the ceiling and sliding door in our education center as well as siding our new greenhouse. 2 of the 4 wagon wheels were found in the ditch behind our house and we purchased the other two from Beard’s salvage in Auburn. Put them together and you have a garden cart! We planted native plants that are pollinator friendly and were purchased from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.…

  • On The Farm

    A Sweet Project

    One of the ways that Aunt Bea’s Apiary supports itself is through product sales. We offer honey, soap, lip balm, salve, bee on a bike t-shirts, beeswax candles, and more. Money from product sales helps us maintain the apiary and educational outreach program. I typically store extra honey and soap that is saponifying in a large pantry off my dining room. Recently, I decided to give the pantry an update. We have an old barn that is collapsing and we’ve been trying to repurpose as much of the wood as possible. You may have read my blog post about our educational center and noticed the awesome reclaimed wood ceiling. For…

  • On The Farm

    Homeschool Adventures

    September 2nd was a beautiful day and I don’t just mean the weather. We were honored to host several homeschool families from the surrounding area. It was wonderful to meet not only the kids, but their parents too. I was amazed at their attentiveness, kindness and curiosity! A fun time was had by all, and we managed to sneak in some learning too. ūüôā Aunt Bea’s Apiary is the perfect destination for homeschool families. Our multidisciplinary teaching approach integrates many subjects and reinforces so many of the lessons being taught at home. These kiddos came on a great day as we were just preparing to harvest honey. They got an…

  • On The Farm

    Renovations Reveal Part Two

    It’s time for part two of my renovations reveal! This is our small but awesome educational space, lovingly designed by yours truly! Initially I didn’t want to tell anyone that the education space was in our basement. I figured people would think dark, damp, and dingy. This little space is far from it! It’s light, bright, and above all fun! The truth is, it’s really the only space we had to work with as building a new structure wasn’t in our budget. We hope that someday, through grants and donations, we will be able to build a larger educational center and honey extraction facility. It’s a lofty goal, but one…

  • On The Farm

    Little Learners Preschool 2016

    Twenty enthusiastic preschoolers visited Aunt Bea’s Apiary in June as part of their summer bee camp. We had a wonderful time learning about the inner workings of a honeybee hive and the equipment beekeepers need to take care of bees. Other highlights included nature exploration and natural play areas. We were fortunate to have volunteer and fellow beekeeper, Kris Gill, as one of our presenters. Amber Grotrian helped us out in the natural play area. She has volunteered several times and we are thankful for her help! I hope you’ll take a moment to scroll through the photos (taken by Rachel Anne Photography) and see these adorable kiddos learning all…

  • On The Farm

    Swarm Season 2016

    I’ve been wanting to write about honey bee swarms for a while now, but thought I should wait until the end of swarm season so I could include our stats! Swarming is the natural means of reproduction in honey bee colonies. ¬†This is when a honey bee colony produces another queen and splits in two. ¬†Half the bees leave with the old queen and find a new home. ¬†The other half stays with the new queen in the original colony. ¬†Swarms can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. ¬†Swarming is typically a spring event. ¬†No need to be afraid if you see a swarm of honey bees. ¬†They…

  • On The Farm

    Is Aunt Bea Real?

    We¬†get asked all the time if Aunt Bea is a real person. ¬†I never imagined that people would think we made her up for marketing purposes, although I can see now how one might drawn that conclusion. Bernice Waniska, lovingly known as Aunt Bea, was my great aunt (my grandma Helen’s sister) and I loved her dearly. ¬†She passed away in 2009 and I miss her very much. ¬†It is difficult¬†to put into words what she brought to my life. ¬†Naming our apiary after her is the best way I can think of to honor her memory because this little non-profit means the world to me, just as she did.…

  • On The Farm

    Bees and BBQ

    Even the bees¬†wanted to take part in¬†the annual Johnson Father’s Day Chicken BBQ celebration! ¬†A friend alerted me on Sunday evening at the BBQ dinner that bees were flying around the building across the street from¬†the school. ¬†I happen to know the lady who lives there and gave her a call. ¬†Sure enough, a beautiful honeybee hive was positioned between the wood panel on the outside and her window. ¬†Monday morning we headed to town with our gear and relocated the hive to our farm. ¬†Here are a few pics documenting our hard (and sweaty) work! This brings our total hive count to 10 at Aunt Bea’s Apiary! ¬†Yay bees!…

  • On The Farm

    Bees In Siding

    In only 3 years, we’ve had many calls about bees living in the siding of houses. It seems to be a preferable spot for them! Unfortunately, once bees have built their home in your siding, the only way to safely relocate them is to remove the siding and take out all the comb. Finding the queen bee is key! If you can find the queen and move her into a bee box, the rest of the bees will follow. They will not abandon her for she is the key to their survival.¬†I have to admit, removal of bees from siding is not one of my favorite jobs. It is VERY…

  • On The Farm

    Bees In Trees

    We get quite a few calls from both town and country residents regarding bees living in a tree on their property. ¬†Our mission is to help bees, and although we LOVE bringing more bees to our apiary, sometimes helping them means leaving them alone. ¬†I generally ask people the following questions: ¬†Is the tree dead or dying? ¬†Are the bees bothering anyone? ¬†Is anyone living nearby allergic to bee stings? ¬†If the answer to all those questions is no, then we recommend just leaving the bees in the tree. ¬†It’s wonderful for the gardens in the neighborhood to have a hive of bees living nearby. Recently, we received a call…

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