Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Preservation Honeybee

It's a little known fact that Northampton Honey's original name was Preservation Honeybee.  It's still the name we have on file with the state of MA as a DBA.  It's on our business checks if we ever need to pay you for something but in the end Northampton Honey made more sense to us. 

The reason we originally were called Preservation Honeybee was that we want to support land conservation with our honey operation.  Western MA is a beautiful place for many reasons, but the land is chief amongst them.  I am often astonished how sprawly other places are, the land chewed up for nothing but two acre lots and endless Jiffy Lubes. We're in love with the land and want to keep it beautiful for all time.

We've kept at it and now expect to be keeping bees on city conservation land that the Kestrel Trust holds the permanent conservation restriction to . We're going to give a portion of our proceeds from bees kept on Trust to the Trust to further invest in land conservation here in Western MA. We think this is how business should operate, we think people should give back.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hive Scales

Update: If you are looking for the most up to date information on our hive scales please use this link: Hive Scale Data

I had thought that the chart would update automatically, but that doesn't seem to be the case!   The above link should stay current.

What you see below is a chart of hive weight and ambient temperature for one of the hives in our backyard. Right now the hive weighs 142 lbs. You can see it's lost a few pounds over the past few days as the bees have not been able to fly due to the rainy weather.

A few days ago we purchased two "grain scales" or old fashioned platform farm scales from someone on craigslist. We've loaded hives onto them so we can track the weight of the hive and see if the bees are adding nectar, pollen and new bees or dwindling.

It's been pretty amazing to see how quickly hives gain and lose weight even in the few days that I have been keeping track.

These charts will become more useful over time as we begin to really see when hives are growing and when they are dwindling. It's should also be useful to see how hives perform over the winter.

These charts are linked directly to data we enter into Google Documents and should stay updated even as we add data over time. We hope they are useful to us and to other bee keepers in the region.

We'll also be participating in the NASA climate change program that uses hive scale data to understand flowering times as correlated with other data the agency collects.