Although I have been quiet with my blogging I have been staying busy with the garden, the bees, the beer sampling and trying to make sense of the crazy politics. I promise that I will not bring politics into the mix…

I started picking my first strawberries in late December…not really enough to call a harvest but those that survived the trip from garden to kitchen were cleaned up and placed in a freezer bag. I tend to snack on the goodies when out in the garden, berries, snap peas and now the asparagus spears that are poking through. Thanks to a Valentines gift from my wife several years ago I have a little sink with running water in my garden. A quick rinse and I have a garden fresh snack.


I don’t believe this one survived the trip into the kitchen. March has been a better month for strawberries and based on blossom count April should be awesome. I celebrated the first day of spring yesterday by whipping up a batch of strawberry jam. Results, 6 –  1/2 pint jars, 2 – 1/4 pint jars, 1 – 12 oz. jar and a miscellaneous sized cute jar found in amongst my canning supplies. FYI, I use the “SureJell” low sugar pectin and recipe as it allows, in my opinion, more of the fruit flavor to come through.


Yum! I decided to label my jars with the label being used for my honey. The design for “Bishop’s Bees and Honey” is under revision….I hope to have a new logo and label design before first honey harvest around May 1st! By the end of April I should be managing 12-13 hives. I still have swarm traps out so that number could grow. I am more excited about those numbers than my wife is, but, she does do an amazing job selling my honey. My “honey” really knows how to move my honey!

Another brief note on berries…….the trails around our area are covered up with Dewberry blossoms. Dewberries are a small but tasty blackberry that grows wild here. This is the most amazing display of blossoms in the 12 years we have lived in Kingwood. I am looking forward to the harvest time….should be a good one.


Just a sampling of what is to come.



The Bees May Have Found Me


I was sitting on my patio today as I was prepping one of my swarm boxes when I had visitors. The box had recently held five full frames of bees that I had been trapping out of a tree. The top was off and I had some old comb in frames and a few bare frames in the box when the visitors arrived. 

Four or five bees were checking out the box so I secured the top and set the box up on a ladder near the patio. The bees left and another five or six returned and checked out the box. Several kept trying to enter along the gaps around the top. FYI – the box was hastily constructed so the fit was approximate!  

One looking and one arriving. 

Hmmmmm- what’s in here. A pheromone scent and a little dab of lemon grass oil. I love the wing shadows. 

Ok – I’ll check it out! 

Can’t fit! 

Eventually they found the “real” opening and checked out the inside. They would hang around then leave – gone about 15 or 20 minutes and then return. My fingers are crossed that they were all scouts and they are inviting the rest of the swarm to a party in my yard! 

This is as close to free bees as it gets and hopefully they have truly found me. I may wind up with a box full of bees for my birthday tomorrow! Happy Birthday Bishop! 


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