Author Archives: Lisa Phillips

Swarm Season Begins

After work I got a call from someone that had a swarm in their yard south of town. Piled supplies into car and called hubby. He met me on the way. It was about twelve feet up in a pine tree in his backyard. We borrowed a ladder and hived them up. It was a pretty straight forward rehiving. I love free bees.

27 May 2015

Checking Hives

With the wacky weather we’ve been having we are behind in our bee management. We added two new westerns to this hive. Although the bees were calm and no stings were given John was covered with bees by the time we were done. This was the first time we’d seen purple pollen. Pretty good day all around.

24 May 2015

Swarm Call?

Whenever anyone calls about bees I have to spend the first ten minutes determining if the caller is really talking about honey bees. In this case I knew these were bumble bees and not honey bees because some other beekeeper had already been out to collect the ‘swarm’ and had told the caller what they were. The home owner was distraught because her children have severe allergies and the bees had to go. So, after work I drove over and picked up the chair (AKA ‘the hive’) and brought it home. A smart queen bumble had moved into the stuffing of the chair through a hole in the side. I parked them behind the wood pile for the summer. Hopefully I get a few bumble hives next year out of this good deed.


20 May 2015

Puppy Growing UP

Winston is growing by leaps and bounds. Keeping up with him is a full time job.

17 May 2015

Favorite Chicken

While I was cutting up scrap wood the chickens came by to look for snacks. This one ate several slugs. She’s my new favorite chicken.

12 May 2015

Chicks are Here

This year’s crop of meat chickens has arrived. I love it when they are little like this. It’s fun for about a week then the garage smells something aweful! We added the five ducklings, the new mother didn’t take care of, to the bunch.


08 May 2015


Case Farm had a swarm move into some old equipment last August. They didn’t expect them to survive the winter. Not only did they survive the winter but they thrived. Since no one on the farm is keeping bees any more they asked if I might be interested in rehiving and managing them. I was thrilled that they had asked me and about keeping my bees on such a great farm. I called a few friends and some new bees and we got to work. It took six of us three hours to rehive these guys. We cut out and banded four boxes worth of bees. It was a great learning experience for all of us. Clyde Caldwell supervised as we went along and everyone enjoyed the experience. Looking forward to keeping those strong genes in the gene pool I have going at their farm.

03 May 2015

Market Day

Winston made some friends at market. We found some pretty cool new friends too. You just have to know where to look. Thanks to all the people who came out despite the ‘iffy’ weather.

25 Apr 2015


This year has been very odd for beekeepers ( I think I wrote this the last two years as well.) It got warm early. So early that there wasn’t a lot of forage out there. It’s important to leave every last bloom for them.  Although you might call dandelions weeds we call them bee food. Here are a few girls in the path in our veggie garden.

19 Apr 2015

Broody Hen

Sometimes hens decide they’re going to set instead of lay eggs. Sometimes they carry this to the extreme. Case in point is ‘Speck’. Since we cut her off from laying under the front steps she has taken to setting on two fake eggs we put out in hopes of luring turkeys to set under the ferns. No such luck, we got a stupid chicken instead. Every morning she races out of the yard and under the ferns. There are no real eggs and we have now taken the fake eggs out but it doesn’t matter, every morning she’s out of the yard like a shot. We have to finish putting everyone away and close the gates before we grab her. If we don’t she sneaks back out and runs to the ferns. You get your entertainment where you can on the farm.

13 Apr 2015