The Buzz

Beekeeping

Close your eyes and picture: pastel-colored bee hives warmed under the sun. Dew-covered meadows embellished with native grasses and wildflowers. The gentle breeze wafting through fields of lavender, lush and plentiful. Painted sunsets and soft waves surrounding the reeds. This is our farm.

Situated on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we do not produce crops or livestock in the traditional sense. Instead, we maintain hives of honeybees, rows of lavender, and acres of naturalized wildflowers. We responsibly harvest honey and flora to handcraft beauty products and edible goods straight from the hive.

What Makes Bees Swarm?

Overcrowded bees swarm. They will leave the hive and find a tree for a day or so until they find a new location to live. “There’s a bee for that.” As you may know, bees each have a particular role in the hive. The “Scout Bee” has the job to find a new …

Honey sticks tied in a bow on piece of marble with flower and raw honey on the marble alongside honey dipper

The Amazing Power of Honey as Medicine

The use of honey as medicine is nothing new. It was an ingredient in medicinal compounds and cures made by Egyptian physicians 5,000 years ago. The use of honey as medicine is in other ancient practices from traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayur …

2020 New Year Resolutions

It’s officially 2020, and that not only means a new year, it also marks the beginning of a brand-new decade. So much change is in the air and now is as good a time as any to make some good decisions for change. While we may have our own individual goal …

Picture of front cover of Waxing Kara "Farm to Table with Honey" ebook

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Homemade Fire Starters with beeswax close up

Homemade Fire Starters

The quest for fire began in the time of the caveman. My quest for fire began in my first year of beekeeping. In Boy Scouts, you learn how to make a fire with 2 items, or something like that. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t go to Boy Scouts, and conseque …

bees prepare for winter Hives on the farm at Chesterhaven Beach Farm during a small snow storm

How Do Bees Prepare for Winter?

Bees prepare for winter in a similar way that squirrels do. Squirrels and bees sock away food provisions to last most of the winter. They both bulk up, bees by adding family, squirrels by gaining weight. Neither bees nor squirrels hibernate. One other …

Bees on Raw beeswax out of the hive dripping with honey photo by Kirsten Elstner

Beeswax Uses Right from the Hive

Every once and a while, a visitor comes to the Honey House specifically for our beeswax. These people are DIY mavens: they’ve either been using beeswax for various projects for years, or recently saw something on the internet and feel like being c …

Lavender buds

Harvesting Lavender

I got a late start on harvesting lavender this summer. I did that on purpose: I wanted to leave the flowers as long as possible for the bees. If last year was a useful indicator, we should have another harvest in the fall, and I’ll make sure that I har …

crystallized honey in saucepan on cooktop on wood table at chesterhaven beach farm

Crystallized Honey

Crystallized honey is an occupational hazard of any beekeeper. I say this a little tongue in cheek as getting stung is probably item number one on the occupational hazard list of beekeepers! Then there’s losing hives from a cold winter snap or a nasty …

A stack of hives in the back of a truck on the farm

Eastern Shore Living | Waxing Kara Honey Harvest 2018

Our honey harvest sort of snuck up on us this year. There wasn’t a lot of planning that went behind the days-long process that is required from hand extracting honey from a dozen hives. The bees filled the hives with honey faster than we expected. So, …

marking the queen

Marking the Queen

Marking the queen was such a foreign concept to me. Picture hunting for the queen in a box full of thousands of bees. I will never forget my first (and last) time queen hunting. Requeening a weak hive. I can’t seem to find the time to do this. I never …