Friday, March 25, 2016


A Honeybee visits a daylily  
A Honeybee visits a daylily


Bees have always been a passion at Olallie Daylily Gardens.
The first bees were kept here at Olallie were in 1966 by Dan Darrow. Years later  in 1997 we decided to try them again at Olallie Farm. With the expert guidance of David Stevens we undertook our first foray into the the keeping of bees in 10 years. We made about every mistake there is to make managing my bees. Regardless the bees produced 100 pounds of honey from 3 hives all of which were newly installed this year.
One of the most amazing things about bees is that they are so unpredictable; you can never be sure how they are going to act or react. Furthermore a hive of bees that seems weak may end up being your best hive and a strong hive may end up having poor survival through the winter.

David's favorite saying was "Bees never read the book"

This photo is from 1966 when I was just 10 years old. My father Dan Darrow raised bees. Here Dan looks for the queen. Dan was the inspiration that got me started on Bees!


The first step is to find a good spot to set up hives. It should be level with sun but with some protection from wind and midday heat.

Here David levels the ground 
for the foundations of the hives.








These two hives are set up with
one super and are ready for bees.

 We bought three packages of bees
 which you can see David separating.


Next we quickly shake the worker bees into the hive. The less time spent fussing with the bees the better, but one must not work to frantically or bees may be killed.
Here David shakes the 
worker bees into the hive. 
There were bees everywhere
but we didn't get stung once.
Even though we had no gloves and loose sleeves.
After the worker bees have been shaken into the hive the queen is placed in too. Special care must be taken to prevent the workers from killing her. Once the queen has been accepted the hive is left undisturbed for 2-3 weeks with only periodic sugar water feedings to encourage fast increase.

Anwyn and Quinn look at the queen in her special cage. The queen is in a cage to protect her from the over zealous workers who may in their confusion attack and kill her. The queen is separated from the workers by a plug of sugar. The workers will chew through the sugar and in that time accept the queen.

David prepares to place the queen cage in an empty medium super, which then will be covered.

Olallie Daylily Gardens
129 Augur Hole Road
South Newfane, Vermont 05351

Tel: (802) 348-6614 | Fax: (802) 348-9881 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.