Tips for the Beginning Beekeeper – a Book Review

Tips for the Beginning Beekeeper

The world needs bees – did you know that over 30% of the food we eat HAS to be pollinated by bees? What will happen to our food supply if the bees aren’t there for pollination? An alarming drop in the number of bees has been happening around the world for years now.


Plant Clover to Attract Bees

We are quite concerned about the population of bees and what is happening to them. It would be great if more people kept bee hives in their yards. Graham has been interested in beekeeping for quite a while. In order to attract bees, we planted clover as a ground cover around his large shop. In the spring, the whole area buzzes! We’re glad we went that route instead of just planting grass seed.


Tips for the Beginning Beekeeper


Tips for the Beginning Beekeeper by Karen Creel over at Garden Chick was a very interesting read with a lot of great information. It’s going to give Graham and I the information we need to get started. I can already picture the honey harvesting!

Karen includes the equipment needed to get started keeping bees. She discusses the importance of having enough food in the area for them and includes a list of important plants (both annual and perennials) as well as herbs that bees like. Did you know that bees will travel up to two miles to find food?

I always wondered why beekeepers have that little can of smoke with them when they work on the hives. Now I know what that smoker is actually for and how important is it to use one when tending to your hives.

The risks of buying used equipment is discussed in detail. Not something I would have thought about so it is more good information to have.

Did you know that it is the bees job to get the queen out of her little wax compartment? Included are ways to assist that if it is needed, although it’s not usually necessary.

Other aspects of beekeeping that are included in Karen’s book:

  • Where to buy your bees
  • How to install your bees into the hive
  • When and how to insulate your hive if needed
  • Why choosing an 8 frame over a 10 frame is the best way to go
  • Just how important is it to wear protective gear when working on your hives?

This is a great introduction to keeping bees and there are lots of pictures of the whole process. Karen has even included a monthly calendar of inspection and maintenance needs so you can sure you are doing what needs to be done throughout the year. There’s a list of resources included so we can learn more before getting started in beekeeping.

Here’s where you can get your copy of Tips for the Beginning Beekeeper.



Homemade Granola Recipe


Here’s a great recipe for Homemade Granola.  Marion, my Valley friend over at Off Grid on a Northern Goat Farm gave it to me and we love it.  It’s easy to make and you can add any kind of dried fruits or nuts to the recipe.


fruits and nuts, country living in a cariboo valley, homemade granola


1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

6 cups oats

2 – 4 cups mixed nuts & seeds (I used 3 cups and wished I had more)



fruits and nuts, country living in a cariboo valley, homemade granola


Combine the honey, oil and water. Since I am using Coconut Oil (a solid at room temperature) I heated it up and then mixed the first 3 ingredients together.


fruits and nuts, country living in a cariboo valley, homemade granola


Add the 6 cups of oats and mixed nuts & seeds (I had 3 cups), give it a good mixing and then spread it out on some cookie sheets.


fruits and nuts, country living in a cariboo valley, homemade granola


Bake at low temperature (around 250 degrees) for about an hour and a half. Make sure you give it all a good stir every 15 minutes. Bake it until it’s toasty and crunchy. Let it cool completely and store in a canister.


fruits and nuts, country living in a cariboo valley, homemade granola


We enjoy it on yogurt with fresh fruit – it’s delicious!



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