New Year | Fresh Start

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New Year | Fresh Start

Hey All!

      This is Lauren Jennings, part owner of Jennings Apiaries! Aaron and I want to keep you updated on the latest with our business and ourselves. I will be writing a blog post once a month highlighting things I’m currently reading and interested in etc. Here we go!

What I’m wearing: Blundstone boots baby!

Aaron got me these for Christmas and I am very pleased with them! I needed a versatile leather boot that could go from the garden to casual everyday wear while still looking good! Great support, they keep you warm, and very easy to slip on and off. They cost $150 at the cheapest to $200 at the most and run a little big. That may seem a bit pricey but the quality will last you. Did I mention they are from Australia?! Leather boots are my thing and these are a good buy. Find it here

What I’m reading: Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

I LOVE fresh cut flowers and try to surround myself with their beauty often! One of the best ways to do that is trying to grow your own which is why I was SO excited to see Erin, owner of Floret Farm publish her book! She grows her flowers in WA state but includes lots of information that can be applied to other climates and growing zones. My favorite part is that she tells you about how many days to start your seeds before the first frost. Stunning images, informative info...I will be turning to this book again and plan to use it at a coffee table book as well! Highly suggest it for those who garden or interested in getting started! Hard copy on Amazon.com for $20.36 with Prime...A steal! Find it here

What I’m using: Broadfork gardening tool

S-T-O-K-E-D that my borrowing days are over and I finally have my own Broadfork! What is a broad fork you say? A broadfork is a handheld tool for breaking up soil in your garden. Using a tractor or walk-behind tiller are quick methods to break ground, but they do two things: 1. They disrupt the natural ecology of the soil by turning what’s underneath on top. Nature has it figured out- We don’t want to disturb the natural layers and beneficial systems already in place which leads to number two. 2. Large equipment compacts the soil, which is not good for baby roots while trying to start a garden. The Broadfork lifts soil, creating an ideal environment for delicate roots to form while still maintaining those precious ecological layers! Plus, it builds character and upper body strength...Win-win-win-win! Highly recommend this tool for beginning gardeners, backyard gardeners, and those interested in soil regeneration and sustainability! See time-lapse below to see in in action. If you are going to buy one, get a Meadow Creature. $200ish with shipping and best made. Find it here

What I’m excited about: My Spring garden!

seeds.jpg

Let me tell you, my seeds are ordered and my planner is FULL! For the first time, I’ve been really proactive with garden planning this year. My first Spring seeds will go in the greenhouse next week! I found a free app that has been helpful - Burpee Garden Planner. You create a profile and type in your zip code. Then you select what vegetables, herbs, or flowers you’d like to grow and it gives you a suggested start date for seeds and transplants! Granted, not every variety/type is present but they have a lot of the basics! Really helpful tool that is taking the guesswork out of it for me. Find it here

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned to see what Jennings Apiaries has in store for the new year!


 

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Bees & Such Ep 10 - Dr. Leo Sharashkin

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Bees & Such Ep 10 - Dr. Leo Sharashkin

I really enjoyed this interview and will definitely be talking with him again! Check out his website at: HorizontalHive.com

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Exciting Changes Ahead!

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Exciting Changes Ahead!

Hey everyone! We want to give you all a heads up about some upcoming changes and new material that we will be publishing.

Since the beginning of Jennings Apiaries, we have been passionate about education and honey bees. We love what we do and want to share that with any and all that may be interested!

Over the next few weeks we will be launching a YouTube channel, updating our podcast format and putting out more educational material through our social media on Facebook and Instagram.

We hope that you will find this information interesting and sometimes entertaining. Stay tuned for these updates and let us know if there is something that you want to see or hear more about!

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New Promo Video for Naked Bee!

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New Promo Video for Naked Bee!

We are so happy to have this video by Kate Tedeton. She did an amazing job.

The ultimate tattoo care for before, during and after getting new ink. Completely natural and made with organic ingredients from Jennings Apiaries.

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2017 Top Bar Hives

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2017 Top Bar Hives

I love top bar hives. They are simple, effective and efficient.

2017 30" Production Top Bar 

I have been using top bars in our beekeeping business for the past 4 seasons and spent the 2016 season converting my best stock into top bar hives exclusively. During the conversion process, I used top bar hive "supers" to get my bees in Langstroth boxes to build the combs I would need to expand my numbers. These short top bar hives have holes in the bottom to allow the bees to move up into the top bar box. I blocked the bottom entrance and forced the bees to go through the top bar entrances. Since bees abhor empty space, they quickly started drawing combs off of my bars and before I knew it I had 10 fully drawn combs to use.

I would then move some of the drawn combs once they had brood in them to a bigger top bar hive. Where we are located, small hive beetles can really take over a growing colony. To combat this, I built these much shorter than what is typically recommended. I halved Les Crowder's length and went with a 22" length box. The bees were able to maintain this space very well and kept the beetles to a minimum even during the prime beetle time of July and August.

I think that the 22" hive is still a bit too short for my "production" hives. This year I am building the full-size hives at 30". This gives them a volume that fits in with Tom Seeley's recent research covering the benefits of smaller hives for bee health. The standard length usually varies between 4'-5', but every time I've seen a top bar hive in that range locally, the hive beetles have decimated it.

2017 12" Top Bar Nuc

I still have a need for smaller mating nucs and hives to start splits in, so my other length has now been adjusted to 12". This creates a top bar nuc situation and my plan is to use them for housing my queens that I will raise and sell this year. This size allows for 8 top bars, which will be easy to move to new yards.

With Spring quickly approaching, I am very excited about the upcoming season and what will happen. I will continually update this site and our YouTube channel with the progress. I learn new things every year and I know this year will provide more opportunities to grow as a beekeeper and learn about these fascinating insects.

 

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Beekeeping Classes 2017

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Beekeeping Classes 2017

Hey! I wanted to let anyone know that may be interested that we will be hosting beekeeping classes again this year!

The focus will now be entirely on top bar beehives and the pros and cons of using them. Our entire operation has switched over to top bar and we are obviously big proponents of using horizontal hives in general.

The classes will cover:

  • Basic Bee Biology
  • An overview of the superorganism that is a bee colony
  • Basics of constructing a top bar hive
  • Seasonal management for top bar hives
  • A hands-on look at a bee hive and its parts
  • Q&A with Aaron

The class will cost $25 and will last at least 3 hours, usually closer to 4. Water and some type of sweet yummies will be provided. We will also record audio of the class and have that available for folks to download at a later time. Space will be limited to 12 people. The location is still being worked out but will be in the Ruston area. The proceeds will go towards the Louisiana Bee Sanctuary, our effort to raise awareness and educate people about honey bees and other pollinators.

Dates will be:
3/25/17 9am - 12pm
4/15/17 9am - 12pm
5/13/17 9am - 12pm
6/17/17 9am - 12pm

If you or someone you know is interested in keeping bees in a plain and simple way, please share this information with them! Thanks!

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Bees and Such Ep 8

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Bees and Such Ep 8

Hey everyone! This time on the podcast we have Sam Comfort! I was super excited to meet him as he is one of my biggest beekeeping influences. He is also a musician and let me include some of his music at the beginning and end of this episode!

I didn't do any fancy editing or add anything to it really, but I hope y'all enjoy this as much as I did. I hope to have him on the podcast again soon.

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Now available in Whole Foods Shreveport!

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Now available in Whole Foods Shreveport!

Hey! We wanted to let everyone know that they can now find our honey, and soon our skin care, in Whole Foods Market in Shreveport. We are located on the "Local Items" end cap when you first walk in and on aisle 4.

We are so excited about this opportunity to bring Shreveport the best ethically sourced, raw, unfiltered local honey available! 

If you stop by the store, please take a moment and check out our honey and maybe let the manager know that you appreciate us being there. Thank you :)

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