Working The Bees

Last winter was awful. It went on forever, and temperatures fluctuated from unseasonable highs to ferocious lows. And it killed all 6 of my colonies. Ugh. Fifty percent mortality is not unheard of, but all 6? Even though I prepped them for winter, fed them, treated for mites, provided ventilation….


Something New Coming Up!

After the holiday rush, there’s a lull for businesses like mine. It’s a great time to take a deep breath and get creative! So that’s what we’ve been doing. Cole and I are working on some new lines to keep our fans happy. And we’re planning the spring bee yard maintenance….

Cole Tucker, Beekeeper, Soapmaker

Introducing Cole, Avital’s First Employee!

Even though we haven’t been working together long, I can say that Cole is a great employee, and I’m lucky to have him. He’s a natural with bees and a quick learner in the workshop. I’m so glad he wrote to me! Now,  from Cole himself: Howdy! I’m Cole; Ithaca…


A Little Biz Post

This year is about growth for Avital’s Apiaries. I’m participating in the Passenger to Pilot program for women entrepreneurs at REV, a business incubator here in Ithaca, and another class through Lucky Break Consulting. I’ve studied a lot of things in my life… but business wasn’t one of them. Until now. It’s…


Doing Good & Doing Well

Are you local(ish) to Ithaca, and interested in having a beekeeper give a talk? Would you like a donation of Avital’s products for a raffle, auction, or other not-for-profit event? Contact me! I’d love to help! My business started because I was a beekeeper–a hobbyist, for sure–but one with around…



What more can I say? After sub-zero temperatures, constant snow, and all around a miserable winter, today is a beauty. Just warm enough in the sun for my bees to get out and about. It looks like the two hives in my backyard made it through, though the struggle is…


A Hard Winter

February has been over 10F colder than usual this year, with many nights well below zero. January wasn’t much better; I haven’t been tracking it, but the number of “snow” days and “chill” days (when wind chill and temp were under -20) and, therefore, no school, has been huge. It…


BeeFocus: Propolis

I love showcasing the wonderful things that bees make, and how good they are for us! I’ve been infusing propolis in oil for a new balm, and realized that many people might not be aware of what propolis is, let alone why it’s good for their skin. So onward! Honey…


Moving Day for Bees

My young friend Aaron decided to try his luck at catching swarms this summer. He found some 19th century swarm box plans, and followed them, building two cubes with a hole drilled for an entrance. These he put in two trees on a friend’s rural property, along with a couple…


Splits, Lip Balm, Piping Bags, Soap

Spring is a busy time. I made splits to make up for some of the winter losses, using queens I bought from BeeWeaver in Texas. Last year, I tried “walk away” splits–splitting a hive in two, and making sure both sides had eggs, so that wherever the queen ended up,…