Merry Christmas

December 25th is a special day for beekeepers: it’s the birthday of L. L. Langstroth, the man who invented the modern beehive. Rather than keep bees in woven straw skeps or hollow logs that did not allow the beekeeper to remove honey easily, Langstroth created the moveable frame hive that…


Honey Bee Values: Diversity

Most people know that the queen is the mother of all the bees in the hive (usually! nothing is every 100% in nature, right?). In English, we call it a “colony,” but other languages use the word “family,” which really is more accurate. One hive of bees is generally a…


Honey Bee Values: Hard Work!

Every once in a while, I think about why I fell in love with honey bees. They’re bugs! Who make honey. And have good values. What? Bugs have values? Well, kinda. And that’s when I realized that I wanted to write about honey bees and their values for you. Because…


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…