Thursday, December 03, 2009

Honeybee Apiaries at UCONN

Yesterday afternoon, just before my book talk and honey tasting I had the great pleasure to visit the two apiaries at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. I was greeted by Suzy the event planner at their coop store who took great care of all of the details of my visit. Beekeepers and resident chefs, Amy and Steve were my tour guides. I had read about the honeybees at UCONN and saw pictures of the hives that were lovingly hand painted by the students so I was thrilled to have a private tour with their own beekeepers.

Here are photos of both bee yards where you can see the hives are wrapped for the winter. This helps keep the hive warm throughout the long cold New England winters. We spied a few girls gathered at the entrance. Unfortunately, the artwork was covered up but when we visited their bee barn where the equipment was stored I got a glimpse of the art first hand. This is truly where art meets beekeeping and science!

Here you see two honey filled frames ready to be extracted. Lucky to have a honey harvest kitchen all to themselves, Amy and Steve gifted me with a jar of UCONN's own spectacular honey. This is just the sort of thing us beekeepers rhapsodize over. Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the bookstore where a group of beekeepers, honey lovers and enthusiast and listened to my stories and experiences as a beekeeper then enjoyed my own honey offerings. Promising to keep in touch, I hope to visit the apiary again this time in spring when the bees are flying!


  1. I found your blog through tutti foodie and enjoyed reading much of it. I started collecting local honeys in my travels a few years ago and the central website they featured for locating honeys by type and location has made the quest a lot easier. I write two blogs myself, one of them a recipe blog at Although collecting esoteric honey for culinary purposes is a hobby, I am afraid of bees. I have never been stung and fear I will be allergic. I thank you as well as your fellow beekeepers for producing one of my favorite foods.

  2. I particularly like the paintings, the bees deserve :)

  3. Looked at your blog entry about UCONN and was wondering how they are going to extract the wooden frame in the photo, no top bar. Why do they use drone frames to get honey is it because it allows them to get more honey out of the bigger size of cells?

  4. It looks like one side of the frame came off-it still can be placed into an extractor for the honey to be spun out or simply cut into comb honey. Drone frames are used to manage varroa mites. The mite is attracted to drone brood and once a frame is full of capped drone brood beekeepers remove it, also removing these mites from the hive.