As winter continues and spring is around the corner, I evaluate my Bee Business. Bees looked great up to a week ago, but now are struggling. Too much cold? To wet? Fighting to keep them alive is always a challenge in the last few months of winter. New bee packages on order. Finding the balance. How do the commercial guys do it. I thought being a chef used to be stressful!

I saw this magazine in the local Wilco Store. I didn’t buy it. But finding more and more public interest in bees is exciting and scary. Bees are facing a lot of challenges. Their is so much waste in government spending, maybe having a state budget to support local bee companies doing research might be an answer to some issues Bees are facing. I have some ideas to try for improving the overwintering process, but it all takes money. If you can, support your local beekeepers. Buy some honey and ask how you can help save these precious little pollinators.


Cardboard Gardening

Trying a new method for the second year. Laying down cardboard, straw, etc. putting compost on top. Seemed to have worked good last year! Lots of worms. Cardboard rotted in nicely while suppressing the weeds.

Spring is Coming.

I have been thinking.

As Im building frames and preparing for this next bee season, I am looking forward to seeing my hives like this again.  Full of bees working hard, pollinating all the plants, collecting nectar and turning it into gold, or Honey, and bringing in Pollen.  They are the hardest workers out there!  I am getting ready for the Kingston Farmers Market, talking with people and selling honey.  I am finishing up getting people lined up for renting hives for this season.  unfortunately I don’t travel too far, but if you live in and around the Key Peninsula area, Id love to put two hives on your place.  I do all the work, you can join me and learn as much or as little and you like.  Experience Honey Bees at work for one season, it’s $260.00 for everything.  You get the ability to experience the bees, see them in action, all the pollination in your area, and a dozen pounds of Honey at the end of the season!  2 hives minimum at 130$  so 260$ total and you can add as many as you want for 130$ more and a half dozen more jars of honey.

Call me, Email me, Text me,


Christopher Smolko

Winter Bee Keeping

So I stepped it up a bit this winter in my feeding.  I purchased a 50# bag of “Ultra Bee Pro” from MannLake.  I mixed up some Protein Patties with that and a 2-1 sugar syrup.  I dropped them in the hives yesterday.  I also added some sugar bricks several weeks back.  I mixed Sugar with H2O and some Lemon Grass Essential Oil.  Made some bricks and put them in.  all my hives have moved up and around the bricks and they’re loving them.  I failed on getting enough syrup in the hives in the fall.  All my hives are looking good.  Except….

My TopBar Hive.  I just had the thought to take my TopBar bees and transfer them into my observation hive, and yes…. Put them in the house!  But when I opened them up I was sad to see that they had starved.  I feel totally responsible, I knew it would happen to them and I waited till too late to rescue them.  If you’ve ever seen bees that have died from lack of food, it’s sad.  All their butts are sticking out of the comb and their gone.  So I had to brush that off and move onto the others.  Im hoping for all the rest to make it through.  Miracles can happen, even in the NorthWest of Washington State.

The bees are pretty cute when all snuggled in for the winter.  Isn’t it incredible God’s creation.



Finished Pruning my Fruit Trees Today!

All my fruit trees are pruned! A two day event at my house. Now for a twig burning party!

It’s always a relief to get done, but I love doing it. I am always reminded of the parables in the New Testament when pruning. I’m cutting off the old and preparing for the new life to come in the spring. I am inspired by Gods creation, if you want to get to know an intimate loving God, spend some time in the garden.

I’m thinking lately about why I garden. Not very many people see my yard and all I do, but one of the main reasons to work hard in my property is to have that opportunity to spend time with Jesus. When I have my doubts in my faith with God, somehow working the soil grounds me, brings me back to the roots. I don’t believe God is interested in accomplishment. There’s a lot we can do in the name of God. But spending time, hanging out with your friend. That’s what I believe Jesus wants. Relationship, Quality Time.

All else is meaningless.

That makes sense to my anyhow…

Bees and Coconuts

I was recently in the Caribbean. While there, I couldn’t help but admire all the palm trees, specifically the coconut palms. Seeing them with their coconuts at different stages of development. I have always had a fascination with fruit trees and coconut palms the same. The many ways that coconuts are used throughout all stages of their development. How incredible God is with all of His creation and creativity.

The one thing that remains true is pollination and honey bees. And they were sure busy. I can’t help but wonder what coconut honey tastes like?

Rent your own BeeHives!

I’m late in marketing, but 2018 will be the 3rd year that I’m renting hives to people.

What you get?…

2 hives placed on your property for the bee season. Spring when new bees arrive through August.

The bees and I do all the work

Observe the process, learn, join as you want. I’m in the hives about every 9 days.


A dozen pound jars of honey at the end of the season. A $144.00 value.

Price is $260.00 total.

Add hives for an additional $130.00 each get 6 more jars of honey.

I only offer to a certain distance from my own apiaries. Call for info to see if your eligible/interested.

I live on the Key Peninsula. A mile and half from Key Center