About the Author

Kristi Cook

Kristi Cook lives in Arkansas where every year brings something new to her family’s journey for a more sustainable lifestyle. She keeps a flock of laying hens, dairy goats, a rapidly growing apiary, a large garden, and more. When she’s not busy with the critters and veggies, you can find her sharing sustainable living skills through her workshops, articles, and blog at tenderheartshomestead.com.
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Articles by Kristi Cook

When to Use an Outyard
December 22, 2021 · · Beekeeping 101

You enjoy walking to your backyard and visiting your hives any time you’d like, right? They’re close, accessible, and convenient.

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Learn How Bees Can Be Sustainably Managed
December 2, 2021 · · Beekeeping 101

The most sustainable manner of keeping bees requires Beeks to learn skills beyond hive inspection, feeding regimens, and pest control. Learning to create splits and raise queens are, without a doubt, the most sustainable manner of reducing costs.

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Catch and Release Powdered Sugar Roll Varroa Mite Test
November 26, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Knowing what a hive’s mite load is can mean the difference between a hive surviving the winter in a healthy state ready to tackle the next honey season and an almost guaranteed untimely death from the viruses and diseases contributed to high varroa loads.

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Conduct an Alcohol Wash for Varroa Mite Monitoring
November 23, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Monitoring Varroa destructor’s infestation levels is arguably one of the most important tasks on a beehive inspection checklist — yet mite checks are also the most commonly forgotten task. This doesn’t have to be with so many fast and simple methods available.

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Varroa Mite Treatments: Hard and Soft Miticides
November 17, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Regardless of where you keep bees, varroa management is a constant topic within any beekeeping community. And with good reason; without proper varroa control, we beekeepers lose our valuable colonies.

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How to Make Pollen Patties
November 17, 2021 · · Health & Pests

To get started making your own patties, you’ll need a recipe. Many are readily available online with many folks adding various supplements such as essential oils, amino acids, or probiotics. However, it’s often best to begin by keeping it simple.

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What’s Wrong with My Filtered Beeswax?

Filtering beeswax can take a bit of trial and error as you get a feel for the process. However, with a bit of practice, you’ll be an old pro in no time. So first, let’s talk about the bubbles you’re seeing in your wax as that’s the first indicator of what is most likely the underlying cause of your multi-shaded wax.

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Honey Bee Predators: Mammals in the Bee Yard
September 9, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Honey bees have many threats to contend with on a nearly daily basis, just like any other creature.

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Natural Queen Rearing
September 1, 2021 · · Health & Pests

Queen rearing is often seen as a beekeeping task best left ‘to the experts.’ After all, the idea of scooping up a tiny bee larvae and slipping her into a queen cup, also known as grafting, seems daunting at best to many.

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Solar Bleaching Beeswax: The Safest Method for Lighter Wax
August 19, 2021 · · Honey & Beeswax

Solar bleaching, on the other hand, has been around for thousands of years and is still the most common and safest method of bleaching wax with a negligible learning curve, promising a lighter wax on your first attempt with just a few steps to keep in mind.

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