About the Author

Steph Merkle

Steph Merkle is the Content Director for Countrysde. She tends to her raised bed gardens, raises a mixed flock of egg layers, and keeps honey bees on her four acres in southeastern Wisconsin. As a Colorado native, Steph spent her childhood in the remote San Luis Valley, the largest agricultural alpine valley in the United States. Growing up in the valley made Steph appreciate the scarcity of water in a semi-arid climate and the mounting demands on this limited resource. Steph spent her summers working as a landscaper focused on xeriscaping practices as well as lending a hand on her grandparents’ tree nursery. Steph enjoys traveling as far and wide as her pocketbook allow and spending time with her husband and two young children.
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Articles by Steph Merkle

How to Light a Bee Smoker
September 15, 2019 · · Hives & Equipment

The first goal is to get a nice flame on the shavings. That takes some time and some patience. Fan the fire to build up the flame. Be careful, you don’t want to get burned.

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How to Make Beeswax Candles
September 1, 2019 · · Honey & Beeswax

Giving homemade holiday gifts is our family tradition. One of my favorite homemade gifts to give is homemade beeswax candles. They are easy, inexpensive, and perfect for neighbors, friends, teachers, and anyone you want to spread cheer to.

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Are My Bees Too Hot?

Dave writes: I’m new to beekeeping. My bees seem hot in this 90+ weather, they are bearding a lot. What are your suggestions for keeping them cool? I have a screened bottom and …

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How to Assemble a Deep Feeder with Cap and Ladders
July 15, 2019 · · Hives & Equipment

Feeding honey bees seasonally or when you start a new colony is critical to the success of your beekeeping initiatives. You have several options for feeders, and one of those …

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How to Install Package Bees in a Langstroth Hive
July 5, 2019 · · Beekeeping 101

Learning how to install package bees isn’t all that difficult, but if you are new to beekeeping, it can be helpful to see the process from start to finish. In this video tutorial, we’ll take you through the basic steps of installing your new honey bees in a Langstroth hive.

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