...a world of joy and amazement for you to explore!

Beekeeping For Beginners

Basic equipment, time and cost.  So you want to become a beginning beekeeper. Read on to find more information of this exciting hobby or future business. Honey Bees take time and knowledge. This will get you started but general maintenance, inspections, and knowing how your queen is doing takes more than just book knowledge. Join a beekeeping club or go visit a beekeeper and voluntary to help out to see if you love this sweet insect.


Save The Pollinators!

Goldenrod with Monarch pollinators
Monarch on Goldenrod

Take the pledge to provide a honey bee haven with access to pesticide-free food and shelter. It doesn't take much space — a few containers of the right kinds of plants planted in your garden, on a balcony or front step, will get you started. At Honey Barrel we know how important our pollinators are. Follow the link and see what we can do to save not only the honey bees, but also butterflies, bumble bees, bats and more.

Spring management of over wintered Hive

spring management of over wintered hives

What to do the second year now that you have had your bees make it through the winter? The second year starts with spring management.  It's a little different than your first year, when you picked up your honey bees and the flowers were already blooming. 

New Video

Mite testing with the Saint Louis Beekeepers Club

Mite Testing 


Previous Video

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Honey Recipes

A new page with recipes from the basic to the best. This is new and will have much, much more to come. I also look forward to hearing from you if you have a recipe that uses honey as one of the ingredients.

History of Beekeeping

bee keeping history cave painting

At Honey Barrel we love to learn. And when I'm learning about something I love I don't even think of it as learning. So what do the wild, wild west... Pharaohs great pyramids... cave wall drawing dating back 7000 BC all have in common? You guessed it. Honey bees.

A must Read for any Beekeeper

Title: Langstroth on the hive and the honey-bee: a bee keeper's manual.
Author: Langstroth, L.L. 1810-1895.From E.F.Philips Beekeeping collection at Mann Library.

This is a wonderful book and though there are more updated books, I believe that many of the topics in this book are still very valid. I also believe that one needs to know where we have been so you know where you are going. At Honey Barrel I have tracked down a free copy to read of Langstroth's book for your enjoyment. Click read a book and I will give you a quick review for my top books along with a link to take you right to these books. Those links will take you off Honey Barrels site. So mark us as favorite or click back to return here.
(copy right law rules apply to the following site.)

Candles and Comb Candles

Honey Barrel Candles


Honey Barrel bees wax candles

100% Bees Wax

One of the most useful, relaxing and enjoyable products that honey bees make is bees wax.  Bees wax candles burn cleaner than other types of candles, have a pleasant scent, and give a warmer golden glow when burning.  A must have for a cozy evening. Check our our selection here.


  • Honey Bees Swarm Removal

Have you ever wondered why honey bees swarm and why its balled up resting on a tree or fence?  I talk a little here about what to do and not do. Click the link then give me a call. Call for free swarm removal.  

  • Honey Bees Swarm to Hive  ( hive a swarm for you )

So you have a swarm land in your yard or on your car. Why not hive the swarm and become a bee keeper.  I can help before they fly away. Click the link and see how.

Different Breeds or Bee Stock

In the early 1800's the German Black bee that had bee brought to America was suffering from EFB. Importation of the Italian bee reversed the downward trend. Recently with the USDA's importation of mite-tolerant bees, the Russian Bee, we again are seeing a reversal of a downward trend. There are a number of breeds of honey bees to choice from in the USA. Here are some of the selections.


Honey gets its start as flower nectar, which is collected by bees, naturally broken down into simple sugars and stored in honeycombs. The bee fanning their wings causes evaporation to take place turning nectar into honey. Nectar and honey provide the energy for the bees flight muscles and for heating the hive during the winter period. The 60,000 or so bees in a beehive may travel as much as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey! They do this trip after trip never going more than about 3 miles from the hive.

The color, flavor, and even aroma of a particular variety of honey may differ depending on the nectar source, the blossoms of flowers, visited by the honey bee. The colors may range from nearly colorless to dark brown, the flavor may vary from delectably mild to distinctively bold, and even the odor of the honey may be mildly reminiscent of the flower. As honey gets darker, the flavor tends to be more robust and bold.

Just as wine from certain grapes has specific characteristics, single source honeys have their own distinct personalities.

The most popular varieties are old favorites: clover, orange blossom and wildflower. That last category is extremely broad, considering the many thousands of different wildflowers that may have contributed nectar to that honey, where as clover or orange blossom honey can be obtained by placing the bee hives in the middle of an agricultural region that only has that type of plant blooming at one time.

Try this at home: Put a half-teaspoon of honey in a cup or small glass. Cover it and let the honey warm in your hand. Then, sniff the honey. Using a tasting stick or plastic spoon, stir the honey and sniff again.

Then, taste. Put just a little dab on your tongue and let it dissolve. Try a little more and work it around your mouth to decipher any complexities. Some flavors will linger, most will not. Now, write down what you taste and smell. And you can’t just say “sweet.”

American honey comes in more than 300 varieties’, based on the nectar source. That nectar gives each honey its distinctive taste. Here’s a snapshot of our popular honeys and uses, with suggestions from the National Honey Board:


Sweet and delicate, this is what most people think of as “typical” honey. Clover is considered the most common nectar plant for honeybees, but various species of clover (white Dutch, red, white sweet, etc.) add their own distinct flavor notes, often slightly spicy.


A native plant, buckwheat is not actually a wheat (it’s related to rhubarb), but it’s a favorite food for bees. Buckwheat honey is pungent, dark molasses brown with a distinctive malty flavor and lingering aftertaste. Therefor try it in baked goods and barbecue sauce.


This honey smells like an orange grove with fragrant floral notes. It’s popular in Florida, Texas, California and Arizona. The flavor can be fruity and floral, with a buttery vanilla finish. It’s a great table honey, but also try it in cookies, cakes and other baked goods.


A Southeastern specialty, this honey originates in Florida and Georgia where tupelo trees grow wild. With a tropical scent, the flavorful light-amber honey has a complex berrylike taste with slightly bitter and sour notes complementing its basic sweetness. It rarely crystallizes.


About a quarter million species of plants come under the category “wildflower,” so honeys in this category will vary wildly depending on their source.

COMB HONEYcomb honey

CREAMED HONEYalmost white creamed honey

WILDFLOWER HONEYhoney raw sweet

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Honey Barrel

Honey Barrel Blog

This blog is just my thoughts, or answers to questions I hear now and then. If I get a lot of questions I may set up a Question and Answer page. But till then lets just blog.