Introducing Two Large Nucs


Currently, I have four large nucs (two deep hives!) for sale at $250 each.

These bees are located just a little north of Smith on the Noon Road. Please call or text me—for purchasing information or to set up an appointment to visit the apiary—at 360-354-3903 or send me an email. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. Meantime, here’s some recent information about Nucs # 4 and #5 from my last post. The other two nucs for sale, #1 and #2 from my last post, are very similar to the two I’m describing below, and ready for sale.

Nuc #4 now has a second deep box. During the inspection yesterday morning, Saturday, June 5, the marked queen was present, and busy with her duties in the upper box. In the lower box, there were six frames of capped brood, as well as one full of eggs and nectar, and one side of another frame full of larvae. An orderly queen. The upper box has two frames of capped brood in the center two frames, as well as three more frames full of eggs and larvae on either side. That makes a total of eight frames with capped brood in this developing hive, which should become a decent team of honey-makers in the near future. As for food, the #4 nuc has two frames dedicated to nectar/honey, and one for pollen. There is also nectar/honey and pollen in the usual places on each of the brood frames, and a small pollen patty on top that they are paying attention to. I have fed this hive a couple gallons of 2:1 syrup in a frame feeder, which was removed during yesterday’s inspection. Currently, there are a total five empty frames counting the two I put in to replace the frame feeder space. The bees are working to fill them with comb, and should be ready for more brood and food as the season continues.

The Nuc #4 is one of six hives in a sunny apiary on Noon Road, Bellingham, WA.

#5 Nuc is also now a two-deep hive, and has six frames of capped brood (four centered in the lower box and two in the middle of the upper box). The food frames consist of 4.5 with nectar/honey, and one with pollen. This hive also is using a small pollen patty and was fed sugar syrup like #4. This hive also has 5 empty frames with the frame feeder removed, and the bees adding more comb as necessary. The marked queen was present and in the process of filling cells with eggs, just like the #4 Nuc.

Both nucs are growing at a steady pace.

All nucs are for sale at $250 each. I’d assess them to be very strong, and promising for this year’s honey harvest. They are hale and healthy, and will very likely be bringing in loads of nectar during the blackberry bloom, which is on the cusp of beginning here on Noon Road.

More information about the bees at Noon Road—

Last year, I purchased one hive at the end of April from Marie Eppens. The bees had been local to this region for at least four years. That hive swarmed about a month later. The swarm was captured, and made another good-sized healthy hive by fall. All the hives this year came from those two original hives. The first queen was marked 2020 blue. The second one is marked yellow because it is an easy color to spot, and was a decent reminder of which hive I was working with, as she is the 2020 daughter of the blue queen. In the fall, I gave them enough sugar syrup to get the hives ready for winter. I also gave them oxalic acid treatments in two sets. Ambient mite counts are still low to nothing. Both hives overwintered well on sugar boards. They also had access to pollen patties. So when March rolled around with its cool weather, I really wanted to do inspections, but I waited and waited for decent weather. Next year, I will inspect on the best of the weather forecasts in March, no matter how horrible (as long as it is not raining, snowing, or with high winds blowing). At the very end of March, I did an inspection. Both hives were healthy and active, and it didn’t seem like there was any need to rush into doing a Snelgrove split. But by April 12, there had been an amazing, and unexpected population explosion.

As I understand it, the Snelgrove Method is generally started toward the end of April in the Pacific Northwest. My two hives were split on April 12 and 14, but should have been split a week or two prior to that. Who knew? There were suddenly so many bees in both hives that, in addition to the two Snelgrove splits, side nucs were necessary for each. So my apiary went from two hives to six because of an overabundance of bees. Less than a month later, on Monday, May 10, there was a swarm. It collected on a fence line and hung to the ground from a metal post and a wooden post stapled to ancient barbed wire. Then again, on Wednesday, May 12, another swarm went straight into a blackberry patch. I now had eight hives, and a hands-on education about how to catch swarms successfully. These are Nucs #4 and #5.

The queens who produced these nucs are robust, quite large (even for queens), and are a beautiful beery amber color. I’ve marked five of this year’s queens pink for lack of a white pen, but I suppose it is a decent enough color for a new queen in one’s apiary. As I now have a blown glass queen catcher, and a one-handed queen catcher, and I took this year’s opportunity to learn how to mark queens.

Many thanks to Michael Jaross for teaching me many methods, details and routines for effective beekeeping. The bees continually teach me the specifics about how to care for them. The most important lesson they’ve taught me is that I will always be learning something from these surprising insects.

Honeybees! Ten-Frame Nucs for Sale.


This year, my two hives have been rather prolific. They made it through the winter with great gusto, and then proceeded to be surprisingly productive. This apiary began this spring with two Snelgroves (counts as two nucs each) and two side-nucs, with the help and instruction of Michael Jaross. As spring progressed, so did these bees, adding two more nucs by the middle of May. That makes eight ten-frame nucs in total. My plan is to have a two-hive apiary, so I have a few hives for sale.

The Hives are labeled by number one through five, in the order of their appearance this spring, and in the following list.

Here is an introduction to the five currently available hives:

Nuc #1: $250
Marked Laying Queen 
Starting second deep
Contains as least three frames with eggs and capped brood
Nuc #2: $250
Unmarked laying Queen
Box A of a Snelgrove hive 
Nuc #3: $225
Marked Laying Queen 
Nuc #4: $225
Marked laying queen 
Nuc #5: $250
Marked laying queen.
Very strong, new nuc.

To purchase a hive or hives, you will need the following (per hive). —
• One or two deep brood boxes, depending on the hive size.
• Ten new brood frames per box with new foundation.
• Top and bottom board with screening in the openings along the front and each vent.
• A strong winch strap for holding the hive together during transportation.

The above equipment will be required two days prior to pick up. I will load the frames from the original deep box into the one you provide. Your frames will replace mine, which are fairly new, clean and in use. The top and bottom boards, and the strap will be used to prepare your hive or hives for transportation. I do not do beehive delivery.

Please contact me through this email address: to make a purchase, &/or to schedule an appointment to see the hives.

These bees come from very large and robust queens that were in my two hives from last year. They were prepared for winter fairly well. Last fall, they added a few more pounds to their stores from frame feeders. They were also each fed a sugar board toward the end of December, which was topped off in late winter. They received oxalic acid vapor treatments last fall. Currently they are not showing signs of any mites or other issues. Very healthy and hardy stock. The bees originally came from Fairhaven, so they have been in this area at least three years. I purchased one nuc last year from Marie Eppens, who had treated for mites, and produced excellent nucs. Michael Jaross of Whatcom Bee Help has taught Marie and myself beekeeping principles, and generously assisted both of us, and others, with as beekeepers. I look forward to the future as a beekeeper because this is an important livelihood that continually amazes me.

—Anita K. Boyle

Homesteaders' Cookbook

A Cookbook with a Little History Baked In


Recently, I finally found a weekend to spend some time typing-in the recipes of this very old, well-used cookbook into my computer. This tattered book contains the recipes of homesteader ladies from Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. I don’t know exactly how old it is, but it was probably published some time between the 1940’s and the early 1960’s. My best guess is somewhere close to 1950, but it could even be from the 1930’s. I imagine the women who made this book as fairly isolated, hard-working women, who were always busy doing something necessary.

This cookbook is unique for several reasons. First, it is typed out on a typewriter, complete with misspellings, little mistakes, and all that goes with the use of a typewriter. Another thing that makes this a special book is that the recipes come directly from the mouths of a large group of women who lived rather rough lives on the Olympic Peninsula. They probably rarely saw each other, except for special occasions, like putting a cookbook together. I have no idea how many copies of this book were made, but that is the third thing that makes this book stand out: it is completely handmade.

When I took a real good look at this book, I was very impressed with such a detailed, handmade volume. It was hard to see at first because it looks like a museum artifact from a hundred years ago, but, no, it got messy and worn from use in the kitchen. In order to get this book collected and published, the ladies first had to meet with each other to dictate or type out their recipes. This would be between milking the cow, and putting out the laundry, or maybe right after splitting a cord of firewood to keep the cookstove going. Before that, they had to spend some time choosing which of their recipes they’d want to represent them in this special cookbook. If you think about what recipe you’d want to put into a cookbook your neighbors would use, you better have a good one. I do not know if my Great Aunt Olga made just this one book, or if several of the ladies made a number of copies. I suspect there are more copies out there somewhere. I also haven’t figured out why my great aunt didn’t put in her recipe for oyster stew instead of the one she offered up. Maybe I should try it and find out.

  • homesteaders' cookbook

Once the recipes were collected and typed out, the pages had to be cut to fit. The heavier brown paper (where the binding was to happen) had to be cut, and folded in half lengthwise. Then each recipe page had to be pasted to a brown strip, and collated. I’m not sure if there was a specific order they were looking for. Most of the recipes are near others like them, but not always. The order is sometimes surprising. At times, alarming even. But it all works together, and would have been a time-consuming endeavor for the homesteader ladies. Once collated, the wallpaper cover would have been cut to fit, as well as a more narrow strip of wallpaper that wrapped around the spine, with short flaps on front and back, and another wallpaper strip just like it on the inside. The book was then collected with the covers, strips and pages assembled. Then an awl would be needed to make holes necessary for the thread to go through. Finally, the entire book was sewn together with bootlace-thick “thread” in side-saddle fashion.

  • stub-binding example

So then, the book was done. But the cooking had hardly begun. The following images are just a few samples of over a hundred recipes these ladies collected. Who made this book? I do not know for sure. But I am sure it took an entire community of homesteaders to make such a book.

There are many, many more recipes. They tell a story about the ladies of the Peninsula, too. There are rarely any oven temperatures or baking times listed, and who knows what pan you’d use. But these ladies often used wood-fire stoves and ovens. There is a process for making things like cake compared to bread, and since they’ve been making these foods all their lives, everyone knew what was expected of the recipe.

While I was typing the recipes, I could often hear the voices of the women telling the typist about their special cookbook recipe. And sometimes, I could hear the typist asking a question. Sometimes, there are little notes somewhere in the typed recipe that are out of order, since the typist couldn’t simply cut and paste like we do today. When you read these recipes, you’ll hear them talking, too. One will suggest a garnish for a dish, or what to do in case the butcher won’t cut to order, and, oops, maybe someone forgot to mention the amount of baking powder that goes into a recipe. If you learn to cook from this book, you will learn more and more about cooking, but you’ll have to be resourceful and patient. Make notes. This is the way things were cooked back then. The notes you write may be read in another seventy years by your own great niece. We can all learn to cook with the cleverness and creativity of a homesteader.

The pdf file I created is a “duplicate” of this book, except that it is like an e-book, not a handmade one. Anyone who would like a copy is welcome to download it. I have written an introduction that is intended to explain several details about this book. If you read the recipes closely, you’ll see this book shares the historical, social, cultural and psychological perspectives of these homesteader ladies of the Olympic Peninsula. When one of these recipes is cooked, it’s like smelling the aroma of a culture from the past. The recipes are all public domain by now, and I dare you to try either of the corned beef recipes. I just dare you to try.

Here is the pdf file.

Remember, cook like a homesteader.

—Anita K. Boyle