-Posted by Isaac
Ok, enough of the pollen. And sorry if I offended some sensitivities with that last post. I get carried away sometimes. Also, if you were wondering (or happen to be six years old), hurricanes don't really run on pollen. That was a joke.
So lets get back to the honey. We're now full swing into the fall harvest. A couple days ago I happened to be driving a load of empty supers out through the field and found the cousins getting ready to run some soybeans.
Their own version of harvest... the one that everyone knows.
That shot found its way to Facebook and it really seemed to make a splash. Mostly, I think people will hit "Like" with any picture involving a combine or tractor. But I think a few people were struck with the differences in the forms of harvest. Or maybe it was just a cool picture...
Seeing the big equipment in the fields, five year old Bridger becomes star struck this time of year. He begs, "Dad... um... can we go farming today??"
I say, "Sure son! I'm so happy you want to. Hop on in the the bee truck!"
Of course, this isn't even close to what he meant. Beekeeping isn't farming.
But it is son, it is! It's just not quite as glamours. Maybe someday he'll come around.
For me, this year's fall harvest is about as fun as farming gets.
Most of the yards look like this. Just beautiful.
Big fat filled-out frames make for easy "combining."
Our combine is stainless steel and sits in one place all day long. Boring...
No, it's not a big exciting monstrous green thing roaring through the fields. But on the other hand, it's not near as expensive. To buy or to run... or to fix. If we have a breakdown it usually involves some wrenches and a few minutes. I keep my sanity.
If that big John Deere breaks down, it can be hours to days of delay, and involve very expense parts and tech support... all during a critical and limited time period.
High up in the corner is our version of a grain buggy:
I happened to be walking by when the sump filled and the honey pump kicked on for the first time. What you see going up that tube is the very first of this year's fall harvest.
We've been going for eight days now and have twice filled and emptied that big tank. I guess our 'grain buggy' just isn't run as hard as the farmers'.
But we have a nice side product that accompanies our main crop:
Soon to become beeswax candles! Quite a perk to any harvest.
There are other benefits to the simplicity of beekeeping. I mean, my biggest problem this week-- my smoker went out. Twice!
And another thing struck me. I've been hard at it all week. About five days ago we had an inch or two of rain. The big grain equipment, much to Bridger's dismay, has been sitting motionless. The grain remains standing in the field.
But on the beekeeping side of harvest, I think I skipped one afternoon, but as soon as the rains cleared, I was right back in the 'fields.'
A little wet ground can't keep a beekeeper off the job. It's harvest time!