-Posted by Isaac
What a gorgeous week we've had! Did you catch any sun?
The bees here at home certainly did. And along with their sun, they awoke one morning to a buckwheat buffet. We've arrived at bloom! It took just four weeks,
and for the next 20 days or so, the girls will be fat and happy. Black honey to follow!
With 15 acres of plentiful forage, it's a good time to make some babies. You know what I mean- baby bees, of course!
These 32 nucs will be put on full feed and moved into the pumpkins by late July. They'll grow fast with the aid of the rich buckwheat pollen. The big fat queens are local- produced by queen breeder extraordinaire Dan Williams just thirty miles south.
As part of his 4-H project, Mason (tentatively) helped me install them.
Ironically we capped off a beautiful week of pulling honey and making nucs with a Friday afternoon monsoon. I think we've now had close to three inches. Enough to flood the baseball fields, canceling Bridger's last game today. Not happy about it.
Well, to tell you the truth, I think he couldn't care less. He's now happily idling away on the ipad in the next room.
But we won't idle for long. The fair awaits!
Cousin Owen is back with Rusty! And Rusty has done some growing this year.
Pickaway County as you may know, has the earliest fair in the state. We kick off the summer. This was Mason's first year in 4-H, so we started with projects we sort of already knew- goats and bees.
For better or worse, our early fair falls right in the thick of the honey pulling. Jayne handled most of the feeding and projects and entertaining kids, while I plugged away in the bee yards.
But one day the bees were near enough to town, loaded with honey on my way back, it was convenient to nose in next to the horse people. Beekeepers represent!
We took our bee wares to the fair...
... and cleaned up! First place ribbons in five different honey and wax categories!
(No one else entered... shhh...)
But unlike the beekeeping, there was actually some stiff competition in the goat arena.
Ok, maybe not. Half the Beginner Dairy Goat class was still Mason Barnes. That's cousin Olivia leading Mason's other goat, Cammy. Mason still wanted to take on the ever rambunctious Gilly.
Beekeeping and goats: when it comes to competing, it's pretty serious stuff. We like it when the odds are in our favor.
Sure we'll still love them even if they don't win,
but boy is it fun to show off that blue ribbon!