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9642 Randle Rd
Williamsport, OH, 43164

Honeyrun Farm produces pure raw, honey, handcrafted soap, and beeswax candles in Williamsport, Ohio

Blog

Easter Mess up

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

Happy Easter, bees.

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Yes, that’s actually a field in Ohio. Right down the road, in fact. Every now and then you’ll see a thing of beauty. The farmers haven’t been in to spray. It’s either too wet or they’re just too busy, and the purple deadnettle takes over. I hope the bees enjoy it. It won’t last long.

Let me tell you about my mess up. I discovered it yesterday, Easter Sunday. I was skipping the extended family stuff, mainly because Jayne and the kids spent Easter in Holmes County, but also for the simple reason that I’m feeling overwhelmed with bee work, and yesterday was a warm dry day. Had to work… but now I wish I hadn’t…

I discovered I killed about 50 nucs. Still sick about it this morning. But I’m getting a grip on what happened, and what the repercussions will be.

I won’t get into the details. But let me say it can be boiled down to— 1. My own stupidity. 2. The weather 3. The rush to fulfill wholesale nuc orders.

Those three, in combination with apple pollination.

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Moved bees into the orchards this week.

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And as it turns out, all my foragers (those that were supposed to be keeping the nucs warm) went into the apples.

Instead of taking pictures of goats, maybe if I was a little more vigilant about checking

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…I would have discovered my little disaster in time.

We’ve got 350 to wholesale! Got to move, got to move! I assumed all was well, and forged ahead. Maizy even helped for a while.

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That beautiful frame of brood she’s holding— now dead.

What an idiot I am. I’m just glad I was able to call Jayne last night. I didn’t sleep much, but what little I got was due to her soothing everything-will-be-alright talk.

And she’s right, everything will be alright. We’ve got plenty of bees, and plenty of time to recover. Another hard lesson learned.

Most of the night was spent batting around the nuc sales problems. Here’s what I’ve come to (for next year):

1. Nothing goes out before May.

2. No more wholesaling. (Which ought to make a few of you happy. You know who you are.) I’m tired of the stress. Maybe some sort of nuc honor system?… so I still don’t have to deal with you…

3. I come first. The early nucs will be moved into dead-out holes in April… instead of the post-sale stuff in late May.

It’s another day. Looking like we’ll see some sun. I’m going back out in an hour, going to shake this sick feeling in my stomach. Hopefully I’ll make it through five or six yards, come home hungry and tired and be able to kiss and hug my beautiful family.

And really, take a step back. What are these problems? They’re trivial. Sri Lanka dealt with church bombings for their Easter Sunday.

Today is going to be a better day.

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American Dream

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

What a fantastic week!

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For humans and insects alike.

Mostly dry, sixty five degrees, even sunny at times. The world has come alive!

The pollen flow has gone from a trickle to a tidal wave.

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Red from the deadnettle, yellow from the willows.

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The bees are building, the race is on!

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We are well into the splitting process…

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… the nuc population of Honeyrun Farm is increasing by the hour,

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and by the day.

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I’m rushing around from one thing to the next.

But I am thankful for my lovely wife who helps me keep my bearings. She sees to it that I don’t lose track of the more important things in life— like good music. A few days ago we shot down to Nelsonville to watch my favorite drunken poet.

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I’ve been in love with Hayes Carll for a few years now. Jayne knew this and made good on a belated birthday present— front row seats, Stuart’s Opera House on a Tuesday night. What a perfect evening, falling into a perfect week.

This song has been kicking around in my head for days.

I love it. Even though I don’t totally understand it. It just makes me feel good, almost patriotic. I listen to it, draw metaphors from the beautiful lyrics, and just look around. Is this it? The American dream? I guess so. I guess it suits me. Bees and trees and flowers and kids and music. The brimming excitement of spring growth.

I’ll leave it at that. I’ve got a phone full of pictures from this week and I’ll go ahead and share my version.

Then play it again. Listen to this Texas poet and think about your own American dream.

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I lit the fire, poured out the bottle

Asked the moonlight what it might have seen

If we danced, I can't remember

I fell down into the American Dream

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Been too long in the Devil's workshop

So I'm driving the backbone to change the scenery

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Here come the horses through purgatory

They fell down into the American Dream

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Summer time sunshine, shine on me

Show me where I'm going

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I'll find an old friend in El Dorado

Like Harry Dean Stanton on a drive-in screen

A tumbleweed blowing through Paris, Texas

He fell down into the American Dream

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Sun-bleached dresses wavin' from a clothesline

Come Saturday evening, they'll have a place to be

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I'll pick some flowers to take to her Mama

I fell down into the American Dream

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Summer time sunshine, shine on me

Won't you show me where I'm goin'?

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Leaving San Francisco for New Orleans

I can hear that rooster crowin'

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Spit and polish the ancient story

Love and glory, gold and greed

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Nothing changes, even if it wants to

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We go down into the American Dream

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