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


Beauty and the Beast

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

On Saturday Maizy and I dolled ourselves up and attended the annual Westfall Elementary Father-Daughter Dance. 

It's a ball! This was our third year in a row and I don't think we'll ever miss. If you check Facebook after the dance, you learn that it's a big picture taking thing. All the mothers like to get a shot of their beautiful couples and post it to the world. Jayne posted the above photo and said something about a "beauty and the beast" theme.

I'm not sure what she was talking about there, but I thought that 'beauty and the beast' would fit the bill in showing some of the recent juxtaposition concerning the bees. So here we go:

Beauty- The splitting process and the brood that the bees are giving us. Unbelievable! 

You can make a lot of nucs relatively quickly when you have this kind of brood.

Beast- the weather. Old crotchety mother nature is still up to her tricks. Besides giving us four inches of rain in the last couple weeks, we've had two nights with 20 degree wind chills. 

Here you can see a wind break that I threw together in about ten minutes:

We didn't lose any bees, but I'm guessing our queen acceptance is not the best due to the cold.


Beauty- Apple pollination. (So far.) The other night, after an amazing dry stretch of three days, I moved bees into one of the apple orchards. Pulled it off without a hitch.

Beast- It was a long night. I was alone. Lafe got sick and couldn't make it for the fun. So I started early with my ancient forklift and worked slowly. So early in fact, I managed to snap a shot in the daylight. Without Lafe, I was forced to use only one truck. And as you can see, I was slightly overloaded.

Beauty- once again, the bees are doing awesome. I've only got seven bee yards left, but I'm falling behind. On almost every hive now, you pop the lid and the bees have given us some sort of sculpture. They're really artsy!

They use the space provided by the winter spacer... which shouldn't be on in mid-April.

Beast- keeping up with them! I'm working as fast as I can, but it looks like we're going to see some swarming from those last seven yards Yesterday we had our first:

But the end is in sight. I can see the light! Maybe another week, maybe two? 200 more queens coming, about 100 more hives to move to the apples, 1500 supers yet to place...  What a rush! Beekeeping in April is hardcore. Nuts and bolts and elbow grease.

But we always manage to clean up nicely.