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


Pandora's Box

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

I had no less than three people compliment last week's blog. Completely unexpected. And let me tell you, it makes a person feel pretty good to be the catcher of such surprising compliments. Really brightens your day, you know? And it occurs to me that I should try to occasionally be the pitcher.

Young Jaydyn Rapp knows how this is done:


Jayne and I laughed through a pile of these during one of our Netflix evenings. We find the same truths every year-- Fifth graders know something about mental health that many adults tend to forget. It's simple: say nice things. Even if they're barely true, even if you have to make them up. Say nice things.

I'm keeping Jaydyn's letter as my "good guy" card. Next time the world's got me down, I'll brandish it like a sword. Back you critics! Back you naysayers! Look what I've got!

So I'm feeling pretty confident. Feeling pretty good. 

Now what are we getting into today? What big bright news from the bee farm?


For one, this week marked the last of our babies leaving their nursery.


And man, has it been one busy month. This year I've learned some (hard) lessons about wholesaling. Namely, that you can't back out of it. Even if nothing is going right- with the weather, with the bees. 


You still have to get these girls where they're going.


I'm a people pleaser. And it stresses me out. Next year I think I'll be more cautious with my numbers and my timing.

One thing that did go right this year was the queens.  


150 gorgeous fat beauties came right on time each week. And our queen acceptance was around 95%. Great strong pheromones on those girls. 

90% went out with the nucs, so I haven't had the chance to really evaluate them. But the few that went into our own hives are looking awesome. Check out this brood pattern!


Before pulling that frame, I glanced at the date on the lid. I had put her in exactly thee weeks previous. 

When the weather cooperates, beekeeping is easy.

We jumped directly into summer this year. I'm not the only one to notice this. Just a month ago we were shivering and hoping the dandelions would hang around. Now we're sweating. And the blooms are rapid fire. This week Jayne's peonies popped.


Back when it was cold, before the bee work became nonstop, we found a little time for some arrowhead hunting. No arrowheads, but Eden found a nice fossil.


It's hot now, and the bee work has slowed a bit. With the corn growing fast, we once again find time for arrowheads.


But once again, no arrowheads to be found. Only rocks.


Which is just fine. Rocks are thrilling in their own right. I know I sound like a madman, but I repeat this to my kids every time we go out-- when you know rocks, you know the secrets of the earth. (And the secrets of life, come to think of it.) Hopefully someday they'll understand.

No arrowheads, but we did find something kinda cool. 

We debated without consensus. Is this a monarch? I'm thinking not. The antennas are the wrong color.

The caterpillar didn't really sound like a pirate.

That was me.

Sorry about the narration.