-Posted by Isaac
Just a little update on our efforts in the production of these two:
One was a success. So far, the other hasn't quite panned out.
So the good news first- the tulip poplar. For two years in a row, our bee yards in the hills have been a bright spot. And not only with honey production. I split these hives twice this spring before letting them do their thing. The second split came in early May with the tulip poplar bloom only a couple weeks away. I worried that maybe it was a mistake, that I'd taken their workforce. But it turned out just fine. They already had such momentum.
It's an hour drive to these girls, so I don't make it as often as I'd like. What a surprise when I returned in July! Honey!
The girls did good.
About a thousand pounds of 2018 tulip poplar.
It almost makes me want to put in another bee yard down there. But I've learned... not every year pans out. In fact, most don't.
And on that note, let's talk about the buckwheat.
We had a decent stand this spring. The 14 acres we rented around our place came up and bloomed right on schedule. Sure, it was a little weedy...
...but every morning the bees were out there working hard. Weeds or no weeds, the honey should have been rolling in. There were plenty of flowers. But it wasn't to be. I pulled the supers from about thirty hives at the end of June, and it was minimal. We may have averaged 5-10 lbs per hive. (About like the rest of the spring crop.) And the honey wasn't even black like it should have been. It was more of a light brown, resembling our fall honey. The bees must have mixed that dark buckwheat nectar with a lot of the late April honeysuckle.
Oh well, back to the drawing board.
I had my farmer along for the next round.
To the relief of my dad, and all the farmers who can't stand the sight of weeds, we tilled everything back under. The great thing about buckwheat is that you can get multiple blooms over the course of a season. From seed to flower, it only takes 6 weeks.
So things are now cleaned up...
...and we wait to see what the next generation will bring us.