-Posted by Isaac
Well, the rains came back, didn't they?
Farmers are loving it. And so are the ducks.
But bees and beekeepers, not so much. The nectar flow has basically ended in our little corner of the world.
But that's ok... the three weeks previous have been fantastic.
Remember the wonderfully uncomfortable first week of July? 95 degrees and bright sun? The bees were packing it in.
Some did better than others.
My favorite quarterly publication came yesterday.
Toward the back, I read an article where the author was calculating the unimaginable number of flowers it takes to produce a honey crop. And he also stated that after June, the Ohio honey flows were virtually over. That bees have nothing but the "food deserts" of corn and soybeans.
We must have magic bees.
If you had already taken off the spring honey, you easily recognize that all this magic happened within a heat-soaked span of about three weeks- late June to mid July. Our little wizards were busy.
Where did all this honey come from? Magic? Hmm...
It was a forgivable offense. Most wouldn't know. Not everyone harvests honey three times a year. One of which- the summer harvest- coming from a "food desert."
If the conditions are right, soybeans can be awesome. And this year they were.
But maybe only for nectar? As far as pollen is concerned, the summer really is a food desert. And pollen is the most important part of the bees' diet. So we combat this problem with a little pollen substitute. I completed round one this week.
It's not an easy job. You have to lift all those supers off, split the brood boxes...
...and give the bees a nice dollop of protein right where they need it. But not too much... if you put much over two pounds, more than the bees can finish in a week or so, you are basically just feeding hive beetles with the remainder.
Then everything gets put back together, and it's on to the next hive. Everybody will get five or six pounds of protein between now and mid September when the goldenrod starts. It's hard work to combat a food desert.
But you pace yourself. I can knock out about five yards over a six hour day. That means every hive gets a shot of protein every two weeks. And not long weeks. Thirty hours of feeding bees leaves plenty of extra time for hiking. Or just sitting and thinking.
Maybe there really is some magic in beekeeping.