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


Easter Mess up

Jayne Barnes

-Posted by Isaac

Happy Easter, bees.


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.


Moved bees into the orchards this week.


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


…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.


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.