-Posted by Isaac
On our way to the baseball game, we decided to have ourselves a track meet.
And on our way to the track meet we thought we needed to look for honey bees.
Does anyone know what this is? It’s everywhere right now. I’ve heard wild mustard, spring goldenrod, stiff goldenrod, yellow aster… I suppose I could look it up. Our little southern Ohio paradise is painted with bright yellow splashes of mystery. With the rain, the farmers still can’t get in. Mother nature is doing the planting this year.
It’s been a strange spring. This week I listened to an NPR story about the annual bird migration through northern Ohio. The guy was saying he’s never seen a year like it. Certain species are weeks early, flying along the southern edge of Lake Erie. Others are a month behind. Very weird.
But at least the apple pollination has gone like clockwork. All our girls are home now.
Out of some, I made a few quick and easy three-frame splits. These will grow and eventually go into the pumpkins in July or August.
Most are getting moved out to their summer yards. Almost every morning I get up early, fire up the forklift and load a group of 16 or 20.
Sometimes the bees get a little testy. Maybe they’re not early risers?
By daybreak, barring mud holes or breakdowns, I’ve got them where they belong and all supered up. On the nicest mornings, I get to enjoy the sunrise.
But most of the time I just come home to start my day. Is this what it feels like to be a dairy farmer? …the milking first, a lot of early chores to get done, only catch a quick breakfast so you can start your day full of work… I did that for two summers in high school. No thanks.
I think I’ll stick with bees. None of this really feels like work.
It just takes time.
For a few days, counting pollinators, nucs and splits, we had almost 500 beehives right here on the home place. A lot of bees in the air! And what a wonderful soothing vibration the sky makes.
Between sunrise and sunset there’s a lot of moving and shaking…
shifting and checking…
Every nuc gets checked. I want to see the strength, pull the queen cage out, and make sure she’s accepted and laying. It gets somewhat repetitive and time consuming.
But worth it, I think. I like those happy customers.
There goes Laura from Urban Honey Bee.
Hopefully happy? …I usually go with the ‘no-news-is-good-news’ approach.
Nuc, splits, moving bees, supering hives. The days are busy.
But not too busy to look around and be mindful. To be aware of the greater busyness out there— the growing, the greening, the nest building, the noise making. Reaching a crescendo in the daylight, then melting into the sunset.
It’s a great time to be alive. Whatever your job may be.