Saturday 28 July 2012

First Round

Almost finished pulling (that means picking up the boxes with the honey in them) our first round of harvest and maybe halfway done extracting it.  Things are looking nice this year in between the torrential rainfalls. Phenomenal amount of white dutch clover out there. Some of the bee yards are going full on. I've had to balance a couple of boxes on my head while loading the truck--just pooped out during the lift since they were so heavy. That can be quite messy.  Some days (if I had the energy) I think that if I ran at a wall and jumped, I would just stick to it with all the honey and propolis coating me. Well, on second thought, I'd probably just leave a sticky schmeer down the wall...  Then I'd have to clean that up...

We generally start packaging during the second round. That way we get the dandelion honey out of the way in the first round. I keep meaning to pull the dandelion earlier, but never seem to be able to get to it. So those of you waiting for honey-- its coming!

The kids have been indulging in some of the comb honey I scavenge for them. I really enjoy the first honey of the season. This year I scraped some burr comb off of a hive lid to get some tasty dandelion honey. It's got a heady aroma, a beautiful golden colour and a bit of bite to it--definitely not for the clover lovers out there.

Saturday 14 July 2012

Tiny Visitors

It seems that there are a lot of little insects around lately and they really like our white potentilla. I found over ten different species in about 30 seconds, but I couldn't get photos of them all. There were big bumblebees, tiny native bees, hover flies, beetley things, and others.

Little bumblebee.
Hover fly  - this is a wasp mimic, but don't be fooled
 - no antenna - no stinger!

Look at this little native bee and the amount of pollen it has packed into its pollen pockets. Incredible!

This is a bumblebee nest out behind the honey house. I was hoping the queen would step out for a photo shoot, but she was camera shy. This nest is just a compact little ball of grass about 15 cm in diameter. There are little openings in the grass that she uses as a nest entrance. We put the wooden hive lid back over her nest to keep her protected. She has a nice little spot back there.

Tuesday 10 July 2012


Well, this year has been memorable so far. We have not had a bear problem for at least 10 years and this spring we had three yards hit.  Some more than once.  Lost a few hives and equipment, but nothing really horrific.  We set up electric fences around the yards, which is working so far.  A friend showed us a picture of a grizzly taken about a mile from one of the yards, but we don't think that was the bear causing us trouble. The game warden came out and set up a bear trap and a trail camera in one of the yards, but he never got a picture.  We think we zapped the bear with the electric fence and she went away before he got the trap set.  The bear came back a couple of weeks later, but we still had the electric fencer on (solar).  You could see all the grass trampled where she had been.

Not exactly Winnie the Pooh!