Honey Harvest

​What a surprise Mother Nature had in store for us this year. A cold spell in March and April lead to a pleasant May. The summer seemed to have rain every other day and now a warm fall. Even the flora can’t quite make sense of this year giving us a light second bloom of dandelion, clover and some other spring flowering weeds. The bees have been hard at work pulling in fresh nectar every time we’ve checked. With the cold weather coming at the end of October and the yellow jackets out in force this year, we finally decided to harvest.
​Starting from late spring and early summer swarms, our bees had their work cut out for them. We scraped clean the frames of our dead outs to avoid any cross contamination so the girls had to draw out fresh comb in all the hives. Building a new hive is a tall order for a new hive and their first year’s harvest is typically small if you’re afforded one at all. Much of the honey was still uncapped and we let it for the bee’s winter stores. We collected nearly 20 pounds of honey this year off our swarms.

​Late Season Swarm

A swarm is May is worth a load of hay. A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon. A swarm in July, just let ‘em fly.
I wonder, then, what is a swarm in August worth? We ditch the old adages and take in swarms and hives any chance we get. Sure, the odds may be stacked against them but with enough feeding, we’ll give the girls a chance. We don’t know what would drive the hive to swarm so late in their year. It could have been a hive absconding from a previous location or the cooler weather may have led to the unusual behavior. Regardless, we’ve given the girls a home and we’re hoping they can make it against the odds. The warm fall weather should help their cause.

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