honeybee

The honeybees seem to be going stir-crazy. The weather is hot and humid as of late — the bees seem to be expecting a massive amount of florae to be available for foraging, but the florae, nearly done with blooming, have something else in mind: fall and winter are approaching. The last day of August, and the deciduous trees’ leaves are turning orange and red; tamarack will be showing their fall colors, soon, too.

The bees are crazy. They are clinging to plants near the bee yard; spiraling around in the up currents of the wind; they were buzzing the hounds on the other side of the yard. Our neighbor, nearest to the bee yard, was attempting to do something atop his shed. He could be seen swinging wildly at the bees as they flew by him. I have told him countless times not to swing at the bee, but, being nearly 100% deaf, I doubt he heard me. Generally feeling, not quite bad, but more worried about him being irritated with the hives, I put into motion something I learned at the Eastern Apicultural Society Conference in Boone, NC.

Robert Frost, in his Mending Wall, was quite right in stating, "Good fences make good neighbors." Frost, probably and from a poetic license-standpoint, rightly so, left out the part about the gift of honey or food in general making for even better neighbors.

After I saw that Norm, our neighbor, was down from his shed-top, I pulled out a one pound jar of honey and walked over to his house. He was thrilled to get the honey. I am sure I will be giving him more once we have more. Melissa and I are hopeful in pulling the rest of the honey next week.

With the winding down of the growing season, the gardens are finishing up. Here is a run down of what was successful, and what was not:

What Worked?
  • Cucumbers
  • Pole Beans
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Mixed Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Rhubarb (never seems to be a poor producer)
  • Raspberries (the older plants should be replaced – very small berries)
  • Black Currants
  • Buckwheat and Oats Cover Crops
What Did Not Work?
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Radishes
  • Habanero peppers
  • Carrots – carrots planted this year, nothing, left overs from last year are now flowering – makes me wonder if carrot-honey is possible…
  • Leeks
  • Cabbage – the slugs, en masse, decimated them

The zucchini issue is, according to this, is a poor pollination issue of some sort. Apparently, my 60,000+ bees are slacking on the zucchini pollination. With the recent hot weather at the end of August and now into September, the vines on the plants are going nuts, but still, no fruit. I will try again next year. I suspect the seeds. I used the left over seeds from the previous year; and having not learned from the exact same happening the previous year, I used the seeds, again. New seeds next year. Even though I blame the seeds, it could simply have been a result of the extreme-rain we had while most of the flowers were in bloom.

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