Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Busy as a Bee

Dear Mom,
Autumn is a very busy time for me.  There are certain chores that I am driven to do, such as annual chicken coop sanitation, clearing the flower and vegetable gardens, and washing windows and screens.  And then there are all the leaves.  Since I started the new part-time job, I haven't had as much time for certain beekeeping. 

Good beekeepers check their hives every 7-10 days and keep log books.  I haven't been a good beekeeper.  I'll admit I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the bees.  By mid-August, when other beekeepers were harvesting their honey, my bees had nothing for me.  Nothing.  This is when I started to think that perhaps they would not survive the winter.

The other day, I caught a glimpse of one of the ladies on some Sedum.  By late summer when most flowers have faded, the Sedum is a favorite to the bees and butterflies.  I suited up and braced myself for another dismal hive inspection.

To my surprise, every frame in the second hive box was full of honey! The bees have been busy building up their winter honey stores...hopefully enough to ensure their survival. 

Right now, I am supplementing with sugar syrup and I will be attending a workshop this weekend to make "candy frames" for winter feeding.  Hopefully the colony will emerge healthy and strong in the spring and I will have one year of beekeeping experience under my belt!
Love, Bonnie Jo


Kim said...

OH yeah! I have been afraid to ask about the bees.

Laurie said...

YAY!!! I've been wondering about the bees. So glad they're thriving!

Birdie said...

I always am fascinated to read how you have become proficient--or are becoming proficient--in this totally different type of farming. Our town celebrated Halloween last night and one man came as a bee keeper with his wife, infant and dog dressed as honeybees!!
You should read The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie King. Sherlock Holmes was a beekeeper and from there the story takes off.

Anonymous said...

That's fantastic news, Bonnie!!! I guess that while we were away, we missed all of this "honey" excitement :) Yay for the bees!!! ~ Suzy

Birdie said...

me again. hoping Kim will forward to you this link to article in NYTimes in case you missed it. makes me want to join the club, but alas, our transient six months here and six months there prevent that.
or email me