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Poor Bees!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Cold wet spring.

Late tree bloom.

Only 2 of our 6 hives have multiple boxes.

Only 2 of our 6 hives have multiple boxes.

Rain for half the summer.

Cool August.

Fall comin’ early?

Bees are struggling!

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

Bees are having a tough time thriving this summer.  Of our 6 hives, only 2 are really thriving.  They are the ones that made it through the winter.  Three hives have only one or two boxes on them.  We have queens, but little brood.  The spring was cold and the nectar flow late.  Then it rained every day for about 3 weeks in July.

We have yet to be able to harvest any honey from our hives this summer.  Last summer, we had pulled boxes full of honey twice, by this time, and then again in late August.  Guess we won’t have much honey this year.

A little honey, but no brood!

A little honey, but no brood!

Psalms

16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death  and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

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Strange Spring With the Bees

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

What will we find, when we visit the hives?

What have “the girls” been up to?

Bees can be fickle, along with the weather.

Will they be thriving or need tended to?

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

Well, we’ve had a new experience this spring in one of our hives. We saw no capped brood a few weeks ago and couldn’t find the queen.   We checked it again a week later and had frames full of spotty drone cells!  We had to ordered a new queen and were going to put it right in, but thankfully checked online for information. We found out that there is much more to fixing this problem than just replacing a queen.  We learned that we had to move the hive 100 yards away and shake off all the laying workers, before returning the hive to its spot for the waiting foraging bees to re-enter.  Then we could put the queen in. Steve carried out this task with his brother’s help and inserted the new queen.  They found hundreds of forager bees waiting for them when they returned the hive to its spot.  WE hope we will how have success! A weird spring so far – 3 hives doing great, one floundering with an old queen (we replaced) and one without brood but several queen cells open. Hope it will have brood in a week or so.  And then the one with all the drone cells. 6 hives all in same place, but so different!  We never know what to expect when we go out there to inspect!

 

Psalm 9

The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness  and judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,  for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Third Honey Harvest – Whoo-hoo!

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

Family fun

Harvesting honey together.

Blessed by bees’ labor

We seek to be good stewards.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea.

Unbelievably, when we did an early fall inspection, we found a ton of honey again, in our hives!  Guess it is from the goldenrod nectar flow.  We were able to harvest a little more than a whole 10 frame box.  Our adult children wanted to see how the extraction was done, so this time, we did it with them, in our own kitchen.  Nate came down one evening when his new wife was at work (night shift nurse). Our youngest daughter, Bekah was home for several months raising support for her missionary work in Mexico.  She wanted to be able to share this experience with her Mexican family and church!  So we initiated them into the fun of processing honey from our hives.

Nate tries out the uncapping knife
Nate tries out the uncapping knife
Bekah uncapping
Bekah uncapping
Nate taking a turn at cranking.
Nate taking a turn at cranking.

Nate tried out the uncapping knife first and managed to burn himself!  I told him to put honey on it, and he said it was hot honey that burned him in the first place – why would he want to put honey on it!  Bekah put 2 uncapped frames into the extractor and started cranking.  We all took turns cranking, uncapping, wiping up drippy messes, and of course, tasting!  We ended up with about 2/3 of a pickle bucket of honey, plus what would drain from the cappings.   Some people have told us they don’t like goldenrod honey, but we found it just as good as the earlier summer honey.  It does have a funny smell, but tastes yummy!

Harvest #3,Sept. 2013
Harvest #3,Sept. 2013

The Dotsons went out to check their hives after our luck, and they were able to harvest almost a full frame of honey as well.  They, too, initiated their adult children into the harvesting process!

Sweet delicious raw honey
Sweet delicious raw honey

We bottled about 30 pounds of honey from this harvest, and still left honey for the bees for winter.  These amazing creatures had provided us with three harvests of honey in our second year totaling about 115 pounds!  Now if we can just get them through the winter!

Psalm 78

23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above
    and opened the doors of the heavens;
e rained down manna for the people to eat,
    he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Human beings ate the bread of angels;
    he sent them all the food they could eat.