I was finally going to cut the grass yesterday, Friday. I’m lucky to find one day every week or two to even think about cutting the grass. I had planned to work in the yard all day Saturday. Getting the lawn cut on Friday would help free up more yard work time the following day.
Before I got out there my wife mentioned that the honey bees could be seen from the front window. I had mentioned offhandedly earlier in the week that I haven’t seen the bees foraging as much as I thought I should. I walked over to the window and looked out at the overgrown front yard. Sure enough, looking hard enough, I could see a honey bee enjoying hopping from clover to clover. Then I saw another honey bee, and another. Quickly I realized the front yard was filled with bees.
I went outside and laid down in the clover to get a closer look; careful not to lay on any bees.
There were a ton of bees. The clover blooms danced as if there was a breeze, but instead it was just the weight of honey bees visiting flowers, making them dance. I went back inside and got my camera to take some photos. It was amazing to just lay there and watch the bees go from flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen. It’s really something you would normally overlook in the course of a busy day.
Well I decided not to mow the lawn last night, instead leaving the bees to their happiness.
I did get out there today, after I wrapped up my regular day job work. It’s in the 80’s but felt hotter than that. Ran through both rechargeable batteries in the lawn mower, mowing the back yard and orchard. And I ran the gas trimmer along the nature trails until it decided not to work anymore. Hopefully just some old gas and not a repair. There are a ton of cicadas. And they’re wreaking havoc on our young trees, cutting branches to lay their eggs in. I’ll be happy when they are gone. I cut my yard work “day” short around 2:30pm – too hot.
So I’ll write and paint this afternoon.
The bees can enjoy the clover to their heart’s content.
Here are today’s photos:
Most of the front yard came in clover this spring.
The bees are loving the clover in the front yard.
A peach growing up.
A honey bee getting nectar from a clover flower.
A honey bee on clover.
Cicadas on an apple tree trunk. They’re doing a decent amount of damage to all of our young trees that we’ve planted over the last four years.
I extracted honey this week. It was a mix of dark and really light honey, which when combined made medium hued honey, not surprisingly. We pulled seven frames from Hive No. 1. Presumably some of the honey is left over from winter and some is new, on the same frames. This batch yielded twenty-four 8oz. bottles and six and one half 4oz. bottles.
The bees are doing fine, we’ve checked them twice since I last wrote. We spotted Hive No. 3’s queen the last time we checked. And we’ve seen eggs in both hives. Hive No. 1, the aggressive hive, is still fairly aggressive but we’ve been fortunate and cautious. I only got stung once the last time we checked.
The yard has been an abundance of clover and other wildflowers. Regular work, art shows and running kids around has meant that yard work has taken a back seat. Our yard looks is quickly reverting back to the wild.
We do have several peaches on each peach tree. So far the deer have stayed away from them. The apple trees aren’t faring as well. Inexplicably the only apple tree that blossomed this spring had four apples on it. I just checked them and the two branches with apples on them both broke, 12′ up in the air so not sure if it was the wind or a really zealous deer. Regardless we will not be having any apples this year. I don’t know what’s going on with the apple trees. Suffice to say I lack time and knowledge to be successful at growing much of anything in our yard.
The cicada’s are wrapping up their once in seventeen year visit. I actually relish the sound, the never ending chorus or symphony…or drone depending on your perspective I suppose. The weather has been warm as well this June. Overall it’s been a pretty good, enjoyable, memorable spring I suppose.
Here are today’s photos from honey extraction.
First frame before uncapping…
…once uncapped you can see the two types of honey on one frame. Presumably the darker stuff is from last fall, and the lighter is this spring.
Hive No. 1 spring 2016 honey – 24 8oz jars, and 6.5 4oz jars of medium color honey.
A frame of new spring honey….
… look how incredibly light it is.
Frame inside the extractor.