Is anyone else in shock that it is already nearing the end of June? A little over a month ago I posted our first update of 2018 regarding our honeybees. Last week we installed the second super to provide the bees the room to continue building up their honey stores. The first super is home to the brood, whereas this second box will hold the 60 pounds of honey the bees need to survive the winter. In hindsight we probably should have put on the second super on a week before but Luke was preoccupied helping my dad plant corn and soybeans. It was a very rainy spring in our little corner of the world where we’d received rain every other day, delaying farmers from plant their crops until Memorial Day. Luke was originally suppose to be a member of the cross country road trip that Samuel and I have been posting about, however needed to backed out in lieu of helping my Dad. With the crops thankfully in, Luke and I ventured back to the woods to check on our bees, where we were alarmed to notice that a dead tree had fallen in between our two sets of hives. We have three hive set up to the left and two established on the right, as such we were very thankful for the convenient placement of not only the dead tree but also the live tree that acted to soften the blow.
Upon parking the pickup truck near the hives, we immediately noticed that we’d attracted the attention of a massive swarm of mosquitoes. Determined to avoid contracting the most annoying itchy bite, I decided to put on my bee suit while still sequestered within the truck. I was feeling quite satisfied with myself as I had managed to efficiently put my legs and one arm in the suit, when at that moment a hairy jumping spider decided to emerge from its hiding spot in the remaining sleeve. As I’m sure you can imagine, much yelling and flailing ensued. That is the last time I’ll let Luke store my suit in the garage. Eventually, I managed to better the spider and finish donning my veil, whereupon I vacated the truck to see if my white suit would be mosquito as well as bee proof. Thankfully, we managed to finish checking on our honeybees without further distraction. We were delighted to find that four of our five hives were thriving, but alas upon opening the final hive we were saddened to find that our poor bees were floundering to the point of return. We knew last month that this hive seemed to be weaker than its peers, however this time we realized the queen must have somehow died. At this point we are grateful that the other four hives are so healthy. We will check back in a couple of weeks to hopefully add the next layer of supers that will eventually yield our first honey harvest of the year!
This is one of my favorite times of the year to visit home because there is a strawberry farm only three miles away! As a result of noticing a post on Facebook last week from the Creek Valley Farms announcing their first strawberries were available, all week long I’d been anticipating the fresh, delicious fruit. So with my Mom preparing my Great-Great Grandma’s recipe for strawberry shortcake, I ran over an grabbed a few quarts. This weekend Luke and I will be heading back down state to my parent’s for a family party and I’m already plotting another strawberry run!