Monday, June 23, 2014
The Clover Field
If any of you remember, last year we plowed, disc'd and planted about 3 acres of Alfalfa. The plan was we were going to get the square baler working again and start producing our own Alfalfa bales for lambing season and such. The weak point of this plan is it required my Mom and Step Dad to get the baler fixed and then the mowing and raking. Now I would have been happy to have done it myself but I don't as yet own either a mower, rake or baler that will fit on my little 8N and I am always leery of using others equipment. Invariably it breaks when I use it and I feel responsible. Besides the hay isn't for my animals anyway.
To make a long story short between simple laziness and the rains it never got done. I finally had to walk down two weeks ago and run the useless nags out of the main hayfield myself and into their pasture because they couldn't even walk their behinds 100 yards down there and do it. I am sure we will still get a good late cutting off it but I am betting Mom is going to be shelling out some cash for hay this Winter.
The Alfalfa looked good a few weeks ago but recently the sweet clover and crimson/dutch clover has been taking it over. So much for their Alfalfa harvest but it has proven a veritable playground for the bees.
The only thing that would have been better would be if the sweet clover had been the White variety instead of the Yellow. The bees really seem to prefer the White for nectar and the Yellow for pollen but they are hitting the smaller clover for nectar hard too.
I guess if they finally get around to cutting this field up it should yield them a pretty fair amount of Clover and Alfalfa hay.
Here is just one small section of it. All the yellow is Sweet Clover and you can see the pink Clover blooms all mixed in. The Bees are loving it and the honey supers are filling fast as well. With all this rain we been getting I am going to pull the feeders off the new hives tomorrow as they are taking syrup so slowly it's hardly necessary to give them any.
The North and West Apiary bees are working large tracts of White Sweet clover as well. As long as the moisture continues it should be a bumper year for honey.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!