Monday, July 20, 2015
Not Much Honey Yet
Generally around this time of year I usually make my first big honey pull. The Spring flows are over and the Fall flows haven't begun yet and I can usually get a nice mixture of light Spring honey and some heavier early Summer wild flower honey.
Not this year though.
Oh there is plenty of honey on the hives but none of it is ripened enough yet. The girls are doing their best but the humidity is so high from all this rain that they are just not drying it out very fast.
The rains have extended out the clover flow and the Dutch White Clover is still going pretty good although I have noticed that most of the spindly Sweet Clover are now dried up stalks. My Alfalfa is actually blooming for the second time and I have noticed many of the girls working it but the Buckwheat is long gone having been overwhelmed by the weeds. What few Soybean fields that were planted around here this year have at least another two or three weeks before they bloom as well so I am not sure what the girls are concentrating on right now. I have seen some early wild Sunflowers up but mostly of the large varieties no Tick Seed Sunflowers yet and I know the honey bees work those hard around here.
So I went around the other day peeking into the hives for some capped honey frames and only managed to find six frames of capped honey (in the surplus supers anyway) out all 16 of my hives. That's a pretty poor harvest for mid-July but it has just been too damned wet and humid I am afraid. Even with most of my production hives having two entrances for good airflow the moisture is just not getting removed from the honey very fast. As I said there is plenty of unripe honey on the hives though and the top supers are still getting some brood and eggs laid into them which means the lower brood chambers are still filled with unripe honey as well. If this keeps up I may need to harvest some brood frames to alleviate the pressure and allow the queen to go back down into the brood chambers where she belongs on each hive.
Seems like our week of rain free weather decided to come to an end Saturday night and Sunday. I noticed several farmers got caught with fields of hay on the ground too including my neighbor who cut his Alfalfa field Saturday afternoon. It's all out in windrows now ruined after the heavy bout of rains we got Saturday night and this morning.
We had a few blessedly dry days although the humidity was near 100% but so far this week appears to be going right back to more rain. Doing anything outside requires a change of clothes when you are finished. I went over to hang a couple hooks for my Mom and by the time I was finished with even that minor task it looked like I had jumped into the water trough fully clothed. The renewed rains also brought the fly plague back as well. Oh Joy.
And of course it's time to mow again.
I tell ya I am already looking forward to Winter coming back around and that usually doesn't happen until late August.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!