The bees are buzzin’

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Of 20 hives that arrived on May 11, we now have 18 strong hives with additional supers on them. We hope for a good honey season.

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White dutch clover is one of the honeybees’ favorite pastures. Notice the dandelions, which are also popular with the bees.

Yesterday the beekeeper came out to check the 20 hives he had placed here on May 11. He found two bad hives and the rest were fine. Some were making serious honey already. We thought that White Dutch Clover and Dandelions might be in the mix. He added two more supers to each hive so now we have 18 active hives with at least three supers on the base of each one. When you look at the hives you will see each one has a total of four boxes sitting on the pallet (except for the two pallets with a bad hive). Each of those bases has three supers on it. The two bad hives got put on top of other hives, so two of my hives are six boxes tall.

Unfortunately, my apple trees did not bloom at all this year so the honeybees did not have them to pollinate and harvest from. The only fruit tree that did bloom was my pie cherry tree which now has fruit on it. I have heard that after one good strong harvest (like last year) apples sometimes take a year off, so I guess that is what is happening. The best bee pasture here at home is dandelions and White Dutch Clover. Since bees range 2 miles and more for flowers, they have a lot of wild blossom options along the creek and in windbreaks in this area. I am considering planting American Basswood trees in my windbreak to replace the ashes that may fall victim to the Emerald Ash Borer in the near future. American Basswood, “bee tree”, is a favorite of honeybees and should also provide good shade and windbreak protection.

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