Lots of news from the farm yesterday. I’ll summarize now and write more later:
The storm. We had a big, violent storm out here around 6 p.m. It was the only rain we had today, which was good, but it blew down on of the hives — the tall one at the top of the garden. We were gone when it happened, but we got home soon after, and I managed to put it back together fairly quickly.
The bees were not happy, but I didn’t get stung. That’s the one that I had not looked into. I couldn’t tell much about the honey there because my purpose was to get it back together.
The storm last night gave us about an inch of rain.
Buckwheat. I cleared out and tilled where I had potatoes and onions yesterday morning and spread buckwheat. That’s why the rain was welcomed even if it did knock over a hive. I lightly tilled the buckwheat in, so with tonight’s rain, it should have a good start.
And more buckwheat: I saw lots of bees on the buckwheat in bloom at the top of the garden yesterday. I went out and saw the same thing again this morning.. That must mean the nectar is beginning to flow again, and I was most happy to see that.
Before last weekend we had gone about three weeks with little or no rain and very hot temps. That had pretty much dried the buckwheat up, and what had come up had ceased to grow. I wondered what last weekend’s rain (about 3.5 inches) would do, and it appears that the nectar flow from the buckwheat has begun again.
We’ll be posting more about buckwheat and why it’s so important to us and the bees later.
Honey. Meanwhile, we will be taking honey off the hives this afternoon and extracting it tomorrow. Our first extraction this year was in mid-June, and we got about 100 pounds (7 gallons or so). Most of that came from one hive.
I have been scouting the hives this weeks, and it looks as though we will get more than that today. I have already identified 30 frames (we had 27 total in June) that we can pull, and I didn’t get to look in every hive.
We try to be extremely careful about the amount of honey we take off the hives. We want to make sure we leave the bees honey enough for the hot, dry periods of summer and most importantly for the winter.
Key words: honey, storm, buckwheat, beehives, honey extraction, pulling honey off the hives, bees and buckwheat, beehives in a storm, rain and beehives