Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Best Honey Crop Ever!

We're looking forward to our best and biggest honey crop ever! It's been a strange season weatherwise but it's been quite agreeable to the bees. Cooler and wetter than normal but not so wet as to wash out all nectar, our bees have built up quickly and are currently bringing in clover and wild raspberry, making for a very clear white and then pink honey in the combs. We expect to make our first harvest very soon--about three-four weeks earlier than normal. Soon available at our farm markets!!!

Eight Weeks and Homeward Bound...

How fast pups grow! Now at 10 lbs., our pups have achieved the ripe old age of eight weeks... and 'Minie' was the first to go to her new home. She moved just up the road here in Essex where she'll enjoy a loving family.

Our remaining three, from left to right, Mo (M), Meenie (F), and Eenie (M) are having fun without their sister--heck, same helping of food three times a day but now split among three. Yippie! Meenie will be leaving us today for her new home in Chester, CT. A very excited family will be enjoying their FIRST DOG ever! Always a special moment for us, placing a pup with a family who has never experienced the joy of a lab licking your face, holding the ball waiting to play retrieve, or nuzzling against your outstretched hand while you sit watching TV.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Honey Crop Looks Promising

This year's honey crop is shaping up to be our best in years!! Weather has been cooler than normal but we've had good rainfall at appropriate times to keep good ground moisture and promote consistent flowering. The cool weather in early May truncated the dandelion bloom, or so it seemed, but the flowering of willows, maples, and oaks brought consistent sources of pollen and nectar to the bees during the critical early buildup of bee brood in the hives.

Right now we're seeing a healthy bloom of clover and an amazing abundance of black locust flowers! This tree can be a significant contributor to honey production and this looks like one of those years. In contrast, last year's locust nectar was washed out by eight consecutive days of rain and really set back honey production for the season.

Japanese honeysuckle is just starting and wild raspberries will not be far behind. This is the peak of flowering and we're hoping the bees enjoy nature's bounty as much as us!

Puppies @ 5 Weeks!

Hard to believe the pups have reached the ripe old age of five weeks! They're now eating solid food (much to mother Mingus' relief--she's not the doting mom the way our Bromley and Sedona can be) and growing by leaps and bounds. This photo is of "Meenie" at 4 weeks.