June 5, 2013 Found them!

My daughter called me out to the porch today and demanded I get on my horse and ride down to the bottoms.  She’d found where my bees have been hanging out.  So I tried to climb on my big fat, fatty horse, but Ophelia had other ideas.  We had to spend a few minutes in the round pen with the whip and the long line doing a manners refresher course,  . . .

But after that, I did get on her and we had a nice little ride down to the bottoms.  There, my daughter showed me a tree.  There were a few bees on it, but she said earlier it was swarming with bees and they were really loud.  I didn’t know what kind of tree it was so I took a cutting back to the house for identification.

American Persimmon.  Now, I knew I had two persimmon trees in the southeast corner of the farm, down where Ophelia holds court daily.  In fact, Ophelia likes to prune the persimmon trees and taught the dog with the sticks.  Those two trees make persimmons.  The one down in the bottoms does not.  As it turns out, there are male and female persimmons, both with sweetly scented, tiny bell shaped, green flowers.  Well, who knew?

All of this fits with what I heard at bee meeting this week.  I asked some old timers what was blooming that was drawing the bees off my farm.  They told me the tulip poplar was just finishing up, as was the privet and the persimmon.  So that’s what the bees have been working and that’s probably what my honey is made of, along with the blossoms on my 3 borage plants.  The bees visit those every day, all day.  The bees finally moved to the clover on Tuesday.

And now the weekly hive report:  Orange hive still has capped and uncapped baby brood – very strange.  The hive swarmed and yet, they were never without a working queen.  Still, I get the sense the orange girls are in a holding pattern.  Pink hive is making slow progress, but is still in two supers.  They are close to needing a third, just like they were last week.  Blue hive is still in one box and wasn’t making any progress at all.  I gave them a frame of brood from Lavender.  Hopefully, that will get them going.  Lavender hive is nearly done packing honey in their first super.  I gave them a second.  So far, this is looking like the only surplus honey of the year – just one medium super – probably about 25 pounds.  Not great, but better than last year.

I shared at:  The Backyard Farming Connection Blog Hop #36

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