The bees survived the end-of-summer beekeeping and are just about ready for winter. It was a pretty good year considering how hot and dry the summer of 2010 was in the northeast.
These are city bees and I have an unproven theory that city bees fare better in less-than-ideal weather conditions thanks to all the city dwellers who love to keep flower boxes, gardens, hanging plants and flower pots. The variety and abundance of city gardners are a boon for city bees: lots of healthy, well-watered flowers to chose from in a small area. Weed lots are also gold mines for honey bees despite the eyesore abandoned look they give to the block inhabited. Those over-grown, spikey weeds with tiny yellow and white flowers are like a dessert bar for honey bees–and they bloom from spring to late autum without the least bit of human help with fertilizing or watering ! Let’s all plant killer weeds and choking vines in our gardens!
I’d like to catch up with a couple of suburban beekeepers and find out if they had a good year. I have another unproven theory that suburbia is probably the worst place for honey bees thanks to miles of treated manicured lawns decorated with ornamental grasses and boxwoods, which is like putting bees on a starvation diet. There is nothing in an evergreen, seagrass or any ornamental grass for a honey bee. It’s a veritable wasteland. I strongly urge all of suburbia to cultivate their yards to look like an abandoned city lot. It will help save the honey bee.
Rural areas are hit-or-miss for honey bees. A perfect spring with the right amount of sun and rain means rural beekeepers probably won’t have enough supers for all the honey their bees will make. Unfortunately perfect weather is rare and rural bees usually have to travel far for what they need.
All right, moralizing lesson is over.
We got about a gallon of honey which I think is amazing. The 2010 yield is a 2 Sting Honey–one for my dearest and one for me.
I have to say right now the my dearest was the one who did all the heavy labor this year and deserves the credit for hand spinning out our gallon of honey. It’s a process that that requires either a love for beekeeping or a love for the beekeeper.