Yeah, Mon

Beltane                                            Waning Flower Moon

Good bee news on two fronts.  In colony 2, the child colony, I inserted the queen using the slow release method, a piece of marshmallow covering her escape route which she and her new family will eat away over the next few hours.  Hopefully, this slow entry of her pheromones into the colony will encourage this colony to accept a strange queen.  In colony 3, the one begun from the 2 pound package a bit over a week ago, I checked the frames today and found larvae.  That means the queen survived my clumsy introduction of her using the quick release method, basically shake her out on a frame and then close up the hive.

At the moment, then, I have the parent colony with two honey supers on, the child colony, the division, with a new queen, and a third colony with its new life here under way complete with a laying queen.  The parent colony should produce a good honey flow this summer.  The child colony may produce a bit of honey but its primary job is to become a colony strong enough for division next spring.  That is also the task of colony 3.  The goal is to have two parent colonies next spring and two child colonies.  If I can maintain those numbers, we should have a lot of honey, some to give as gifts and some to sell at the farmer’s market.

I added my second copper top when I put in the new queen.  Soon I’ll order a copper top for the parent colony and next spring I’ll add the fourth one.  With the polyurethaned hive boxes and  honey supers, the copper tops will make our bee yard an aesthetic addition to the place.

Earlier today I attended a docent luncheon for Michele Yates, leaving for York, Pennsylvania on June 20th or so.  Allison’s place sits near 50th and France.  Her neighbor’s house has a Sotheby’s real estate sign.  That kind of neighborhood.  Her backyard has stone landscaping and orderly plantings all in vigorous growth.  She has a gracious home and entertains with elan.

Carreen Heegaard told the story of her 1988 honeymoon, nicely timed to coincide with Hurricane Gilbert.  She and her new husband Eric had chosen Jamaica as a destination because the prices were very reasonable.  They spent the first night of their Jamaican vacation in Peewee’s Bar, perched high above the ocean, Peewee’s being one of the few nearby buildings that had concrete walls.  She described the sound of nails popping out as the train-sounding winds peeled back the corrugated roof exposing all those huddled under a long table to the pounding surf and rain.

The highlight of her story, which had many, involved their trip to the grocery store after Gilbert had passed.  In Carreen’s  words, “There we were, a Minnesotan (Eric) and a Canadian (Carreen), standing in line with a grocery cart while the store was being looted.”  Says so much about cultural variance.

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