Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Santa

Dearth:  Scarcity that makes dear; specifically:  Famine.  An inadequate supply:  Lack.

We're in a dearth in southwestern Ontario.

With our strange spring blowing hot and then cold the bees missed out on the nectar and pollen from the fruit trees.  There are no apples or cherries this year.

Then it got warm again and flowers bloomed.

But now it's as if the creek's gone dry.  Not too many flowers have been in bloom.  We haven't had any significant amount of rain for a long time.

I put extra supers on three weeks ago and most have only one or two frames of drawn comb.  I know the bees are workaholics so if they are able in any way, they'd be building combs and filling them.

I can feel for the bees.  They're feeling a bit unemployed.  You know bees:  They need something to do to keep them happy.  They're so much like me!

I had a large roasting pan that was full of wet cappings from the capping tank from last season. I could tell you that I kept them to give the bees in a time of dearth but I don't plan that far ahead.

Truth is I've been so busy that the pan sat forgotten.  Until now.

This would give the bees something to do.

So I played Santa Clause.  I spooned out some honey on the front porch of each hive.  Just a little appetizer.  Then I put the roasting pan on my robbing table.

The robbing table is covered with plastic sheeting and a piece of corrugated metal which provides protection from the rain.

[Photo - a leftover piece of granulated honey in the comb.  The bees certainly don't care].

They'll clean all the honey up and leave behind the nice clean wax which I'll use to make candles.

I did notice Queen Anne's Lace is coming into bloom though I'm not sure if they work that flower much... but I have tasted jam made from the blooms and it's quite delicious.

My friend Henry said that we might not get any honey this summer except from soya beans.

I think he might be right.

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