May 20, 2013.....Beef without the F
This past weekend we doubled the farms bee (get it?) population by adding two more hives brining the total to 4. If the past two years are any indication we can expect a little over 100 pounds from these gals come harvest time.
As I am sure you have been reading there is a serious crisis going on within the bee population. In the United States and Europe colonies of bees have been dying off in record numbers. There is debate to the cause from mites to fertilizers (some fertilizers were recently banned in the UK because of this). I can give you first hand the magnitude of the problem. Myself, my Chaljeri partner Chris and our friend Tom had 14 active hives in the fall of last year. When box tops were removed in the spring of this year 11 of the 14 hives were dead, in Toms case all 10 of his --leaving close to 800 pounds of honey behind (so they didnt starve!).
In an attempt to end this on a less somber note I have attached a picture of myself in full bee outfit regalia. This is me raising a hive we keep in a little clearing in the middle of the woods where we are trying to grow grapes and apples. We keep the hive hoisted in a tree to keep it from the bears (the need to do this was a lesson learned the hard way). I am dressed like this (with blue jeans and a flannel shirt as well as a hat underneath) because by being stung a few times I have become allergic. So have a chuckle.