I spent all of yesterday morning working in my eight (!) hives. I was sweating like a pig in the humidity, but found it totally engrossing, as it usually is. And while I was savaged by mosquitoes and bitten by stupid ants, I did not get stung by my girls.
I am hoping to extract some honey next week, if this damn rain ever stops! The farmers' fields around here are flooded, including many tile-drained fields. There is a pumpkin farm near Ottawa that may lose 4 hectares of crops to the flooding. While we're not having horrors like what's going on in Alberta, it has been tough for farmers. And we still don't have our 21 acres of grassland planted. Kyle from Ducks Unlimited came to give it a try last week, but no sooner had he started than a thunderstorm broke out! He's going to try again when it dries up. Fortunately the grasses aren't so time-dependent on planting the way, say, soybeans or corn are.
But my bees have been doing well! I have a total of 15 honey supers on my hives right now, four of which are full and ready to be extracted. And it's not even July!
Here's a lovely little frame of capped honey...
When the correct amount of moisture has been evaporated from the nectar, and it has turned into honey, the bees cap all the cells with wax. It's nature's way of sealing in freshness!
Seeing all this honey ready in June makes me very happy. I am hoping to have a really good year with my bees.
This new hive is expanding nicely!
Yesterday, I removed some of the comb the girls had built between supers and... ate it! You haven't lived until you've tasted warm honey right out of the hive! I just chew up the wax and spit it out. I can't believe how different my honey is to the pasteurized Billy Bee-type stuff in the supermarket. I never even liked honey until I started keeping bees and tasted raw honey from the hive. The flavours are so complex and nuanced. And I love how different honey can be from one crop to the next, depending on what the girls have been getting into.
This is one reason I'm so excited about our native grasslands going in. I can't wait to see what the bees do with 21 acres of grasses and wildflowers! Sweet honey goodness!
Meanwhile, in other sweetness...
My friend Ronna has been working for Gordon a day a week, helping him out with all his admin stuff. Gordon has bought himself an office in Lancaster, but until he moves in on July 8th, Ronna has been using my office a day a week. This has made all of our pets very happy. They love Auntie Ronna! And Naomi decided that Ronna's shoulders were the perfect place to hang out.
Note who's under the table!
The picture of concentration!
Here's Gordon's new office...
He has finally outgrown his teeny-tiny home office. I have been worried about him being crushed to death by the mountains of files and books that surround him in there, so I'm glad he's moving to a bigger space. :) This building used to belong to a realty company. It's in great shape, just needs some painting and tidying up. Our friend Tammy, who looks after our garden, is going to sort this one out too! It will be beautiful once it's been "Tammified"!
Meanwhile, in the bathroom...
A FRICKIN' WALLPAPER BORDER! Just when I thought I was all done with wallpaper.
Recognize the photographer in the mirror?
The place will be painted, starting with that sign over the kitchen area! The fireplace is propane.
Gordon's going to put a dividing wall across one end, to make himself an office.
It will be good for him to have his law office out in the real world, with nice visibility on the main street through Lancaster.
So it's been a busy summer around here, and it's only just begun!