Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Harvest


I don't get it.  This summer was like most with the exception of a July that was a little wetter than most, which one would think would be beneficial to gardening.  Our garden had dismal results this year.  Normally the foliage on the beans is so thick that you have to search for the beans.  This year we still see the poles that the bean vines are climbing on. Nearly everything else in the garden was dismal as well.  There were few blueberries, though the raspberries are still doing well.

On the other front this is the worst year I've ever seen for honey production.  Normally I have one or two colums of bee boxes stacked floor to ceiling; ten to fifteen boxes waiting to be extracted.  This year I have three boxes.  There is some honey still in the hive but the bees aren't curing it.  If I take honey that isn't curred by the bees it will be apt to ferment.

It was a bad year for the bees.  The colonies dwindled, queens died and had to be replaced or colonies had to be joined.  To top that off a bear has found one of my hives on the back end of the property.  I only have three colonies up there.  I suspect it was a young bear because it only ripped apart one hive.  An adult bear would have distroyed all three.

There is a lot of work involved in harvesting, extracting and bottling honey.  It is sticky, messy work, but it feels so good to have several cases ready to be sold as the end result.  This year I expect it will only take a couple of hours.  I only hope I'll have enough to share with all of my usual customers this year.  With only one-quarter of my normal production there may be some have-nots.

6 Comments:

Blogger darev2005 said...

Dang. That sucks. This was a weird summer, seemingly. Maybe the bees felt the oddness in the air. And I was looking forward to pictures of the honey harvest.

8:46 AM  
Blogger g said...

I had a record year for fruit and a normal year for vegetables. Fruit-wise, everything came on a little later than last year but much more fuller. Raspberries were phenomenal. I'm still picking blackberries. Pumpkins are ready.

9:51 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, you'll have to get them from your sister.

g, our raspberries were the only thing that did well.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

What a buzz-kill. Sorry, Guy, for your loss.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

20 pound average here which is 1/2 - 1/3 the potential.
While the weather in the spring was slightly better than the last couple of years, wouldn't you know it? It started raining just as the blackberry blooms started to open and rained a good way through. We hoped the moisture would cause a prolonged bloom but got skunked anyway. 12 barrels in the shop and they're not for sale! We hope to finish up our new bottling room in the next couple of months then we will fiddle with honey.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the Astoria Rust blog a community diary chronicling the mundane aspects of life in a backwoods community? Never seen anything like it. Of course, I have never encountered anything like Astoria either.

11:19 PM  

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