A less-stressed hive is a healthier one. Continually added struggles a colony must overcome ranging from: weather; pesticides; pests: disease to hive disruption decreases available time bees have for regular hive duties causing stress. Research and invention by Nubees Concepts produced a hive that mitigates these stresses allowing a healthier colony to flourish. Whatever a beekeeper can do to reduce stress, will benefit the the apiary.
Saturday May 20, San Diego Farm Tour will be at J R Organics CSA Farm in Escondido. I'll be there with bee information, bee equipment and uniquely local organic honeys. facebook.com/jrorganicsfarm
Mission Hills Nursery had a swarm capture last week that Barbara made in the rain. Yesterday the nursery called with another swarm that was 2' away from the first in the decorative planters. As I was putting it in the wooden nuc box, a large scattered group of bees whipped up on the isle 20' away. They eventually settled down. It ends up that there is a third swarm clustering around one of the 5 gallon rosemary shrubs. It looks like I will be having another capture tomorrow. There must be news among the bees about the Nursery's fabulous location.
This is the last of this season’s harvest. We won’t have more until Spring when the rains bring the blooms for the nectar for the bees, so come into the store soon and take some home while stocks last!
Honeycomb, being the most unprocessed honey can be, has a higher nutrient quality. Stored in wax, the honey makes an unusual and festive addition to any dish. Get creative. It is a fabulous addition to a charcuterie or cheese board. Move over maraschino cherries... add a flowing 'honey cube' on top of the whipped cream during the holidays this year! Delicious.
Warm wishes to everyone for a festive holiday season!
How we celebrate during the holidays is not too far off how the bees are living at this time of year. Obviously they are working to keep warm grooming body hairs (winter wool coat), huddling together around a central warm spot (chestnuts on an open fire). Bees will conserve energy by getting less exercise, eating what honey is left to build up strength for the coming Spring. We tend to get less exercise, eat more and build up for the Spring especially at Thanksgiving (but maybe for different reasons).
Mostly, the similarity between bees and us is that we get tighter, giving extended care of one another this month, ultimately to celebrate the new year, where days start to become longer, flowers bloom, nectar flows and fruit is abundant.
At the recent Natural Beekeeping Conference in Pasadena during the honey tasting my mention of Buckwheat Honey, which was not offered for tasting, gave beekeepers outside of Southern California a winch on their faces. Yuk! In contrast, San Diego Mikolich's 2016 Buckwheat Honey won the National Good Food Award. The Buckwheat plant outside of Southern California is Fagopyrum esculentum. Our Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum, was a steller bloomer this year helping the bees make some of the best honey in the world and, it’s native throughout the County. It is one of my favorites and you will find it lives in my store.
County of San Diego Agricultural Standards (Jaime Garza) 800-200-BEES
Bees originally invited me into beekeeping when I was completely surrounded by a wonderful buzz while pruning a blooming palm tree. I've been with them ever since.