I’m back. I have been away from the blog world for a while. 2015 was not a good year personally or bee-wise. At the moment it is snowing, so not a lot to talk about regarding the bees.
Please do not say “let it snow”
Ian makes furniture, Sally keeps watch watch
He died in September, 5 months later, almost to the day.
ALS It’s Not Pretty
ALS is a nasty disease where the muscles stop “listening” to the nerves. Medical science does not know how the disease functions, nor do they have any way to treat it. I will always be grateful to the help and support of the local ALS Society during this time.
The disease takes different people in different ways. Ian lost his fine motor control (finger movements) and slowly the ability to speak. In the end he just stopped breathing. He was able to stay at home until 2 ½ weeks before his death, in hospice. Although his life was short, he did get to live the life he wanted to live, and how many of us can say that?
Due to the issues surrounding a partner who is dying I admittedly did not pay enough attention to the bees.
Hives that needed to be split were not.
Russian Queen Disaster – and not from nature
Hives that were split in expectation of 10 Russians queens had to be remerge when the queen supplier neglected to tape the queen cage holder into the box. The queens arrived scattered on the floor of the box, none survived. Neither the supplier nor the shipping company refunded the money, each blaming the other. So I got to pay for dead queens.
I raised no queens this year either, for obvious reasons. Time was always at a loss.
Bears I Can Forgive, Human Thieves I Cannot
Then the crowning hit: I had 20 hives in an outlying bee yard. They’ve been fine for years. I had set the bees for winter: 70 lbs honey each, all with mite away quick strips for the proscribed time and then removed, all with their essential oil sugar patty on their top bars, insulation under their tops. Then disaster in the form of human thieves hit:
First the solar charger/panel which powers the bear fence was stolen
Then they came back and stole honey.
Sadly they were probably beekeepers In some cases entire supers were removed. In others select frames were taken.|In all cases the tops were left on the ground. It rains here, a lot. When I got there I found dead bees in wet hives.
Wishing Everyone A Wonderful 2017
In all 2016 is a year I will chose to forget. But solstice has passed and to me that marks the new year’s beginning. So I’ll end with best wishes to everyone in 2017. May the new year bring great joys and new, positive, adventures. Happy Days from all of us at Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, Maple Falls, Washington:
From the Livestock Guard Dogs:
Protecting from bears, cougars, coyotes
Livestock Guard Dog as Road Block to Goats
The pet who walks the 1.5 mile round trip with me.
Down the Road and Through The Trees
May your holiday meals have been as tasty as the goats found theirs.
They do love their trees
Wishing you a happy 2017 from all of us at Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, Maple Falls, Washington.