First Flight:

Hello – This  blog is a whole new world to me; technology is a need, not a love.  I’m far more comfortable being surrounded by thousands of flying, stinging insects than writing on computers.

Some of last summer's ladies

I’m Bean, the beekeeper at Brookfield Farm.  We’re a small off-grid apiary near Mount Baker, Washington.  Our farm is somewhat unusual in that although we have fenced pastures for my pack team and the retired Cashmere goats (we once bred sheep and goats), most of our land is forest including huge cedars, hemlocks, firs, alders, and maples.  The forest, and the 2 creeks are home and wildlife corridors to a great deal of wildlife from deer and frogs to eagles and bears.


Brookfield Hives looking south

We moved here to live in and with nature.  We can do this because of Primo, our livestock guard dog.  He and the bears, and other predators, have worked out territories.  They don’t come into the pastures or the beeyard, and Primo doesn’t bother them.  It can be noisy, but it harmony is worth it, even when that harmony is a bit discordant.

Current musing: It’s about 6 weeks until the Big Leaf Maples bloom here.  That’s our first big honey flow.  I was reading Snelgrove (an excellent bee author from the mid-20th century), who pointed out that about 6 weeks before a big flow is the time to stimulate your bees to produce more brood.  This way the foragers will be out in force when the flowers bloom.  The interesting part, to me, is that this is when the alders put out masses of pollen.  Pollen, in turn, inspires the queen to lay more brood.  Thus nature has already sorted out the timing for pollinators to increase their numbers to take advantage of the honey flow.   Makes sense, but pretty fascinating when you think about it.

I should mention that I don’t go on the web daily, and I’m betting this program may be too slow at the farm (land of dial-up), so posts will come when I’m at the library (land of WiFi).

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