Saturday, January 24, 2015
A Sweet January Thaw
Though I enjoy the cocooning in of winter time, I have to admit that the forty degree temperatures and sunshine today were welcome. It felt somewhat like early spring, with that itching to walk the property, begin farm projects, and throw the windows open (at least for a short time), all of which we did.
We cleaned up the chicken coop, began curing 17 pounds of pork, and decided to more thoroughly inspect the hives. We have one hive going gang busters and we fed it with a generous amount of fondant to sate it until the nectar flow. Sadly, our other two hives were dead. They were honey bound, we had a very late nectar flow last year and they were storing honey until quite late, with not enough time to get it to the appropriate location so that they would have enough space to winter over.
We had not collected honey in 2013 or 2014. In 2013 we wanted to leave the honey stores to them for feeding through winter, and were thankful we had. Despite the polar vortices's, they all survived because of the honey stores to their spring feeding. We had hoped for a similar result this season, but that was not entirely the case, therefore we have had an unexpected January honey harvest this weekend which yielded 25 lbs of the lightest, most beautiful honey from the first hive, and the second and somewhat larger hive is straining now. A lovely gift from our hard working pollinators.