It’s Summer Time

By: Kathy Summers

The duck, Anthony and Brushy Mountain Field Day.

SpiethGardenIt’s been another crazy, busy month for us – lots of travel and activity. We leave tomorrow for the Mother Earth News Fair in West Bend, Wisconsin and then we’re home for awhile. As all of you busy people know, that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to do – it just means we won’t be in any airports for awhile.

We really enjoy the Mother Earth News Fairs, but the Wisconsin trip is extra special because that’s where all of Kim’s family is and we’ll see most of them this weekend. But then it will be good to be home.

There’s some bad news this time. My sweet little duck was taken last Sunday morning. As I’m writing this I just remembered that the female was taken on a Sunday morning also. How strange! We found the remains in the pen. It must have been a hawk, but it seems strange that he would have left anything behind. But we saw no evidence of something getting into the pen.

Last weekend Kim did have an encounter with a fox, two different times, both in broad daylight. We’ve known there was a family of foxes that have been living under the neighbor’s barn for several years. But I’ve never seen them and the neighbor would only see them when she walked her dogs in the fields way back behind the barn. Well, this one came right out of the brush and just sat there looking at Kim. Kim tried to scare him off, but he didn’t seem bothered at all. Maybe Kim is just not very scary. The next morning, Sunday morning (the same day we found the duck) Kim saw him/her just sitting by our driveway – again in broad daylight, right by the house. I don’t think this is typical behavior, although I don’t have a lot of experience with foxes.

Our new neighbors have chickens and they also have guns, so he has been on a mission to rid the area of some of the varmits. I’m not fond of guns, but I really like my chickens.

Our garden is amazing this year, in spite of all of the travel we’ve had. One major thing we did different this year is to lay down cardboard and a heavy layer of straw between the plants. So we’re hopeful. Actually, lots of things seem to be doing better this year – not sure why. My Rose of Sharon were pathetic last year and look so much better now. We planted Elderberries two Summers ago and they are doing very well. Of course, it’s a race between me and the birds. I think I’m going to have to net them in order to get any for myself.

And, our bees are doing very well. In fact, Kim called a friend the other day to ask him if he wanted some bees. We need to do a couple of splits and we have way more bees than we can handle efficiently. We harvested five or six supers this week, so we’ll have some nice honey for the holiday gifts this year.

The last weekend in July we travelled to Brushy Mountain Bee Farm’s PA location. Brushy held their first annual joint Field Day at all three locations – NC, OR and PA. It was about a four and a half hour drive for us. Not bad. The PA branch headed up by Jim Wilson treated us very well. Jim and his team are excellent hosts. They couldn’t control the weather though – it was right around 90° on Saturday, the day of the event. We were outside in a tent the whole day. Kim and Deb Delaney each gave two talks and then we opened up some hives for the mostly beginner group of beekeepers. They were some of the most gentle bees we’ve every worked. It was a good weekend. Thanks to Jim and Shane for inviting us.

AnthonyWe have some good news here at Bee Culture Magazine. Anthony James DeSimone was born June 28 to Matt and Amanda DeSimone. Amanda has been a part of the Bee Culture team for several years. We are so happy to welcome our newest little Bee Culture guy. We’ll get him in the beeyard as soon as we can.

Please check out A Case For Honey article. Our October event is fast approaching. This year’s theme – A Case For Local Honey. We’ve got wonderful speakers coming to Medina to tell us how they’ve made it work to become sideline beekeepers and make money doing what we all love to do. See the list of speakers and all of the details. We just found out we’ve got someone from the National Honey Board coming also. If you have any questions contact any of us here at Bee Culture and we’ll help you out. We’d love to have you here in Medina in October.

I hope you have a great rest of your Summer.