It’s Summers Time!

As I write this we are hurrying to meet our deadline for this issue because in two days we get on a plane to fly to Sacramento. We’re going to visit Olivarez Honey for their amazing Hobby Day. Kim, Larry Connor and Randy Oliver will be talking all day Saturday to beginning beekeepers who are arriving to pick up their packages. It should be a great day. I’ll have photos in the next issue. Maybe you saw photos on our Social Media pages.

We are a week and a half away from Easter and it’s going to snow Friday. Then it will be in the 60s on Saturday. Spring is always interesting in Northeast Ohio.

Next week we have 10 chicks and six ducklings arriving. That will put us at 23 chickens. We’ve lost two or three of the older girls this Winter. So looking forward to building up the flock. I’ve been reading a lot about planting herbs around the chicken pen and also giving herbs to the chickens in their food or just tossing them into the pen. I guess like people, herbs are good for all. So we’re going to try that – oregano is a big one. I’ve also read that putting a spoonful of apple cider vinegar in their water is good for them. I’m still reading all I can and trying to keep improving their ‘lifestyle.’ I think it’s like beekeeping and everything else – I won’t live long enough to learn everything about anything.

Kim has tomatoes, herbs and lots of peppers started in the basement and is talking making the garden bigger. I did a lettuce bed last Summer and it was OK, but I know how to do it better this year. We have a big black rubber watering tub that you get at Tractor Supply that we bought for the first batch of baby chicks five years ago. I was going to make a water garden out of it, but – a story for another time – it got a big hole in it. So then I got the idea of a lettuce bed. My biggest mistake was planting too many different kinds all at the same time, so we ended up with way more lettuce than we could eat. Of course the chickens love lettuce so it didn’t go to waste. This year I will stagger my plantings and try and keep things under control. I did have to keep an eye on our two big girl cats. At first they seemed to think it was a big giant litter box I had put out for them.

We’ve ordered a few more packages. We’ve got four or five hives alive so far this year. That’s out of eight that we went into Winter with. So not too bad I guess. We’re hearing big losses though from friends here in Medina County – even with the mild Winter we had. So it wasn’t Winter that killed them. What was it?

Spring is always busy for all of us whether you are a beekeeper, a gardener, an editor or just living life. Spring is busy – getting ready for gardens, planting flowers, sports, kids, just living the dream.

I thought we had limited our travel for this year but it turns out we didn’t do so well with that. California in April; Florida in May for the National Candle Association Meeting; New York in May, Massachusetts in June. I think we’re home all of July – trying to catch up and holding our Pollinator Day – Delaware and North Carolina in August, back to California in September and England in October for the National Honey Show. It’s going to be a typically crazy year for us. We might just bump into a few of you on our travels.

The next new thing I want to try is small fruit trees. I just read a book called Grow A Little Fruit Tree and the concept is two-fold. By keeping fruit trees small, by doing drastic pruning, you’re able to manage them with both feet on the ground – no ladders and you have just enough fruit to enjoy – not bushels. This technique also allows for more trees in a smaller space. I think I’ve convinced Kim to give it a try and we have enough room. 

Then there are the deadlines each month and events that are going on locally. We have two events coming up this Summer right here in Medina at the Root Company. Read more details in this issue, but our Pollinator Day is July 15 – if you’re close by stop and say hello. The gardens should be beautiful that time of year.

And register now for our annual event, which in the past has been in October, but is in September this year because that’s when we could gather most of our regular Bee Culture writers. This is going to be a great time. Just go to our web page – – and sign up. We hope you can make it.

It’s going to be another busy Summer, but we’re enjoying life and living the dream. Hope you are too.

See you soon.