Himalayan Balsam

SIGH< Summer is really over. Tomorrow night they predict minus 3 . . . that would be celsius nomenclature for fellow BeeKeepers in shining America (26.6F). We had a lot of action at the hives over the summer, even a swarm. The melon shaped form covered with the rogue bees is high up in a spruce tree. ‘Let them go’ says Rudy, it’s in their DNA. You don’t want those kind of bees anyways. I just feel rejected, having made a nice clean wooden home for them. They didn’t even go ‘upstairs’ to store their honey or create brood . . . Rudy also doesn’t use a Queen excluder, neither did I when I got the kit(s). My intuition told me: “No, you don’t really need these” (yet another layer to get all gooped up with propolis and comb) Must be those European Genes 😉

Himalayan Balsam. Rogue plant from, yes, the Himalayas.                                                         My bees have been arriving with white ‘spots’ on their backs and I was freaking, “Oh nooo, now what scourge is this??” Friends of Mr. Google told me not to worry, it is just pollen from the Himalayan Balsam flowers. As the bee enters the pollen stamen(s) scrapes over their backs! Well thank goodness there is still something nutritious out there for the bees, non-native invasive species or not, at least it doesn’t sting a rash onto you like Giant Hogweed and their ilk.

On October 13th, the experienced BeeKeepers of Thunder Bay will be giving a demo on how to wrap up the hives for our gruesome winter. Can I wait that long? I have been feeding them 1:2 sugar syrup and changed up the Mason jars, large bodies with the smaller caps, so there is more of an opening around the handhold lid of the hive cover. My meagre innovations. I also purchased rolls of reflective insulation (the bubble wrap stuff) I was going to make temporary tea cozy-type things until the 13th, I’ll let you know how THAT project materializes. A happy shoutout to Sassafras Farms in the Carolinas https://sassafrasbeefarm.wordpress.com/ , I hope your Farm is OK after the Hurricane, I am almost afraid to ask.

Author: Rita Komendant

I am an observer of the human condition, studied in Architecture. Another pilgrim of the space-time continuum. If a situation arises that needs my voice, I will engage. (thank you Tim Berners-Lee) Nature is my Temple.

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