Life has finally settled into somewhat of a normal pace since the passing of Jims brother a few weeks ago. Well, as normal as our lives ever are! Over past few weekends the bee work has been a bit easier as we wait in great expectation to see how the honey flow will go. Watching the girls tirelessly work bringing in the sweet nectar, filling the cells and fanning it to get just the right humidity. Such an amazing and delicate process to see.
Most of the work now is watching to see if they need any extra honey supers added to the top of the hives. Several of the hives are as tall as I am so will wait and see what God provides this year! He often provides abundantly so we are expecting, well, a lot!
Aside from honey monitoring, there are a few “baby” hives that need help to ensure they make it this first year. Some are new swarms captured in swarm boxes and some are new hives just beginning to grow from queens here at the Farm. Several trial and error activities...with lots of error and many trials!
3 honey supers tall! (Bottom two boxes are the brood)
God’s blessed us with a perfect amount of rain in this early part of the summer and although we’ve had some heat in the upper 90’s recently it seems as though the heat helped the girls get their honey ready for the harvest. Each week it seems there is a new “favorite” the bees like to frequent.
This week it’s a trade off between lavender, magnolia blossoms and staghorn sumac flowers.
We try to have as many wildflowers as possible for the bees and pollinators to choose from but we’re always researching and learning about the best plantings for bees in our region of the country.
A beekeeper’s job is never done.
Another recent activity was to make hive markers so it would be easier to identify the different hives.
With nearly 19 hives it can get a little crazy keeping track of which hive is which. It’s important to keep records to know the history and health of the hive as well as the queen and where she originated. In our apiaries hives aren’t treated with man-made or artificial chemicals so it’s really important for to monitor the hives and plan for alternative pest management but more on that later.
and now the finished product!
Thanks for reading. If you have questions about honey bees, flowers, the farm or anything in general, just drop me a note. Be sure to watch our website and social media for updates as we get ready to extract our yummy and healthy harvest!
Elderberries are a wonderful way to boost your immune system and help keep those "ickies" at bay. They help to protect against infections and bacteria, are packed full of vitamins and minerals, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Combining it with Rose Hips for a boost of vitamin C, and Raw Honey (local of course) is a great way to provide a fully rounded addition to your winter cold and flu season arsenal. We use it through out the winter, but just any time we are getting that run down, "I think I'm getting it" feeling.
Many people have asked about our elderberries and how we prepare them for our amazing syrup. So thought I would share the recipe along with information about how we grow and harvest here at the farm using this exceptional plant to keep everyone in tip top shape. It's amazing to think how God provides us with a full medicine cabinet of foods and herbals to combat the most basic of illnesses and ensure we have optimum health!
Gma B’s Elderberry Syrup
2 C Elderberries - Dried, fresh or frozen
1 C Rose Hips
4 sticks Cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp dried ginger pieces (or fresh)
1 tsp black pepper
1 C. Raw Honey (more/less depending on how sweet you like it!)
Simmer until reduced by half (about 2 1/2-3 C). Smash the mixture with a potato masher and then drain.
Let cool. Add honey and stir.
Take 2 Tbsp 2-3x day.
Store in refrigerator for a week to 10 days.
We clearly don't grow all of the ingredients here at the farm (I wish!) but we do offer links to products we recommend through Amazon listed above.
*Please consult with your physician before using any herbal remedies. These statements have not been endorsed by the FDA.
For the record, this is my first blog post. If you like it or want to see more in these posts, please drop me a comment. I'd love to hear!