Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dry weather,hot days & honey bees

Falls Lake is the main water source for much of the Triangle. At this point, it is 12" above its lowest level ever. Here in Granville County, we have had little more than a few tenths of rain a few times since mid June. Much of the southeastern US is experiencing lack of rain, while the Texas region is wet, wet wet.

Many farmers disced their crops into the ground instead of watching the slow demise of hard work and hard cash die roasting in the field.. The tobacco farmers have a crop, as tobacco is drought resistant, but the crop they have is low quality and will cost them as they settle up with the contracts they have. Hay is short all over the state, farmers are baling corn stalks to have something to feed livestock later in the winter.
This time of year is also when the strawberry farmers set the plants for spring fruit. In many cases, there is not enough water in the soil or irrigation available to prepare the plant beds.

It is just plain dry. In May I had the largest crop of honey I have seen in five or six years. I robbed all the honey my bees had produced and bottled ALL of it for the honey business. As I sit here my bees have very little honey they have produced over the summer, the main reason for low fall crop is lack of rain. With little honey and just a bit of profit from the summer honey sales, Kiddliwink Apiary will not grow as fast next spring as hoped. An additional 50 hives by next honey flow, may not happen this year, but we will continue to work and grow as we can.

The hard working lady at the left is your average honey bee(apis mellifera). She is hard at work collecting pollen to take back to her colony. The pollen will be mixed with a bit of honey and make a great meal for all the bees. Her life span is approximately 6 weeks. She will spend the first two weeks of life cleaning the hive, feeding baby bees and taking care of the Queen. She may also be assigned guard duty to protect the hive from other bees that may attempt to rob the honey stores. She will spend the last four weeks of her life gathering nectar, pollen and water for the life of her colony. She will make thousands of trips during that time period to transport the food to her family. She will eventually wear the wings out by flying. She is one of the most amazing insects of all creation.

The photo of said bee was made by Russ.

1 comment:

  1. That's so interesting - and amazing!! Tell Russ great job on the pics (I thought they were stock photos until your note at the end!). Is it feasible to move the hives to a wetter location? Our friends in Middlesex have had almost 6 inches of rain in 7 weeks. We have had less than 1/2 inch and we are only about 10 miles apart. Wondering if there is a "wet" spot nearby you, too? I look forward to hearing more about how the bees fare over the fall and winter. And at some point we need to talk to you about setting up some hives down here. Have a great weekend!