Farm & Family Update, Fall 2021
Posted by Hilary & Christopher Mueller on
Dearest Incredible Seeds Community,
It's been a while (a long while) since our last farm update... Despite the greater, complicated goings-on in the world, we hope you've been able to find solace, satisfaction & peace in your gardens over the Summer. 💖
We've definitely had our pandemic ups & downs. Despite some hard times, we've also some very special experiences & revelations. As with everything we share with you, we hope this story inspires & warms your hearts.
🐝 Backyard Beehive Magic 🐝
For those of you who've been with us for a while, you may remember the exciting news from a few years ago: My dad got the kids HONEY BEES for Christmas! It wasn't as chaotic as it sounds... He got them the promise of bees, having ordered a nuc (start up hive) for the following Spring.
Over the last three years, this bee community has brought our family so much joy! Seeing them "come alive" every Spring. Sitting in the garden, just mesmerized, as they go about gathering pollen & nectar. The satisfaction of catching a swarm - a branch of Black Spruce, just dripping with docile bees... Incredible!
A note about our style of beekeeping. We are amateurs. This is not an educational piece & it is entirely possible that our successes have been purely luck-based! Also, we place the bees' wellbeing ahead of our own want for honey & harvest minimally. The practice of taking a hundred or so pounds of natural, nutrient rich honey from the bees & then feeding them nutrient void white sugar (usually from heavily sprayed, GMO sugar beets...) doesn't sit well with us. We believe in low interference methods & responsible honey harvesting.
In year one we saw a frost in June that shriveled lots of early flowers, including the strobili (conifer "flowers") in the forest around our house. The Summer that followed was extremely dry. We wondered if the bees had enough food for the Winter.
And the hive is THRIVING!
This has been an amazing bee year! The hive came out strong after Winter, the orchard was full of blooms in early Spring & we've grateful had even rain all Summer. We finally felt confident that we could harvest honey without negatively impacting the bees. So last month, we pulled out enough honey frames to yield 8L of beautiful, dark, golden honey. ✨🐝💖