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  • Writer's pictureMatt

Playing catch up...

I started this blog with the intention of updating it every two weeks. Well, it's my second blog post and I'm already a week late. Good intentions pave the road to hell, they say, and speaking of roads to hell:

Car stuck in mud. Bee yard. London, Oh.
Just plain stuck.

The non-stop rain in late April and early May had pretty well turned everything into a soupy mess and well, I got stuck. Fortunately, my tires became embedded in the mud after getting all the hives moved, so the car was bee free, the work was done, and I had the rest of a Sunday to kill waiting on a tow truck. The weather actually turned pretty nice by the time he got there.

Tow truck. Car stuck in mud. London, Ohio.
This is why we pay for AAA.

You can't really see in the picture, but there's a 100 foot winch cable between me and the tow truck (it just reached). Those ruts are actually from my way into the yard. Not wanting to become hopelessly stuck in those ruts, I wisely chose to go around them on the way out. Clearly, my careful planning paid off.

Tire tracks. Mud. Bee yard. London, Ohio. Dunham Bees

I need to make a concerted effort to be really nice to the owner of this property. It's rare to find a person who will let me put a bunch of beehives on their property AND demolish their yard. I think some extra honey rent may be due.

Honey bee swarm. Curb. London, Ohio. Dunham Bees.
Bees on the ground.

Well, on to other beekeeping adventures. We had our first swarm call of the year last week. Actually we had three swarm calls all in one evening, and I ended up running back and fourth between London and West Jefferson loading bees up into boxes. Typically, a swarm is hanging on a tree branch and collecting it is as simple as grabbing the branch and shaking them into a box. If the swarm is high up, I have a five gallon bucket Gorilla-Taped to the end of a long stick that I'm sure is just the pinnacle of beekeeping technological achievement- I just put the bucket around the bees,knock the branch, and the bees fall right in. The swarm pictured on the right decided to settle down on a curb. I ended up using some junk mail I had in the car as a makeshift scoop to get them into the box. I'm not sure I'm exactly proud of some of my beekeeping innovations, but at least they don't cost a lot of money. While gathering another swarm that evening, I spotted the queen:

Observation hive. Honey stand. Dunham Bees.

The third swarm went into our observation hive and went went to our booth at Rockin' on the Run, a 5K fundraiser for brain tumor awareness. Audrey took advantage of the face paining booth. After we finished up there, we set up the hive at the grand opening of the Procter Store in downtown London. They're carrying a range of locally grown produce, meat, and handmade crafts, as well as some very nice honey.

Procter Store. Procter Center. Honey. London, Ohio. Dunham Bees.
Just a few of the great items at the Procter Store.

It's been a few busy weeks working bees in the rain, chasing swarms, and selling honey. Finally were getting some warmer, and maybe drier days. The black locust trees are blooming and as long as the weather complies, we'll have some nice spring honey to harvest.

Black locust in bloom. Honey producing plant. Dunham Bees. London, Ohio.
Black locust in bloom.

Until next time,


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