Weather Report: After our long, cool, moist spring we moved into summer, literally overnight. This week has been especially uncomfortable with the highs moving from the upper 80’s (F) up into the mid to upper 90’s. I really dislike the heat. I might feel differently if I lived within view of a lake for swimming or if I had air conditioning. I keep a small fan on in my bedroom and I keep it pointed straight at me so I can sleep at night but it’s not comfortable. Hopefully, it will cool down this weekend, at least down to the lower 80’s.
The second stop in our garden walk (check out part one) was to visit Jeff and his family. Jeff has been a beekeeper since his teens. He showed us how he raises them.
Jeff showing us his equipment and gear. He wears white coveralls when working with the bees as they tend to be more aggressive if dark clothes are worn.
The wooden boxes that are the hives and the wooden slats that have the cells already made for the bees to fill.
A sample of honey filled cells.
A group of stacked boxes make up a single hive. The bees live in the lower, larger sections while the upper narrower boxes is where the honey is kept. Jeff told us that every bee has a job; they are a very specialized society.
Jeff uses an old fashioned smoker to stupefy the bees. He told us that he uses sumac berries in the smoker because they “smoke but don’t burn.”
Though his talk was interesting, my eyes kept wandering to the field next door. I drive by this field at least once a week and I always look for the sheep and their babies. This was the closest I had ever been to them.
Jeff told us that the best honey that he made came from the star thistle that fills this pasture area each summer. Since I’ve never known this thistle to be in Michigan, I’m thinking that it may be a different thistle providing them with wonderful tasting honey. We all got to take home a bottle. Yum!
Garden walk part 3 to come.