The nights get longer and the blooms are harder to find

hawkweed 1Our weather’s been drizzly and warm so our bees are all awake, no clustering yet. They’re spending a lot of time buzzing around the entrances, waiting for a break in our famous northwest rain, so they can fly out and see what’s still in flower.

Surprisingly there is still quite a bit, though I can see the sunflowers nodding deeply under the weight of the rain. Aster, calendula and salvia just gave a final hurrah and folded up shop for winter. The borage in our greenhouse, however, is in full blue-petaled bloom and calling out to the bees who live in our bee gazebo only 20 feet away. With nectar and pollen flowers so close, we rolled up the nearest greenhouse wall so the bees can buzz in for a bit of food during moments of sparkling sunshine.

We had a fabulous bee year. We got an average amount of honey and the colonies were no bigger than normal. Hurrah! I say this was a great year because our bees came through the seasons with plenty of close-by forage flowers, even during our unseasonably hot-hot-hot summer, the yellow jackets were negligible, and we had no pesticide issues, disease or pest pressure. Every day rolled into the next without crisis or flaw.

That, in my opinion, is a good bee year. The colonies are going into winter with good stores of honey and they look healthy. Ah….

In August we held the first three day Bee-Centered Beekeeping Conference. Eight bee teachers from all over the country came and taught. Oh my, what a grand time being among like-minded bee-loving folks, every one someone who cares for bees with tremendous respect and love. We had a grand time learning from each other and the bees, and many of us went home with more understanding of what it feels like to think and feel like a bee. This is a great way to approach a hive and not just go barreling in to do a task without thinking of what that might be like from the bees’ side.

See us on The Search For Sustainability

swarm on wednesday The Search for Sustainability Documentary Series is a 12 part series of interviews with 49 people, each with an uplifting commitment to making the world a better place. I (Jacqueline) am on a few of the videos speaking about our biodynamic farm, how we care for our bees, and the importance of relationship.

The series is online and each day they release one of the 12 videos for 24 hours. It’s free through November 12th. I know, it’s short notice, so jump on and register to see it now. I *think* I’m in video #11 about connection and relationship with animals. If you missed any portions of the daily videos, I heard rumor they are going to briefly release all 12 over the weekend Nov. 14-15. This just started on Nov. 1st and already has been viewed 82,000 times. Wowza.

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