old stone fireplace
Old stone fireplace Chimney and warming rack

Winter’s taken a noticeable turn. It’s quite lovely. The stone fireplace disappeared last week, unusually late in winter.

I can see across the yard and field, beyond the high tunnels, to the edge of the forest by 5:15 am these days. A new solar light in the hen house means I don’t have to bring water to the birds until almost 6 pm. The longer daylight charges the light well enough to keep the birds in light until after 10 pm. They can have a good drink before the go to sleep. It’s nice, especially after the fox attack, and then finding a bobcat sitting in the backyard last week like he belongs here. He’d been sitting there long enough to melt the snow. Ava was unimpressed and her stare off with the young cat made him turn away and disappear into the woods. Light in the hen house in the evening makes me feel better because it shines through the windows to the snow. If there’s a predator hovering around, I might see it.

The longer daylight reminds me that spring is coming soon. And so are bees.

It Will Bee Spring Soon

Photo by Meggyn Pomerleau on Unsplash

Honey Bees Are Coming

I’ve wanted to keep bees for years and years. I took a class in 2019 and loved it but it was a lot of information in a short amount of time. Afraid I’d kill them, afraid of bears killing them, and concerned about Steve being stung, because if there are bees he will run into them, it was easy to talk myself out of placing the order. One less thing at the time was good but it turns out they’ve have been a great distraction during the pandemic. They crossed my mind from time to time. “Someday.” That day is coming in May. I took another workshop via Zoom this winter. It was broken into five weeks, 90 minutes at a time. The handbook we used is excellent. The Beekeepers Handbook by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile. It’s Peter Cowin, the Bee Whisperer, who gives me the confidence to do this and keep them alive, well, and producing honey and wax for me. He presented the first workshop I took. He doesn’t tell us his way is the way to keep bees. He’s very clear. This is how he keeps bees successfully and it works well.

So, why now? Steve gave me a beehive, jacket, hat, and gloves for Christmas. The man who doesn’t get along with bees gave me the nudge. I’m excited! I’m comfortable with the wild honey bees, and having never been stung by them, I’m not sure what I’m in for when my own give me my first sting. I do think it’s worth it to improve pollination, have honey, and help preserve bees. We didn’t have pears or many apples last year because of a lack of bees. I hope those days are over here.

What’s new with you?