THE BEEYARD REPORT
The hardware store in Lynnville is closing at
the end of the month. It’s as much a victim of the shrinking
farm population as the rise of Wal-Mart. It’s a familiar
story in most small towns. People work away from home and do their
shopping in other places when they get off work. We all vote with
our dollars on who we want to stay open. When you vote, you need
to ask yourself “Does this business help my community? Are
they around to contribute to the school yearbook or the after
prom party?” Dollars spent on main street stay at home.
Lynnville isn’t dead. We still have a bank, convenience
store (locally owned), day care, two repair shops, a medical clinic,
cafe and the seed company. There are a few new houses being built.
The Chamber of Commerce members have been keeping the cafe open
with volunteer labor. I don’t know how long this can go
on. Remember that things don’t get better unless you help
make them better.
Our early honey flow was spotty. The yards in
the timber were the best. They caught both black locust and basswood.
The bloom in other areas was good but there was very little yield.
I checked two yards of 20 colonies each during the first week
of July. They had two boxes of honey between them. Then, a massive
flow started. Most of our yards plugged within a couple of weeks.
Alex and Adam made the first pull on the 11th. We started extracting
the next day. It has been a struggle to get the supers emptied
and back on the hives. We are working on barrel #37 right now.
We miss having Anthony to run the extractor.
All we had to do was show up in the morning and load whatever
empty boxes we needed. Now, we have to extract before we can load.
Adam usually shows up around 6:30 in the morning and starts extracting.
I get up and do chores. I join him around 9:30. We work together
until Alex gets the truck loaded. They go to pull honey around
noon and are usually home by six or seven in the evening. I run
the extractor through the afternoon and into the night. Some nights,
when I am done extracting, I set a rack on top of the uncapper
tray and cut out comb honey sections. We can pack them up first
thing in the morning and not have space tied up while waiting
for them to drain.
We are generating a lot more wax this year.
Last year, we were able to pull about half our honey before it
was capped. You give up a little on the moisture content but it
saves a lot of uncapping. One or two strokes with the cappings
scratcher and the frame is
ready to extract. This year almost everything
is capped and we get several blocks of wax every day.
We have a big screen that we put in the doorway
where the rollup door is. The bees that come home with the supers
collect there. Usually, there aren’t too many. Given the
necessity for speed, we have accumulated more than normal. There
were probably five of six pounds of bees hanging along the door
frame. We have a hive right outside the door but they wouldn’t
go in it. Alex put a queen in a package cage and set it near the
cluster. About half of them crawled right into the cage. We had
wanted to do a video on package installation in the spring but
didn’t have any packages left. Now, voila, we had the July
package and a huge one at that. We put them in a box of foundation
and gave them a bucket of syrup. I think we have enough bees for
this to work.
A guy on one of the chat pages had an extractor for sale. It was
a strange brand so I went to his “My Space” page where
he had a picture of it. I checked out his documents while I was
there and what did I find but the Ebert Honey Co Online Catalog
and the Buzz Newsletter. How about that?
I’m really full of it this month. I could
go on but I better quit before I wear out my welcome. I hope to
see a lot of you at the fair.
Submitted by Phil Ebert