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A Froggy Friend and the Harvest Finale Nears. . . .

We had another "first" during the honey harvest this year! We encountered several tree frogs hanging out with some hives on a timberline in Linn County. I found the one in the preceding picture crawling around inside the hive! I suspect they were snagging a few bees for food, but I couldn't help but think they were pretty cute too! In the past we've occasionally found an individual frog on a lid or the side of a hive. This time they apparently agreed en masse that it was a fine spot to relax and maybe munch.

We also had a pleasant surprise down in Muscatine County where we have several dozen hives placed for melon pollination. Their honey flow started around three weeks later than what I saw sixty miles to the north. I was afraid they wouldn't have a meaningful honey flow at all. Instead, they made up the difference in short order and remained on a flow when we cleared the hives yesterday. We had two trucks and crews working in the area since Lynnville thankfully came to help us get the job done.

Josi starts tipping boxes as we collect a very respectable crop at one of the Muscatine locations.
Two packed honey boxes. We brought home some heavy ones from these locations! This is a pallet of singles that produced well.

The main concern is that some of these hives have way too many mites. I have to make an extra effort to clean them up very quickly if I want more than half of them to live to see the end of the year. The last bees harvested always face this extra hurdle. At this point I really wish I had not struggled with getting the extracting line running for ten days in early August. Otherwise these bees would have been treated almost two weeks ago. Still, things are going almost as smoothly as possible, so I had better limit my complaints! Even the project hives are overwhelmingly giving surplus honey that I wasn't expecting to collect. The bees and nature have been kind for the last two months. Thank goodness we survived May and early June when the bee life was mucky and challenging.

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