Here is Andrew riding high on a 1935 Model B John Deere at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion that takes place over Labor Day weekend in Mount Pleasant every year (except 2020 of course). He also had an introduction to our annual honey stand at Threshers and experienced the volumes of people that come through to buy comb, liquid honey, and thousands of honey sticks. It was his first time wearing a money bag instead of using a cashbox, so that was one of his sources of entertainment too. We look forward to our return in 2022!
The 2021 beekeeping year has been a strange one. The bees came back from California looking strong, and we made a lot of splits for ourselves and nucs for sale. The spring was poor for building up the new hives very quickly, however, and then the heat in June and July mostly didn’t deliver the big crop that we normally anticipate with those conditions. In eastern Iowa we administered formic pads successfully with the boxes still on the colonies in hopes of controling mites but holding on for the chance of catching a late flow. It has been years since I tried for fall honey because we came to prioritize mite control starting sometime in early August.
We ultimately didn’t gain much honey weight in the last month, but we stretched out the window of opportunity as long as possible. We finally got some heavy rains that brought on the goldenrod quite strongly, so at least we’re seeing a lot of natural pollen to stimulate the bees make some new baby bees. For the moment the bees look decent and varroa mite controls are working as intended. Now we just have to stay on top of everything for another two months to make sure their health stays intact and to maintain the hive numbers we need to retain in order to improve our prospects for 2022.