Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Delights

Summer has gone beyond full blown as we've passed through a drought and into a second flush of flowers. This is a sumac flower with a honeybee on it, taken before the drought.  The bees love the sumac flowers and we have so many of them you can hear a constant buzzing when they're working the flowers.  Now the sumac flowers have matured and turned bright red.  They are just about ready to harvest for our Tea Party Tea.
We decided to add some colour to our hives this year.  They've always been white in the past and I had painted a few flowers on some of them.  I think it looks so beautiful with all the colours mixed randomly in the field.  This is my honey man with the hives at the Prince Edward County Lavender Farm.
Here's our Hazel posing at the Lavender Farm's lavender festival.  We had a great time there trying lavender lemonade and lavender scones and seeing how lavender essential oil is made through steam distillation.
Here I am doing my thing.  This was at Vicki's Veggies spring seedling sale.  I've been doing so many sales this year but this is the only good photo from any of them.  We were also at the Midsummer Herbfest in Almonte and in Picton at the Women's Institute Craft Sale.
We're building a new solar herb dryer.  This is the beginning of the process. We put down cardboard and landscape fabric and got a load of gravel dumped on top. This is to keep the weeds from growing through the gravel.  Stay tuned for more photos of the process.  We have come up with an original design that we will share with you.
We have a wonderful new employee this summer named Katie.  Here she is uncapping a honey frame with the uncapping knife. She has done a lot of honey extracting this summer and it's not over yet.  It's hot, sticky work but she's so happy about it she wants to get her own bees!  We love you Katie!

Here's a recent shot of honey bees collecting nectar from an oregano flower.  We use this oregano in our Spicy Italian herbal seasoning.  It's so interesting to see the relationship between the herbs and the bees.

I had posted in the winter that I was ordering some new roses.  This is the new Apothecary rose with many pollinators on it.  I didn't manage to catch any honeybees on it but I think they did visit the roses.  The Madame Hardy rose I ordered wasn't available because of a crop failure.  I'll have to try again next year.