Summer State of The Hives

It’s been a year, hasn’t it?!  I somehow simultaneously can’t believe it’s August already and yet also only August so far.  Whew!  The honey has been coming off the hives so fast this spring and early summer only to hit a dead stop for the last two or three weeks.  The weather and amount of rain we get will heavily influence the amount of honey the bees produce, so since the last two years were incredibly rainy, the nectar flowed all throughout the summer.  This year, there’s been less rain during July and August so far, so we’ve seen the usual late summer slow down.  Hopefully things will pick back up for a good early Fall run as we start to prepare for the winter with mite treatments and supplemental feed to make sure they have enough food stored for the winter.

On the up side, the first trickles of that cult favorite, the darker honey, are starting to come off the hives.  Clover is still kind of blooming in some spots where it’s shady, so there’s still a tiny bit of nectar coming in, but we haven’t hit the larger dark honey flow that I’m used to seeing this time of year.  Fingers crossed we get some rain to finish out a strong season!  We also added a honey guide (check it out in the menu up top) to go over all the batches we’ve extracted this year.  Each batch is between 30-60 lbs and only from one location.  Since we extract on a running weekly basis in ultra small batches instead of in larger runs maybe 2 or 3 times a year, the tiny changes as the bees collect from different floral sources are captured in different batches.

And in other news, we’re now PA Preferred!  This certifies that our bees never leave the state of Pennsylvania or even Chester County.  Some beekeepers send their bees out on a pollinator circuit to pollinate orange trees in Florida or cranberries in New Jersey, but our bees stay put on some truly beautiful properties in the Phoenixville area which makes the honey 100% collected and processed in Pennsylvania.  The PA Preferred logo lets you know that you’re supporting a local Pennsylvania producer or farmer, and we’re thrilled to be in the company of such great fellow farmers and producers.  Below is the “class photo” of our 2021 batches to date (minus batch A because it *evaporated* off the shelves).  Left to right, top row, are batches B through E, and left to right, bottom row, are batches F through I.  The bees have done a tremendous job this spring and I can’t believe how far ahead we are in comparison to last year with still a solid month or two left to go in the honey season!