Sunday, May 9, 2021

Ticks, Package Bees etc.


Deer Tick! These are the ones that spread Lyme Disease. My wife had one on her sweatshirt after we walked a trail and did some bush wacking in our own yard, so we don't know where it came from but it is the first deer tick (larvae) we have seen. Usually, we have Wood Ticks in our woodlands. Note that this tick larvae has just 6 legs. As adults, ticks grow two more legs for a total of 8. But the larvae can do all the bad stuff to you that an adult can do when it bites.

This, I believe, is a wood tick I found crawling on my wrist a couple of days ago. I had been walking along the road so I moved to the shoulder a few times to get out of the way of cars. I also walked next to one of my beehives to refill its sugar water feeder and fed the chickens and gathered their eggs. I did not consider any of it worthy of a tick check afterwards since it did not involve long grasses or much time in the woods. I guess I have to be more vigilant than usual this year.
The garlic mustard is blooming now. If you see it, pull it before it goes to seed so you can stop its progress. Bag and toss the plants instead of composting them (which could aid in spreading them). I hear they make a good pesto! If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em.
These wild strawberries are blooming and looking good. They do not have dark centers in their blossoms which would indicate they had frozen. This spring we have had frequent frost or freezing nights so that is tough on the plants.


See the eating machine? I walked a trail and noticed a very clean woodchuck hole in the ground. When I returned (it was a linear trail) I saw this woodchuck and it let me take a picture before scampering back underground.

I liked the looks of this plant, but I do not know what it is. It looks like something in the mint family.
Package bees arrived at the end of April. Each package has three pounds of bees (10-12000 bees) and a queen in a cage inside the cluster of bees.
How many bees were in my van? 9 packages x 11,000 bees = about 100,000 bees. What could be more fun than that?

Check out my youtube videos where I install the package bees into their hives.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Mid Spring

 It is the season for egg laying. Have you seen one like this on the ground yet? 

One year ago at the end of April we started our laying flock again with newborn chicks. ISA Browns in case you are interested. Now they have been laying eggs for our use for many months.

Have you been noticing the fields and fields of dandelions lately? I love seeing them in huge quantities because they are a good source of early pollen and nectar for our honey bees. Let them bloom if you can in your area.

The Red Bud trees have been teasing us for a while with a little bit of color but now they are in full bloom in all of their glory. Honey bees go to them, too. I like seeing them along with the Dogwoods.

The Flowering Crabs are putting on a show now, too. They can be amazing! One tree is like a field of blossoms in the same location for a honey bee or other pollinator.

 It is fun to see the May Apples coming up again and unfurling their leaves. I have not seen one blooming yet but it won't be long now.

It would be a tough spring to be in the orchard business with all the frosts and freezes we have had this year. I love to eat Michigan apples and sweet cherries are a favorite fruit of mine so I am hoping for a crop in spite of the weather.


What A Time!

It has been a busy time of programs and presentations for us. We have done more shows this year than ever before in the history of our busin...