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Today was a transformative day in the field. We finally removed everything that wasn’t actively producing: tomatoes, squash, watermelon and cantaloupe patches. It felt good to get it cleaned up, and to know this is the first step toward getting the fall garden planted in a month or so.
It took most of the day, but we were able to turn untamed jungles of weeds into closely cropped, manageable areas, ready for cultivation.
Even the leaf blower was called into service, tidying up the remaining crops.
Today’s other major feat was to harvest a fresh batch of honey. We look forward to this day, even if the bees do not. However, it is important to us to care for the bees as best we’re able, and so we’re careful to think about their needs too. They still have one full super of honey, enough to get them through winter even if they don’t make a drop more honey this year (though we do anticipate-hopefully-being able to harvest one more time). This time, unlike last year’s summer harvest, we’re not giving them back the empty honey super that we just harvested. It has been a hot, dry at times, summer, and the bees haven’t done any work in four empty frames we gave them about two months ago. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that an empty super given to them right now would remain empty until the fall nectar flow. Empty supers invite pests (hive beetles, wax moths) to flourish, but we’d rather they not. So, once the nectar starts flowing again, or when the bees show signs of needing additional room, then we will give them another super to move back into.