How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Blackberries!

Here in Western Washington blackberries are all over the place.  Right about now is when they start to bloom, which is always an exciting time.

Why, you ask?  Because it’s one of the major nectar flows here, and blackberry honey is fantastic.  And when I say major, I’ve heard of hives filling multiple supers in a week.

That’s a ton of honey.

Last year though, the flow was horrible because the weather was so wet.  Blackberries need a three day window of reasonable weather with no rain to start producing lots of nectar.

This year … not looking so good overall.  The bloom started a week or so ago and it’s been wet, wet, wet.

At least that’s until I went up to check on my apiary yard this afternoon.

Hive status?  The two new packages had about five frames of bees, which isn’t that bad for a package that’s about two months old.  They’re bringing plenty of stuff in.

The overwintered hive though … busting at the seams!  Two full boxes of bees with more in one of the supers I had on.  I checked a couple frames and there’s no capped honey at all, which is unfortunate.  They’re bringing stuff in like mad though, and the queen is actively laying.

But the good news?  Since the place they’re at is in a bit of a climate shifted area, the bloom just started.  Most of the flowers haven’t even opened yet.  And the next several weeks is looking FANTASTIC weather wise.  A couple days of rain this weekend, but then sunny and occasional clouds.

I could be putting away a bumper crop from this hive if the conditions hold.  That’d be nice after last years dismal performance.

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3 Responses to Blackberries!

  1. Okay, so I’m busy setting up a homestead in Montana (Bitterroot Valley). While I toil, converting ISBUs into housing and collecting a veritable ark of livestock. all this talk about HONEY production has me salivating. Sweeeet! LOL!

    How about pointing me at a primer (for “idiots” please, I’m overtaxing my gray matter as it is) about getting started in the bee keeping end of preparedness? Maybe even something specific to this region? Is it expensive to get into beekeeping? Note: I’m not terribly far from you so perhaps expenses are similar?

    Would LOVE to incorporate this into my family’s quest for self-reliance and self-responsibility.

    And while you hear it constantly, it bears repeating… we APPRECIATE all your hard work. You’re the well that many of us drink from and find nourishment…

    Ronin

    • Well, I haven’t gone into it in detail primarily because my beekeeping posts tend to be my least popular. But I really enjoy it, so I keep posting about it!

      Maybe I’ll write something up like what you’re talking about if there’s interest … I’ve never been a huge fan of the books on the topic as an ‘intro’ … let me see what I can do.

      Climate wise, you’ll be closer to the climate at the Farm up by Spokane vs where we’re at now in North Puget Sound. I’m going to be picking the brain of one of the big commercial beekeepers in the area we’re moving to soon though, and climate will be on the top of my mind there.

      • Anyone keeping a eye on what’s happening knows that bees are vital to America’s crops. And, they’re threatened from all sides, it seems.

        So, even if it’s just to help them find a place to colonize in safety, any step toward beekeeping helps insure that we continue to eat. I don’t really picture myself as an environmentalist – (I just see it as “common sense”), but we NEED to care about what happens to bees. And if the by-product of that “generosity” is HONEY… it’s more than just good! :)

        I’m literally surrounded by clover, alfalfa and farms. This is BEE Heaven. All we need to do is build ’em a house!

        (Hey! I wonder if I can build them one out of an ISBU? Chickens seem to like ’em! Hmmmm…. Never mind!) :)

        Looking forward to your shared wisdom.

        Ronin