Spring Bee Prep and a Top Bar

Today was gorgeous, and I spent the morning outside working on the lawn, garden, and bees. I planted a slew of light blue (maybe purple?) violas. The daffodils, hollyhocks, tulips, and daylilies are all in the early stages of blooming as well. I also dug up another five stupid grape hyacinths and destroyed them. After almost six years (?) of digging them out of the front and back yard, I’m down to the point that I only have a handful each spring.

The bees look really good still. I did not open up the last survivor hive, but they had a strong number out and exploring by mid-afternoon. Before they got out, I sealed up the two dead hives so that they wouldn’t rob them out completely. I do want a touch of honey in them for the packages coming next month so that I don’t have to do sugar syrup.

The last thing I did was a full outside clean. I raked the front and back yards, cleaned out the debris from the flower beds, turned the soil in the veggie garden, turned the compost pile, and gutted the shed. That shed hasn’t had a good cleaning in years, and I took out enough stuff to fill our trash can twice over. It’ll take a few weeks to get it all thrown away a bit at a time, but I can actually walk into my shed now and easily get everything. I also gave myself a nice long work bench for all my bee stuff. I used to keep that inside, but now I can keep the majority of it outside.

Now to the top bar…. Dad decided to go to Langstroths this spring, and he gave me one of his old top bars. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with it. It’s a big hive, and I’m not quite sure where to put it. It doesn’t fit in the apiary unless you sacrifice the space I have to work. I also don’t like that the only comfortable way to position it is to set it up at an angle that has me standing in the flight path to work on my other hives. I moved it outside the apiary, but now I’m a touch concerned that the apiary has expanded close enough to the house that that part of the back yard is more or less closed off from consistent use. Add in that I’m not even sure if I want to do the top bar. Don’t get me wrong; I’d love to do it. But I do recognize that I’m not quite in the mood to run four hives this morning. I’d also need to split my one survivor to populate it or go short on the Langstroths and only have two of those. I’m just not sure what I want to do.

I guess we’ll see what happens (like always).

The rest of life is… life. It’s been a frustrating day in a lot of ways. Being outside all day and working like that was very triggering for me and left me feeling a bit bitter and frustrated. I find that not knowing why and when and how are three things I really dislike, and in this case, it’s all three.

Sigh…. It’s been a long week. Not a bad one, but long nevertheless. I feel the stress in people around me acutely lately, and I can just sense that everyone is kind of in a spot that isn’t as great as they wish. Everyone is busy, everyone is trying to do more. And the empathetic side of me feels just a bit overwhelmed right now and maybe a little frustrated with the inability to do what I wish I could.

We’re going to Idaho in later on this spring, and I’m excited to spend a few days there in that quiet back country. There’s something up there that just makes me feel… safe. Wanted. Strong. I don’t know quite how to describe it, but I’m counting the days.

This entry was posted in Bees, On the Home Front. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Spring Bee Prep and a Top Bar

  1. Emily Heath says:

    It’s really hard to see people you care about feeling down. Even if you can’t do anything to change particular situations, just being there for them and listening can help people a lot.

  2. What a great post, thanks for sharing.

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