High Gear in July

July is here, so it’s time to get it into high gear with the garden. This week looks promising- we’ve had three days of solid sun, and the forecast calls for at least four more. A record! All the sunshine has put the plants into high gear, as you can see from the picture. It’s also been pretty hot, which helps. And by hot, I mean Oregon Coast hot, which is temperatures that start with the number 7.  (My friend Jerry just told me today that it’s been in the 100s in Indiana this week. UGH!)

We’ve already made appearances at the Farmers’ Market the last two weeks, and will be again tomorrow, but we’re still not where we want to be as far as production. Here’s Emily getting ready to make a salad with “farmer vegetables.” Those are the vegetables that have minor blemishes and irregularities that make them hard to sell, but don’t affect the eating quality. We eat those almost exclusively.

But back to temperatures…when they’re in the hundreds, it’s GREAT for honeybees. Out here, the bees have been spending a lot of time indoors, watching the rain fall. But this week, they’ve been hard at work. Yay! Other exciting news is that I got a call from a lady today who had a swarm in her yard. I hopped in the truck, drove over with my beekeeper gear, and snatched it up. Here it is, waiting patiently on a clump of bamboo for me to take it to its new home. I put them into my remaining spare hive, and within an hour, they were all snugly settled in. I can’t wait to check on them in a week or so to see how they’re doing; luckly with all this sun and the blackberries in full bloom, there are plenty of resources for them to take advantage of and get a good start. I hope the old beekeeper adage about swarms doesn’t hold true in this case. For those of you who don’t know it,

A swarm in May is worth a bale of hay
A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon
A swarm in July ain’t worth a fly.


I guess we’ll see.  Right now I am up to 5 colonies, but one of them is really weak (I got it out of a house, and it was already in bad shape) and I don’t expect it to last very long. The other three are doing OK, but since they’re new this year, have a lot of building to do if I’m going to get any honey. Really, what I expect will happen is that they should be able to put back enough to get themselves through the winter, but not much more. But that’s OK; there’s always next year.

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