Monday, September 13, 2010

Bee Log 47: September 13, 2010

Our honey in front of one of our bee hives.

Seattle has looked pretty gray all summer long.

It is a bad year for bees in Seattle. If you are a new beekeeper, I hope that you have not become discouraged. I can't imagine facing some of the problems that we have had this year as a beginner. The worst thing over the last month has been the cool weather. The bees just are not getting the flying time that they need. Also there are not many nectar sources this time of year. The bees are having a hard time getting enough to store and enough for me to take as honey.

We are hoping for another harvest to take us through the last 3 weeks of the Phinney Farmers' Market. We will see if we get it. I think the weather this week is supposed to be better than last week so at least we can get in the hives.


  1. Wow, your honey is beautiful! I wonder how it tastes? Can you describe it? I'm so happy to see yours is light colored too. Ours, harvested Aug 1, is also a light color and quite tangy and sweet. And not crystalizing, so far.

    I am not discouraged, but it HAS been a challenging year to be a beginner beekeeper. One of our fears is that we harvested a super on Aug 1, and now we are concerned they won't have enough food, especially since foraging days have been so scarce. It looks like there are 2 other supers that were about 75% full 12 days ago. Some capped frames, some uncapped. So, my fingers are crossed that (whenever we can finally go into the hive again) there will be more winter stores for them. I really wanted to taste that new darker honey in the dark yellow comb, but am not sure we should extract any because we took almost all the earlier light-colored honey. I'm very confused about how much honey they need to make it through the winter.

    If I can get to the Phinney market this Friday, can you bring some of your light honey, like the first picture? I'll bring some of ours, for you to sample too. I want to taste yours and see if it is similar to ours, since farmers at our West Seattle market have told me that our honey CAN'T be blackberry honey because it's too light!

  2. We are planning to be at the Phinney Farmers' Market on Friday, Sept. 17. Our stock of honey is very, very low but we will sell what we have. I have a theory that the light tangy honey is from the Linden (Basswood or Tilia) trees. There are a lot of them along Green Lake Way by the ball fields just north of N 50th. Linden trees are not native to the Pacific Northwest but they make good street trees so are planted all over Seattle. I think that might be why the urban honey tastes so different from the rural honey in this area.
    If you stop by the market, please identify yourself and we will talk bees.