Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Honkers flying south. The sound of a big flock flying over is thrilling, but there's always a touch of melancholy in it. A beautiful song in a minor key.

Paul Maki stopped by and helped me harvest honey. I didn't get quite as much as I had hoped for as many of the frames were only partially filled and uncapped. I think I erred on the side of caution when I added extra supers before the bees had completely filled those that were on the hives. I was afraid they would swarm without the extra room.
Next year I'm going to buy a pair of leather gloves that bees can't sting through. The cheap pair I have now are made of rubberized canvas that a few determined bees inevitably find a way to stab through. Of course it usually happens when you're lifting a heavy super that you can't afford to drop. If all you have is single frame in your hands like I am holding here you can usually brush off the bee that's trying to sting through the material before it nails you.
One of the interesting things I've noticed about bees is that they seem to get more riled up if you knock them off a frame by tapping it against a super than they do if you simply brush them off with a brush. Not that it makes a huge difference, when you're robbing honey it seems like there are plenty of bees that would like to sting you.

Uncapping frames and cranking the extractor. It tends to run out of balance so the boys took turns holding it while the other turned the crank.

Another spinning machine. The chirp in our dryer got so bad that I was forced to do something. I took it apart and found out that they no longer make the replacement parts I need. I haven't given up on it yet, but at least I don't have to listen to that maddening squeak any longer. I began to understand why some people haul their old dryers out into the woods and roll them down into the steepest ravine they can find. There must be certain satisfaction to that. I'm not advocating it, but perhaps the thought will help you feel less judgmental toward the poor slobs who dump their trash in the woods. Some of them must've really had a bad day.

Marja's sourdough rye bread. As good as anything you'll find in Finland.

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