Sunday, 20 June 2010

Of Beekeeping and Enchanted Groves

by, Danelle Stamps at The Stamps Family Farm (My Total Perspective Vortex)

Most of the week our farm has looked like this. We have had a lot of rain, flash flooding, 50-70 MPH winds, and in general a whole lot of mud sloppery. Our pigs are in hog heaven with all the mud and cool rain. Our tomatoes also seem to like it. Two of our bean beds were washed out and I missed the window for a lot of things to be planted. Now the ground is WET and more than wet. I can't plant beans in a marsh. So instead of wallowing in the mud I decided to get things done that I can do in this weather. Paint the kitchen. Make jam. Play with and read to my lovely children. Run outside and quickly do bee chores when we get an hour of calm sunshine.

One of the sunny hours I rushed out to do bee chores and Lily grabbed the back up camera to take a couple pictures of mama in the spacesuit. 

You will see that I do not wear a full suit. I still wear gloves and the veil and the white shirt though. I found that my normal clothes are too predator like in colour. Also that the bees get stuck in my hair. My hand are too busy for their liking as well. This is the get up that prevents me from getting stung. I also usually wear boots, but I forgot and wore rubber clogs and was totally fine. Also, I work the back of the hives because my belly and my knee tend to bump the front and that makes them get buzzing more.

I also had to add a box. The cranky hive (the ladies that gave me 10 stings) was finally full and needed more room.  The boxes are beautiful. I am so glad I am apprenticing with Sean at Blue Gate Farm. He really puts a lot of care into the construction of the hives and doesn't mind that I get chatty and ask a lot of questions.

Lily took this picture. She says its proof the grove is enchanted and full of faeries.  My Aunt Deedle will appreciate this, she's a big believer in cameras capturing the supernatural. I think it's poor lighting and a 1.2 MP with a dirty lens. Still, it does look magical in real life too. Minus the ghost bubbles. (Also, see the mud in the foreground? The whole farm is a marsh.)

We chose this grove because of the trees that block the Western sun and the trees that block the Northern wind.  It is near a water source, but not too close that they would be flooded. Close enough to the house to check on easily. An opening enough to keep mowed and relatively flat ground. It was all just right. Just so right.

Hope the weather is treating you all well!