As spring moves into summer here in northwest Washington, the grass grows – with authority. What looked like a tidy-ish bee yard one week can be a jungle two weeks later. So armed with my trusty power scythe, I headed out for the bee yards. This is one of those things that folks do not mean when they say “I’d like to spend a day with a beekeeper.”
First the before and after shots of one of my down-river bee yards:
The yard needed a bit of a trim
After the Clearing
As you can see, the grass in the bee yard gets quite tall
The bees have challenges at their lower entrances.
They do all have an upper entrance as well, but even in tall grass, they seem to like the lower one.
It’s a lot of work, but it is made easier by my Husqvarna power scythe.
The Power Scythe
I love it, but they seem to be made for folks over five foot seven inches. I wind up hoisting it up into uncomfortable positions to make it work. But it does the job.
Surprisingly, the bees don’t seem to mind the noise or the blade, even when it is right in front of them. Which means that I can do this without a bee suit (or as I call it on hot days: the wearable sauna).
Tee-Shirt days in the bee yard
The warm days help.
I try to clear the grass on warm days when the bees are otherwise occupied pulling in nectar and honey, so that could be the reason for the total disregard of the noise and moving blades.
They seem pretty happy when I’m done –
Bees Flying Clear and Free
A return to normal northwest Washington weather:
We are now back into our “normal” June weather: wet and cold. Which means the grass is getting nicely watered to continue its summer growth. Oh well, that’s nature.
We’re almost on the solstice – so happy summer to those in the north, and a hoping a gentle winter to those in the south. Happy solstice to all.