2016 A Year To Forget

I’m back. I have been away from the blog world for a while. 2016 was not a good year personally or bee-wise. At the moment it is snowing, so not a lot to talk about regarding the bees.

Hives in Snow, Brookfield Farm, Maple Falls, WA 2016

Please do not say “let it snow”














My last post was in April, which happens to be the month that my husband was diagnosed with ALS, aka: Lou Gehrig’s Disease.













Ian makes furniture, Sally watches

Ian makes furniture, Sally watches

He died in September, 5 months later, almost to the day.

ALS It’s Not Pretty

ALS is a nasty disease where the muscles stop “listening” to the nerves. Medical science does not know how the disease functions, nor do they have any way to treat it. I will always be grateful to the help and support of the local ALS Society during this time.

The disease takes different people in different ways. Ian lost his fine motor control (finger movements) and slowly the ability to speak. In the end he just stopped breathing. He was able to stay at home until 2 ½ weeks before his death, in hospice. Although his life was short, he did get to live the life he wanted to live, and how many of us can say that?

Neglected Bees

Due to the issues surrounding a partner who is dying I admittedly did not pay enough attention to the bees.

Hives that needed to be split were not.

Russian Queen Disaster – and not from nature

Hives that were split in expectation of 10 Russians queens had to be remerge when the queen supplier neglected to tape the queen cage holder into the box. The queens arrived scattered on the floor of the box, none survived. Neither the supplier nor the shipping company refunded the money, each blaming the other. So I got to pay for dead queens.

I raised no queens this year either, for obvious reasons. Time was always at a loss.

Bears I Can Forgive, Human Thieves I Cannot

Then the crowning hit: I had 20 hives in an outlying bee yard. They’ve been fine for years. I had set the bees for winter: 70 lbs honey each, all with mite away quick strips for the proscribed time and then removed, all with their essential oil sugar patty on their top bars, insulation under their tops. Then disaster in the form of human thieves hit:

First the solar charger/panel which powers the bear fence was stolen

Then they came back and stole honey.
Sadly they were probably beekeepers In some cases entire supers were removed. In others select frames were taken.|In all cases the tops were left on the ground. It rains here, a lot. When I got there I found dead bees in wet hives.

Wishing Everyone A Wonderful 2017

In all 2016 is a year I will chose to forget. But solstice has passed and to me that marks the new year’s beginning. So I’ll end with best wishes to everyone in 2017. May the new year bring great joys and new, positive, adventures. Happy Days from all of us at Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, Maple Falls, Washington:

From the Livestock Guard Dogs:

Brookfield Farm Livestock Guard Dog

Protecting from bears, cougars, coyotes











Livestock Guard Dog Brookfield Farm, Maple Falls, WA

Livestock Guard Dog as Road Block to Goats









Snow dog Brookfield Farm, WA

The pet who walks the 1.5 mile round trip with me.










Cashmere and Saanen kids

Down the Road and Through The Trees











May your holiday meals have been as tasty as the goats found theirs.

They do love their trees

They do love their trees









Wishing you a happy 2017 from all of us at Brookfield Farm Bees And Honey, Maple Falls, Washington.

Hive in Snow, Brookfield Farm, WA 2016

About brookfieldfarmhoney

Brookfield Farm, a small off-grid apiary in Maple Falls, WA focuses on the beauty and bounties of Washington’s wilderness. I sell honey from our bees, whose naturally-treated, antibiotic-free hives are home to bees who fly Washington’s mountains and farmlands. Herbal salves and lip balms from Brookfield beeswax. Delicately infused honeys and vinegars. Varietal honeys from independent Washington beekeepers. Karen Edmundson Bean: beekeeper, photographer. Her love of the wilderness inspires her to discover new ways of bringing the wonders of nature to others. Brookfield Farm : the tastes, textures, sounds, and images of nature.
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10 Responses to 2016 A Year To Forget

  1. Emily Scott says:

    So sorry for your loss. Hope you can find some comfort amongst the bees and your beautiful surroundings.

  2. Bruce says:

    So sad to hear of the loss of your partner. Unfortunately the older we get (I’m old) it seems the more losses we must endure. The very best wishes for 2017 and remember money can’t buy happiness but it can buy goats which is pretty much the same thing.

  3. GillGirl says:

    Please accept our heartfelt sympathy for your loss

    I’m sure 2017 will feel empty

    Our hearts go to you and your family

    Lon and Mary

    Mary Allan aka GillGirl Oo oOo ooO o oo Oo >^^^^(*>


  4. Joan Mistur says:

    Deepest sympathies for your loss. I am a faithful follower of the blog. Can also relate with having a family member suffering with SPMS. The neurological symptoms are similar. Peace in the New Years. Bees have great resilience so do humans.

  5. Donna says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Ian. What an awful disease and such a sad year.

  6. Tom says:

    Sorry to hear of your personal loss and your bee losses. Wishing you the best in 2017.
    God Bless.

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