Happy Thanksgiving! I am rejoicing in the grace of God poured out on us this year in respect to our honeybees. We were able to harvest enough wildflower honey to supply our big family until next year’s harvest, and still have some to sell. The bees stayed semi-busy through the part of the summer that is often dry. Toward fall, however, I realized that some of the hives really needed more food supplies for winter. I fed them back some of the valuable harvested honey as well as some sugar syrup and now they seem healthy and sufficiently prepared for winter. The honey was valuable, but I am committed to giving the bees what is best for them.
I heard a different story from other beekeepers. Some of my beekeeping friends reported no honey in their hives at all and little to no harvest. “I wish I had started feeding my hives a lot earlier” said one. When I went to the state meeting I heard the same reports from other beekeepers. My gratefulness for what God had provided was increasing. Then I began to hear about the honey crop nation wide. I read reports like “second poorest honey crop in the beekeeping history of Iowa”, and “in most parts of the country, a horrendous year for honey production”, and “perhaps the lowest estimate of a honey crop ever”. The most recent report was that “some are saying this may be their poorest honey crop on record”. Yikes! We might not have harvested as much as we would have liked, but I am feeling very grateful that God has blessed us so much. I was happy to hear that despite the low honey harvest in general, the overall health of honeybee colonies is reported to be good. It sounds like most beekeepers are carefully looking out for their bees.