Is it just me or does fall seem to be arriving faster than usual this year? Although some of the fall wildflowers in my fields seem late and are just hitting their peak, many others are slowly going to seed. My yard is also starting to get its fall coat of leaves as the maple leaves begin to drop.
If you are interested in ordering honey for one of the upcoming local deliveries, I have plenty of available from my July 4 harvest. The bees are still busy working the goldenrods, asters, and other fall wildflowers. The honey they are making now is what they will use over the winter. Over the weekend, I was in the hives seeing how well they were building up their winter stores. I was happy to see that most of the hives have a pretty good supply of honey stored for the winter.
I was also doing mite counts over the weekend to help make sure that the bees are healthy going into winter. Mites are like ticks for bees. Not only can mites directly harm the health of the bees, but they can also transmit viruses to the honey bees which can then pass those viruses to some of our native bees. So, for many reasons, it is important to keep mite populations as low as possible.
Fall is the time of the year when mite populations can quickly get out of control because the bee populations are naturally getting smaller while the mite populations are still growing. I was happy to see that most of my hives have very low numbers, but I do have one problem hive that I’ll need to treat. A month ago, this hive was well below the treatment threshold for mite populations (I do monthly mite checks), but in just a few weeks its situation has drastically changed. Knowing that situations like this are possible is why I monitor my mite populations so closely.
The ducks are continuing to produce a few eggs each day, but that number is dwindling with the cooler temperatures and shorter days. Some people put artificial lights and heat on their chickens or ducks to get them to lay more consistently all year long, but I allow my ducks to have a natural break in their laying cycle. If you want to order duck eggs for the next round of local deliveries, let me know early so I can get you on the list. I am currently only selling duck eggs in half dozen cartons, because my egg carton supplier is out of stock and has been since at least July when I first tried to re-order cartons. The newest estimate for when the dozen cartons will be back in stock is mid-November, but that date has already been pushed back twice.
I’m also starting to put the nursery to bed for the year and to make plans for next year. This will be the last local delivery of the year to order native plants. I only have approximately 15 species available this time. Even if the plants weren’t going dormant, I don’t recommend planting perennials past early to mid-October. You want their roots to have time to get established before the ground freezes.
My next local deliveries will be Tuesday, Oct. 6 (Bowling Green) and Wednesday, Oct. 7 (Glasgow). The full list of everything I’ll have available for the Oct. 6 and 7 deliveries can be found at: https://shannontrimboli.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Grassy-Roads-Farm-and-Busy-Bee-Nursery-Order-Form_13.pdf. The pdf also includes delivery times and locations for each date. The deadline to place an order is 8:00 a.m., Monday, Oct. 5. Let me know if you have any questions.