Summer SLUGger Jenny here with some very exciting updates about the garden and the bees! Those of you in the Lawrence area may have noticed people walking a little taller, with a bit more skip in their step, a smile on their face, and (most importantly) a jar of what might be described as Liquid Gold in their hands.That’s right! The SLUG bees are making honey like it’s nobody’s business! They are healthy and strong and happy, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.
Let’s start with a recent history lesson of our apiary, which can be found behind Hiett Hall enclosed in a nice and protective white fence. When I personally began my infancy as a beekeeper last summer, we had one lonely but strong hive we named Kristin. During this summer we were also fortunate to get connected with a local beekeeper named Larry Cain. Larry has been so SO helpful in getting our apiary back to the strength it is today.
To make a year long story short, our one hive became three, the new hives named GusAnn and Laurel. Winter came and our bees huddled together for warmth in Larry’s ‘bee-garage’. Kristin lost her queen and was split and combined to make a new hive we named Abeegail. The three remaining hives are now buzzing and thriving beyond anyone’s expectations. Slugger Gil and I have been having a blast hanging out with these spritely gals and harvesting the delicious honey they are continuously making.Our first harvest consisted of just about 70 pounds of honey. We were even able to use Larry’s fancy new electronic honey extractor, which uses centrifugal force to extract honey from 9 frames at a time! A sure upgrade from our own hand-cranked, two frame extractor. There is nothing more satisfying than watching that pure honey pour out of the spout and fill up a big 5-gallon bucket.We expect to make another harvest of honey within the next week, and likely one or two more after that before the campus fills up with Lawrentians for the start of the 2016-17 school year. The honey will be sold every Wednesday in the garden from 8am-10am and at Griff’s Grill from 11:30am-1pm.
Wishing everyone a cool and exciting end of July!
xoxo – gardener Jenny