This year we’re getting to our season newsletter on time, despite the season being equally busy!
Our spring began with Erika & I arriving home from our working holiday in Tasmania to the unexpected shock of a cousin passing away. Time marched on, and the happy news of Erika’s pregnancy was shared among the family in early summer, bringing joy and excitement of the first grandchild on both sides of the family. When Erika told her younger brother that the baby was the size of a blueberry, he was entirely grossed out by that detail, and the following morning, guess what was served for breakfast? Through the pregnancy baby has been known as blueberry, despite growing to the size of a pumpkin. Little blueberry is now known as Finnian Andreas Roth born on November November 20th. He is keeping us on our toes and is a bundle of joy we couldn’t imagine one day without anymore.
We had a hugely successful 100th anniversary “Honey Festival” event this summer, with a planned attendance of 500 and a final estimate that around 700 people in our surrounding community came out to learn about bees and sample delicious foods! We want to extend a thank you to all our vendors, volunteers and sponsors. Without the help and commitment of our family, friends and business contacts, this event would not have gone so well.
In bee-related news, we experienced 30% winter loss and were thankful that we weren’t among the beekeepers reporting 70% losses this spring. The spring weather was up and down, which caused the bees some trouble as they tried to build up population and get started for their busy summer. This resulted in a very small golden ‘wildflower’ honey crop. Our bees built up on the honey flow instead of building up for it. Many beekeepers we’ve spoken to, had a similar year and golden honey is scarce in Ontario this year.Fortunately, the season picked up in mid-summer, and we were able to harvest a reasonable crop of white ‘clover’ honey. Though smaller than our average the crop wasn’t far off and we have enough to get by. one day without anymore.
The final new experience this year is with our staff. Jodi has decided to begin her own beekeeping operation, focusing on queen and nuc production. With this change we have hired our first non-family employee, Cassandra, who is now training to take over Jodi’s position here at Nith Valley Apiaries. We are excited to see all the new ideas Cassandra is bringing to our little business! It is truly a good thing to introduce new eyes to an established operation, because the clogs in production get noticed again, reminding us of the progress we have made, but also the end efficiency we are working towards. Not to mention, having the extra staff member is allowing us to get back-burner projects completed, and things like this newsletter written before the new year!
In reflection, our year has certainly been a full one, with the complete gamut of emotions and experiences. We are thankful for our family and looking forward to the new year with our little bundle of joy (and poop).
We wish you happiness throughout your holiday season and all the best as you move into a new year.