Quick update on the bees: I am happy to report that the test went well yesterday (big thanks to Betsy for providing an extra set of hands to get the bees in the jar) and the bees that were tested were mite-free! Well, there may have been one mite. I have really good eyesight, and what I saw against the white pan was a lot tinier than the mites I’ve seen before out at Randy’s bee yard, but it was round and reddish in color. In any case, even if there was just one, it was a pretty good result. Since I had the hives open, I pulled out some brood frames and they looked great. Lots of brood, lots of eggs, honey being stored and tons of yellow pollen. I was expecting to see some purple pollen because the bees are really in the pink clover, Spanish lavender, and vetch right now.
There is also a bit of scotch broom about (a nasty, hayfever-inducing invasive that happens to be very very yellow and sweet smelling). Sadly I don’t see the bees getting into the seas of lupine rolling across our meadows right now. Bumble bees yes, but not the honey bees. What a delicacy lupine honey would be! At least, I think it would be. Lupine are my absolute favorite wildflowers and I love everything about them; their delicate sweet scent, their deep royal purple, the cute rabbitfoot shape of the individual blossoms. I can only hope they make honey to match.