Visiting the bees at Good Nature Orchards

Posted on May 24, 2009

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About a week ago I ran into Ken Kamp at the market and asked him how things were going at his Good Nature Orchards. Were his bees able to warm up enough to get out to work at their pollination jobs? No problem, he told me. He put up shelters around the hives.  Really, I said. That sounds interesting. Feel free to wander around taking pictures, he said. So that is how Miss Sadie, the Cowboy and I happened to be in Ken Kamp’s orchard on a partly cloudy, completely blustery day.

I have devised a new technique for walking the dogs. I hitch their leashes together and let them walk each other while I trail along behind. It slows them down a bit as they wander off in different directions and get themselves hung up in the underbrush. Someday Miss Sadie will probably figure out that if they work as a team they can escape at high speed. The saving grace will be that neither will consent to be the team follower, so I’ll find ’em wrapped around a birch tree anyway, a woodpecker laughing at them from above. I digress. There we were, walking through the orchard.

Goin' for a walk

Sure enough, big sheets of plywood leaned against the west side of the beeboxes, sheltering them from the winds off the Bay.  Nothing fancy, just recycled pieces, one painted with a cheerful orange and black GO ELKS (no, not the elk at Conant’s elk ranch—the local high school athletic teams).

Exploring the beehives

Waste not want not

Bees were humming all around us.  Naturally the Cowboy managed to slip his collar while Miss Sadie and I were taking pictures of the bee shelters.  He found something smelly to roll in.  (This is not hard to do in an orchard, as growing fruit requires the application of quantities of fertilizer.  Ah, the romance of spring blossoms!)

Oh bliss oh joy

Retrieved and re-hitched to Miss Sadie, he simmered down and we practiced Coming When Called.

Ears a-flappin'