> Barefoot in the clover July 19 2013
"You know, when I was a kid, I was afraid to go barefoot in the clover because I'd get stung," people say. "But now, well, I don't see any bees."
Unfortunately, this dearth of bees in the clover is a result of all the hardships honeybees have faced in the past few years. Diseases have wiped out large populations of honeybees, resulting in lawns flecked with nectar-rich clover ... but no honeybees to forage it!
In our Arrington bee yard, things are a little different. We have tons of clover, and there are honeybees all over it. In fact, during mid-summer in Middle Tennessee, many of the big nectar sources have reached the end of their natural season, so we always look forward to the staple of clover to keep our bees happy and fed.
Clover nectar gives our annual summer vintage (harvested in late July or early August) that familiar richness and tang that folks seem to associate with "grandpa's" honey.
On another note, we also look forward to the clover because it turns into a nice excuse for not mowing. Jeff will come home and say something about the yard looking a little tall. He seems reluctant to start up the tractor, so I say, "Yes, I guess it is, but there's a lot of clover coming up."
"Well, I wouldn't want to cut that down, with the bees and all," he says.
"Yeah, that's true," I say, and we decide that leaving nectar for the bees is more important than having a well-manicured yard (can't exactly call it a lawn).
So, if the front yard of our Arrington apiary starts to look a little wild, don't think for a second we're lazy, or even too busy, because it's neither.
We're leaving it for the bees ... and we're not going barefoot.