Dandelion Harvest, Defensive Bees and Garden Blankets

I was bummed to find that there are not a lot of dandelions on our property. One of the first exercises in one of my herbal medicine  books is a dandelion tincture. I had to skip it because I couldn’t find any at hand.

Today I went to Amie’s kindergarten school to pull the weeds in the little garden – that garden is entirely a volunteer effort and of course I volunteered. What did I find? Heaps of dandelions!

I pulled all of them, since they’re considered weeds, but left some roots and pieces of root in the ground (sometimes by choice but mostly because they’re difficult to pull in their entirety), so they can come up again in the Spring. I’m waiting to hear from the school whether any herbicide, pesticide, fertilizer, etc. has been used on that garden in the last few years. If not, I’ll make tincture and dry some of the roots and leaves.


It was over a month since I last checked up on my bees. I got a chance to do so this morning: no wind, sunny, 62F / no coughing, runny nose, head ache / a stretch of free time. I planned a nice long, full inspection of both nest boxes.

But man were those bees defensive! The moment I started prying off the inner top cover at least ten of them came flying at my veil, aiming straight for my face. It got worse when I pulled out the first frame. I’ve never seen them (and heard them, a crazy hum) like that. So I chickened out decided it was probably a bad time for a big inspection. Their stores are full with essential food  for the winter, no wonder they don’t want anyone pulling frames!

Yesterday I dropped my parents off at the airport and then drove into Cambridge to see Thomas Seeley speak about his latest book, Honeybee Democracy, at the Harvard Museum of Natural History (yes, parking was crazy but I was lucky). Fascinating! I’m writing up a report of the talk for my local Beekeepers Association and will publish it here as well.


We’re having some nice weather but the temperature drops a fair bit at night. No frost yet, but close. So the newly transplanted spinach and broccoli seedlings got fresh blankets. My mom and I translated the spinach , broccoli and kale, and still have to move in the mache, claytonia and chard. Then I will also sow carrots and peas, etc. in beds outside the hoop house, for the coming Spring. The tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in the hoop house and even in the outside beds are still going strong. Hopefully we’ll have the doors on the hoop house in time for the first frost.

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  1. I didn’t realize how far behind I am on reading blog posts. Great score on the dandelions. I see them around the place and haven’t utilized them at all, yet. Hopefully next year I won’t feel so disorganized with my routine!

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