It drives Jim crazy to let a swarm escape, and yesterday he decided to jerry rig yet another pole extension onto his existing “swarm catching pole” and managed to reach the bees that were still clustered up in one of our cedar trees.
Do you see the huge hive just to the left of him? That’s the hive that swarmed. This particular hive is one of the two on this back row of our fence, which doesn’t get full sun. I’m amazed it survived the winter, as you can see, Jim didn’t reduce the supers (the boxes that hold the frames that the bees build comb onto).
The swarm was huge and took three supers to hold them all. I have serious doubts that they will stick around. We have found that the biggest swarms don’t seem to care for re-homing.
The old queen will be with them. Whatever workers they left behind in the original hive will have a new queen that they raised just before the old one absconded with most of the worker bees.
I’m going to make a pot of Lentil Soup today. This is one of my favorite recipes and has been in my recipe box for so long, it goes back to the days when I was a vegetarian. I now add smoked sausage to the recipe, but it’s delicious without it.
CJ’s Lentil Soup
Best started in the morning, and left to simmer all day.
3 cups raw lentils (rinsed)
7 cups vegetable or chicken (or turkey) stock
2 teaspoons salt
Simmer, covered, 3-4 hours. Add more stock or water as needed.
1 pound smoked sausage, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup minced celery
1 cup chopped carrots
Sauté the sausage in butter. Set aside and sauté the veggies. Deglaze the pan with red wine.
Add to the soup the sausage, garlic, onion, celery, carrots and basil along with the pan scrapings, then add the following.
Lots of black pepper
1 can of diced organic tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons dry red wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses or brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
A handful of chopped fresh basil
Serve with freshly chopped scallions and a sliced of toasted sourdough bread slathered in roasted garlic.