Aloha! We just returned from a whirlwind trip to Arkansas, Washington DC, New York City and up the coast to Maine. It is amazing to see what has changed on the farm in two short weeks. When you don't look at something everyday change is more evident. The white pineapple has gotten huge! It still isn't ripe yet but it is looking like it will be a giant that weighs in around 5 pounds. I'll let you know when it's ready and take pictures.
The macadamia nut trees are blooming again. It has been a long season of bloom this year. Sometimes they bloom all at once, and other years they kind of just keep going. We harvested honey right before we left and it was mostly the lehua/wildflower blend this time. No too much macadamia. A few gallons of pure lehua was a bonus.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, we stopped Bemis Tree Farm to see how their bees were doing (bemistreefarm.com). They are doing great, they have just put in a few more hives and are setting up a large store for bee supplies. They have a huge tree farm and put in a pumpkin patch every year! They were working on the store when we got there and we had a really nice visit with the owners. It was strange to look at all the bee feeding supplies that are needed on the mainland. We don't have to feed our bees in Hawaii as they don't have to winter over. Something is always blooming for them to gather nectar from.
In Washington DC, we visited the National Arboretum, which was amazing! I felt like we were home in Hawaii in the Orchid Room. They also had a native Hawaiian plant room, which wasn't very large as most of our plants have been imported. When we were walking up on the second tier or the main greenhouse we came upon a sign that said "Look out the window". They had set up a couple of honey bee hives and had a nice informational placard about them.
In Maine, an acquaintance of the family had just lost all their hives during the winter, 25 of them. I feel so lucky to be raising bees in paradise! We have to battle the beetles, mites, and moths, but at least we don't have to worry about the winter months. When we got home all our 25 hives were busy and healthy.
I had better get to work picking up all the nuts that fell while I was gone! A farmers work is never done. I'll be getting back to you soon. Wendy, our bossy hen, is dreaming up some contest for a sample pack of honey and candles. She wants to pick the winning name from all the people who have "liked" our Facebook page. I'll have to film that occasion for you. Stay tuned!