God’s creation is amazing. The colors, tastes, and smells of every season change to reflect the changing temperatures and feelings of fall and the coming winter. As we enter into the fall season, of course pumpkin spice or salted caramel are all-the-craze.
When beekeepers think of fall, they think of something else. This is where God displays his sense of humor and throws us for a loop. The smell of fall in the bee yard is that of stinky socks. Yes, that’s correct, stinky socks.
First year beekeepers often freak out their first fall as they think something is terribly wrong just before their girls settle down for a long winter rest. I remember the first time I smelled it in my hives. It was unmistakable. The bees however, are hard at work bringing it in as one of the very few sources of nectar and pollen that the months of September and October have to offer.
This source is called Golden Rod. It’s a yellow weed that flowers on roadsides, fields and even in my overgrown chicken coop this time of year. It’s listed as an invasive species, but it’s prized as the last chance for colonies to stock up before spring.
The taste, well… it’s… acquired. Some folk say they love it. But some folks like scotch too and I don’t. Some beekeepers sell out every year. Does it taste like stinky socks? No. It’s pungent and “full”, but no sock taste.
So, when you are sipping your caramel dulce latte or spiced cider and enjoying the crisp, refreshing change of season, revel in the fact that you don’t have to smell a laundry basket of dirty socks for the next 4 months.