Some of the most helpful residents of our yard are too plentiful to name or even number: the bees who keep our raspberry patch humming.
We rarely see honeybees. We sometimes see a tiny bee we have yet to identify. Most of our friends are bumblebees, but they are quite docile. Sometimes early in the morning we catch them sleeping on the leaves, which we find quite cute.
This is the raspberry patch we share. We moved here four Februarys ago and brought a few dozen mature plants with us. Despite pruning and periodically giving plants away, we still have little to no space between bushes, and must carefully lift branches to move through and pick berries. This isn’t so bad, though, because we have to lift branches to check underneath for berries anyway; we just have to be careful of breakage as we walk between. As we do this, the bees ignore us or simply fly to one of the many other bushes.
This is what happens to the berries right now: straight into the freezer.
First they get spread out on a plate (or a baking sheet if there are a lot that day), so they freeze separately. If you dump them into a container without doing this, you will get one giant clump of berry.
When the individual berries have frozen, they go into Ziploc gallon freezer bags. Sometime this winter they probably will become another batch of wine, but this fall we are doing hard apple cider first.
Next summer I hope to begin beekeeping. In the meantime, we are happy to share our raspberries with our bee friends.