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By Greg Spinks Community blogger
Greg Spinks is a Crawford County blogger.   Read more about this blog.

The Spring without a Buzz… just a Lot of Rain

 

 

French Creek in Venango Township, Erie County, left it's banks June 6 following heavy rains throughout the day.

Spring 2013 has been cold and wet. Well, there were a few nice warm days. Sure, the wet weather will make for a good hay crop in a few weeks. But it has not been real good for much else.

For farmers with fields along creeks, the wet weather has meant some extra work. Some fields will have to be re-planted once the land dries out. The flooding also brought down many fence posts which need to be replaced. Many vegetable and flower gardens are also behind schedule because of the wetter than normal conditions.

Pictured above is French Creek on June 7 in Venango Township, Erie County. The creek left it’s bed following heavy rains on June 6.

UPDATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON June 8 Below are pictures of flooding at Little Conneauttee Creek at Crane Road, just east of Draketown Road and down the hill from Showman’s dairy farm.

Pictures were taken by Allan Montgomery of Edinboro.

Hopefully, the weather will get drier and warmer in time for the local summer camps. Creek Connections has three different camps scheduled for this summer; two focus on 10th and 11th grade students. The third camp is for families to join in the fun and learning. The camps will be headquartered at Allegheny College and provide plenty of outdoor opportunities to explore and learn about the regions woods, medows and creeks. For more information and details about the Creek Connections camps, Summer Camp.

The Crawford County Conservation District is also sponsoring a summer camp. See below for more information under Woodcock Creek Nature Center.

 

On the Wild Side

Beekeepers this spring are dealing with another rather odd event. The honeybee swarms, which usually happen during the spring, have been far and few between. The little swarming activity which has already happened began right around Memorial Day. But swarming activity appears to be well below normal.

A bee swarm is not very aggressive, so if you happen to come across one in the yard or the house, don’t panic. The best course of action is to call a beekeeper.

A swarm is a natural development in the life of a hive and generally occurs when the hive becomes overcrowded. The hive colony basically splits in two; beekeepers can control the swarm in their hives, so it is generally the feral bees.

There could be any number of reasons why the bees have not swarmed as much this spring as usuall. The nectar and pollen produced by the goldenrods last fall wasn’t particularly terrific for the bees. The goldenrods usually provide ample food to get a hive through the winter, but there have been some reports the bees didn’t have enough winter food.

Another possible reason could be the bees have become sickly because of pesticide use both on commercial farms and home gardens. The weather could also be a factor adding to the problem.

Bees are been having a hard time in the last couple years because of mites, pesticides and a still mysterious disease called CCD.

For more information and details on swarms, A Spring without the Buzz. Or attend the lecture at Goodell Gardens this Sunday. See Goodell Garden below.

 

Crawford County Conservation District – Woodcock Creek Nature Center

• “Family Fishing,” Wednesday, June 19, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Join the Crawford Conservation District and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for a late afternoon of instruction, casting and fishing! This program is open to all ages and will be held rain or shine, so come dressed for the weather. All supplies will be provided! You do not need a fishing license for this PA Fish and Boat Commission sponsored educational event. NOTE: SPECIAL REGISTRATION — Please register with the PA Fish and Boat Commission by calling Chad Foster at 814-683-5126 or register online at: http://pfbc.state.pa.us. Do not call the Nature Center for this registration!

• “Bat Wayside Kickoff—Bat Count Event,” Wednesday, June 26, 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The Woodcock Creek Nature Center has installed a NEW Bat Wayside on the grounds! Come and join us for a preview and for a wonderful bat program by Terry Lobdell. Be prepared to count bats with us at dusk to see how many live in the Nature Center bat boxes. What a fun family adventure!

• “Down and Dirty” Summer Nature Camp”, June 26, 27, 28 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Searching for some summer fun for your 5 – 8 year olds? The camp is offered by the Crawford Conservation District and hosted by the Army Corps of Engineers. Children will learn basic garden skills through hands-on activities and discover Woodcock as they enjoy hikes, games, stories and crafts at several locations, including both The Woodcock Creek Nature Center and the Bossard Nature Center. T-shirt, water bottle, snack and beverage will be provided. This camp requires a $25 registration fee, due at registration. There is a limit of 25 attendees. Please call 814-763-5269 to obtain a registration form or for more information.

ALL Woodcock Creek Nature Center events require pre-registration. The programs are free and open to the public, unless otherwise specified. Call Kathy Uglow at 814-763-5269 to register or for more information. Event information is also available at http://www.crawfordconservation.com. All children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Please let us know if you require special accommodations.

Fish Habitats

The Pymatuning Lake Association is looking for volunteers to help build fish habitat structures for Pymatuning Reservoir.  All tools, instruction, etc is provided for all volunteers.  You don’t need any special skills to help out, and there are jobs for any skill level.

Date: June 12th from 8am to Noon

Pymatuning Reservoir:

Directions:  Take Rt 285 West across the causeway to the Ohio side of Pymatuning.  Make a left at the first traffic light you come to.  Follow this road south for about 2 miles.  Right after you pass the entrance to the cabin area of the Ohio Campgrounds you will come to a cross roads..  Make a left at this cross roads (Marvin Road on your right and the launch entrance on your left.)  Follow this driveway to the project site.

For more information call 724/927-9493 or visit www.pymatuninglake.com

Beekeepers


Kirk Johnson, the president of the Northwestern Beekeepers Association announced the next meeting of the organization will be on June 15 at 1 p.m. at Troy Bogdan’s farm at 19000 New Richmond Road.

 

Pymatuning

Improve your kayak skills. Bring your own kayak, PFD, water shoes and drinking water. Meet at Beach 2 at 6 pm. On Wednesday, June 12. Call to register of for more information 724.932.3142

Goodell Gardens

 

Sun, June 9, 3pm – 4pm

Where221 Waterford St. (Route 6N), Edinboro, PA 16412 (map)

DescriptionTea Talk: Join the Swarm – Honeybee Bee-havior with apiarist Kirk Johnson Learn about the honeybee’s natural tendency to swarm and the natural way honeybees have evolved to split their hives to insure survival or at best doubling the chance of survival of the hive. Kirk will talk about recent research that has been done on swarming and how the honeybees select a new home. Kirk will also talk about how the beekeeper attempts to stop swarming or catch the swarm. Bee there or bee square. Kirk Johnson, an apiarist, owns Li’l Bit-O-Honey in Edinboro. Fee: $3 for members; $7 for nonmembers. Preregistration required by calling (814)734-6699 or online at Info@goodellgardens.org Includes refreshments from Lakeside Bagel & Deli

Little Conneauttee Creek at Crane Road, just east of Draketown Road and down the hill from Showman’s dairy farm.

 

 

 

Thanks to Allan Montgomery for sharing his photos.

 

 

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