Thursday, October 11, 2012

One last quick beemanuver

Howdy neighbors :)
So I did my final check of my two off-farm hives late last week and found them in not-so-great shape... Neither of the hives have not even filled their two boxes even close to full of drawn comb... One if them hasn't even finished one box worth of comb and has barely any honey stores and also seems to be infested by small hive beetles... Although my brother Donald (whos backyard this particular hive is in) suggested that I simply administer a hearty dose of Yoko Ono to get rid of the be(a)tles, i have a feeling that not much can be done to save this hive (not even yoko)... In weighing my options I though about feeding them some sugar syrup... but many of the beekeepers who follow the treatment free line of thinking that I am following advise against doing this in periods of dearth (that is no nectar is flowing) lest you set off robbing and weaken the hive even more... There aren't many bees in that perticular hive... So I guess what I'm likely going to do is close it up for the winter and hope for the best... This hive had been fairly puny in population from the get go and they got a late start in June when I installed them... It doesn't seem there is much to be done at this point besides crossing my fingers for'em... The other hive at my friend's homestead is doing slightly better, if for no other reason because they don't have a beetle problem... They have a much larger population, and the comb they do have drawn seems to have plenty of honey and brood (baby bees)... I have much hope that they will get through the winter... Before I could get back to the farm and do the final check on my 3 home hives the rain started to fall and the beetending had to be put on hold... It's been mostly raining since then and I've also been slightly under the weather myself... Today the sun is shining and my nasal passages are going a bit more gentle on me, so when I get back from lennon's Lego-engineering class I think I just might mosey on out and see what the state of the union is in the honeybee harems... :) I also will likely pop the combs from my lone little topbar nucleus (small starter) hive into their final home: the groovy new hive my younger brother Andrew is putting the finishing touches on up in the workshop... That's all for now, perhaps a further update will go up later on the results of this afternoons adventures :)
Be well all!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Whatta melon!

Harvested watermelons a couple days ago and later this afternoon I am going to tackle them in my canning kitchen. I am looking for interesting and unusual ideas for what to do with them... So far I've got watermelon jelly, zesty watermelon jelly, frozen pops, and pickled rinds.... Suggestions are most welcome! Thank you friends!

One of my most successful crops, and I planted them late, spaced them inadequately and tried to move the overcrowded vines a couple times killing a bunch of the growing melons.... And still got way more melons than I imagined! Plants amaze me. :))))

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