Garden

Servitude

A fellow gardener at work gave me two muscadine vines a few weeks ago. I finally got around to planting them. We decided to plant them in the servitude, since they are supposed to get very large. I just have to remember to water over the fence now. Check out our first batch of pickles too. One more week and they’ll be ready!

20110626-082222.jpg


Honey

The camping trip was awesome! We did lots of hanging out, some canoeing, and even made s’mores & banana boats. Thats right we had a blazing fire and roasted marshmallows in 98 degree weather. Good times! No pictures from that though. Before we left I checked the hive and saw that the rear most comb had fallen. Upon closer inspection it seems it got too hot and the weight of the honey caused it to tear off about an inch from the top bar. It managed to also break the two combs in front of it as well. We cleaned everything up and ha no choice but to harvest the capped honey from the combs. We crushed it through a metal strainer then filtered the rest through a cheesecloth. Ended up with 2lbs of honey. Quite amazing that they did all that and much more still in the hive in 2 months. We also harvested the first cucumber, bell pepper, & lemon boy tomato. Delicious!

20110605-062150.jpg


Garden

The garden is doing well. We snapped a few pictures of the tomatoes. The bees have expanded to take over 2/3rds of the hive space. No pictures of that though.

20110522-083455.jpg


Comb collapse

One of the combs we straightened in the hive fell down. I wanted to save it, but the fall and subsequent heat bent it beyond use. Fortunately it was only partially filled with brood. The good news is we filled it with an empty bar and I can already see new comb being drawn out.

20110512-101341.jpg


Front garden

We wrapped up on the front garden this weekend. We pulled out all the old red mulch & dead plants; put down weed block & planted a bunch of perennials. We also pulled up all the edging and re-laid it straight and level. This should make it pretty bullet proof so we can focus on the garden that we can eat from!

20110423-104245.jpg

20110423-104231.jpg

20110423-104212.jpg


Bee inspection

We checked the bees again today. Everything is on track. There is capped larvae, which means the queen was successfully accepted and is laying! I learned a valuable lesson about having enough smoker fuel before beginning an inspection. I ran out while putting the last comb in and the ladies got a bit fussy. Luckily Amanda was there to help out. The pictures show the first and third bars of comb. There is a mix of pollen and larvae throughout. You can see bee larvae in the cells in the third picture.



Garden progress

I built a base for the radial arm saw so I’ll be able to roll it out of the shed to work on things. Now I don’t have to cleanup the shed every time, I have better light, and ventilation. We built a 3 foot tall 12 foot long trellis from scraps in the shed for the mirliton vine to grow on.
The bees are crazy busy. They have 7 combs drawn out and are working on 8.

20110410-065605.jpg

20110410-065648.jpg

20110410-065838.jpg


We have comb

We pulled out the comb for inspection today to see how things are going. I believe all is well. I saw what I think is brood comb on the first bar with larvae in it. I didn’t see any capped cells, but from what I understand they don’t get capped until day 8 and we are only on day 10 of this whole project. I didn’t actually see any larvae, but there were many dark areas in the comb that look like the pictures I’ve seen. And you could see workers with their heads buried in the cells, presumably feeding the young. The were very well behaved and mostly just buzzed around cause I was pulling the walls of their house apart. I’ll have to check them again next weekend.

20110409-104904.jpg

20110409-104915.jpg

20110409-104924.jpg


Busy bees

A quick video of the bees coming and going. This is the scene all day long. The sunnier it is the busier they are.


Top bar hive

The hive is almost complete. I just need to shingle the roof and make the top bars.
We also got the rest of the garden planted. Green beans and pickling cucumbers rounded it out. We also built a smaller compost holding bin from left over fence board trimmings. Those are turning out to be quite handy.

20110327-095447.jpg

20110327-095455.jpg