Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday in Pictures

Eric and I moved Queen Atalia and her girls to the new (old) hive. What do you think of the colours? The girls got a bit of a shock as they returned to the hive with their saddle bags full of pollen. We left the old landing board out the front to help them work out where the new entrance is, and I have just taken it away now that it is dark.

We also gave her another two frames of honey and about 4 half frames of brood in various stages of hatching. The honey frames are in the bottom brood box, along with everything that Atalia and her girls have been doing. There are two half frames of hatching brood from Eric's bees in the super. I will remove these and the super in about 5 days, once all the new bees have hatched and wandered down into the brood box with the others.

By this afternoon the ants had rediscovered the hive with a vengeance - so back with the moat idea. I am thinking I will replace the water for vegetable oil, as the girls are attracted to the water and end up drowning.

I didn't' see Atalia today, however I could see her new brood, and those little white grubby things seemed to be developing nicely. The girls are making lots of bee bread (pollen) and everyone is still calm and relaxed - even with the quite significant mucking abouts in their hive. I mean, some of those girls left a little one bedroom apartment this morning and came back to a 5 bedroom McMansion!

In between bee relocations, behold this delicious batch of cinnamon walnut scrolls. They taste as good as they look believe me.
The rest of the day was spent visiting Allsun Organic Farm at Gundaroo as part of the Canberra Open Garden Scheme. It was interesting to see a commercial size organic farm in operation. The Allsun folks supply a number of shops and restaurants and for 7 months of the year, provide fruit and veggie boxes to families locally and in Canberra. Everything looked pretty healthy if not just a little bit Italian with all those straight rows and no mulch. The whole farm is solar powered too. Looking at their movable meat and egg chook paddocks, it made me realise how spoilt my chookies are! All that shade and undergrowth and green stuff to eat.

Tomatoes in a tunnel plus mobile insect control.

Spinach and another tunnel

Potatoes and pumpkin

groovy Passive Solar glass house

Eggplants and Caps in another tunnel

Cool huh?


sherd said...

Hey lovely,
I stop the ants getting at my worm farm and lime tree and various other things with masking tape turned inside out and wrapped around. They can't get over the stickiness and it lasts longer and is less messy than a moat.
If you were to start a commercial scale organic farm I'd totally come and work for you.

The Magic Onions said...

Lovely, sunny, fresh photos... thanks for sharing them.

The Duck Herder said...

Hey there Miss Sherdie! Thats a good idea for the ants - I would be scared the bees might get stuck too though..... but it is still a very good idea. Luckily, the new moat arrangement is working very well - for some reason the plastic on this second dish / lid is OK for the bees to walk on - so they can still get a drink but don't drown. And it is quite nice watching three species of ant walking around and around the lid not being able to get in!

And if you ever happened to own a SE QLD hinterland comercial food forest, I would come work for you too! Espciecally if it involved Avocados and/or mangoes.....

hmmmm, avocados......

And why thankyou Magic Onion!