Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bee Confessions

Reprinted with kind permission from: http://emsnews.wordpress.com/

Sometimes I sit on the deck with a mug of chai just watching my bees.

I can sit for HOURS (well, minutes actually) with my ear pressed up against the ventilation hole on the hive just listening to the gentle but powerful humming and thrumming of Queen Atalia and her hive.

If I press my eye up against the ventilation hole on one side of the lid, with the light streaming in the hole on the opposite site of the lid, I can see my girls moving over the tops of the frames going about their bee business. And this makes me VERY happy.

Sometimes I rest my hand on the deck out the front of the hive entrance so I can feel the gentle wind from the bees wings as they come in to land.

No matter where I am in a 3km radius of home, I just assume all bees are my bees and greet them all with a heat felt "Hello my darling" just in case.

that is all.

The Rocketeer is BACK



Friday, August 14, 2009

Queen Atalia Reigns Supreme

These photos are from Wednesday. As soon as there is a bit of warmth or sun the girls are up and at it. Some days they just go nuts.

I wish I had a camera with a zoom. I am still feeding them from time to time. At bee club last night I learnt all about how this is the time that most hives die. (Don't worry Queen Atalia - not on MY WATCH)
I am excited and fearful about opening the hive. There seem to be SO MANY MORE BEES than in autumn. I have a small problem. The new supers I bought still stink of turpentine and linseed oil. I think I need to get some more boxes and just oil or paint the outsides. My little girls are RARING to go and I think they will run out of room if I don't have some boxes ready and waiting for when the weather gets warm and the nectar starts flowing. But I won't be able to check for a few more weeks yet - its still too cold to open the hive even for a peak. Did you know it's 37.4 degrees in there?
In other news, I became a "swarm collectors apprentice" last night. How cool is that?

Friday, August 7, 2009

soil blockers are HERE

So, whats that?

Hopefully that's my new soil blockers - all the way from the UK!

Oh, what are they?

Well,. they are little thingies to make soil blocks to plant seeds in. Look, there is a tiny one and a bigger one.


I know!

So how did you go?

Well, OK on my first attempt. I need some practice with making the soil mix I think. I used a mix of very fine compost from work, some coconut fibre and some sand. OH, and a bit of dolomite and seaweed. I think the tiny block mix needs to be quite wet and dense - less coco perhaps, and the bigger blocks perhaps need more coco...... Its all a bit exciting though. No plastic, no transplant shock. There is even a little attachment for the larger blocker that makes an indent the same size as the tiny ones on the top, so that I can stick the tiny soil blocks directly into the larger ones - sort of planting on the best seedlings.....

cool huh!

You take this whole food production thing very seriously don't you?

I guess.....!