Thursday, August 16, 2012

20,000 tiny deaths in the family

OK, so I have some sad news I have been saving up.......we acknowledge the passing of Dear Queen Malina on the Front Deck and 20,000 of her best friends.

The girls didn't make it though winter.......

The forensic investigation is considering a number of possibilities.......when I checked the hive just before winter, I noticed a few strange things....there had been a massive die off of worker bees.....lots of their dried out bodies up above the queen excluder......and most of the extra honey stores I was planning on harvesting were gone.......I put this down to a wee bit of poisoning.......Mr Duck had oiled the decking around the hive, AND there had been lots of resealing of the roads in the suburb.....both of these could have set the girls back a bit.

Also, during this little peek I saw HRH Queen Malina herself! This was unexpected as I had assumed she would have been replaced by a daughter long before now.....she is a almost three years old. I was NOT expecting to see her little white dotty back at all.

So it is possible she was failing as the hive went into winter.......and that there were perhaps not enough girls in the hive or honey stores to get them through......

Anyhooo, the hive is empty and silent.

When I get around to it I will take the hive apart and check it more thoroughly, and get it ready for a new swarm in the spring.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Winter Greens

OK, so remember those wicking garden beds I was putting in.......well, they were great over summer and have been even better over winter. The covers are actually pretty good at keeping the frost out and the warmth in.

We have had cut and come again lettuce pretty much all winter.......

 And for the first year I have grown valeriana or corn salad....It is really only getting a kick along now. I think I planted it a bit too late.......

 And this is something new.....miners lettuce. It is really nice to eat and has the same cut and come again characteristics that are so valuable in winter.......

Baby spinach has been crisp and sweet. I have just planted some more rows of seeds in the spaces. Its not too late to get a second crop of spinach in the ONC.

 Yummi. What a great selection for my green smoothies and salads each day!