Monday, March 30, 2009
There are flowers blooming, tiny avocados forming. And the other day I witnessed an amazing spring phenomena- honey bees swarming! First, I thought, "boy, the bees sure are active today." Then, suddenly there were thousands, maybe tens of thousands of bees all circling above our yard- a huge vibrating, humming column. It freaked out the neighbors. I called Kim, and she asked me to try to see where they landed so she could catch them and start a new hive with them. They seemed to be congregating near a branch of the avocado tree. Soon I could see them starting to form a ball on the branch. I called Kim to tell her, but then when I looked back a couple of minutes later, the bees were gone. I hope they found a good home.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
There was so much honey in the super, that we took one frame. We didn't take all of it, because Kim wanted to experiment with using the honey as a queen excluder. She took off the excluder before we closed up the hive. We'll see if we get larvae in the honey now!
Something interesting about this frame of honey is that you can see where the bees gorged themselves on honey before they swarmed.
Here is the capped honey. The bees cap it when it is finished. The super should have been full of capped honey.
Here is a close up on that mark that you can see on the full frame. The honey has been uncapped, and the cells have been completely cleaned out! When the bees swarm they gorge themselves on honey so that they have enough food to spend the next couple of days looking for a new home, without eating.
Gorging themselves also stimulates wax production, so they will be ready to rebuild as quickly as possible when they find their new home.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
When Jonathan had the day off on Friday he noticed a crazy event: our bees swarmed! Hopefully he will write about it.
Kim and I opened the hive on Saturday to see what was going on.
We found: one FULL honey super (each frame is maybe 5 pounds of honey, and there are nine frames) and a LOT of bees. How can there still be so many after half of them already took off?
We poked around a little bit, and here is some of what we saw.
They are looking healthy and invigorated! They were also very understanding and gentle. It was so amazing to see them again.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
There are no more bags of sauce or roasted tomatoes in the freezer.
Tomato plants don't go in for another couple of weeks, and then we still have to wait for them to make tomatoes!
Luckily we still have dried tomatoes (I put some in my soup tonight) and jars of chutney.
The goal is not unlike shuffleboard. We definitely do not want to generate freezer build up, but we still want to get the food to last throughout the year. We're trying to hit that line without going over it. We did pretty well this year, finishing off the sauce in the end of March. Let's see what we can do next year!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Two regular eggs today and one tiny one!
Look at the one in the middle.
I think that this may be The Flash's first egg.
First eggs are often odd. It takes a little while for chicken's bodies to learn to make eggs.
Sometimes they are funny shapes, or odd sizes, like this one, or sometimes they have incomplete shells.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
During half time we ate a delicious lunch on the beautiful grounds of the school and looked at displays about honey bees.