Tending the bees

  We are waiting patiently (or not so) for the weather to break. Luckily the sun continues to shine which means lots of growth in the greenhouses.

    Checked on the bees yesterday and found good news/bad news. Two of the five hives survived the winter which apparently for this winter is a pretty amazing thing. This year was a really bad year for bees. After talking to some beekeepers we found out that because of the prolonged drought in mid-late summer which “shut down” the bees early (I’m not quite sure what that means, assuming that they stopped foraging for pollen) and the long cold period in late winter,  they could’t get out for their cleansing  flight. (Which upon hearing, I thought, cleansing flight a lovely image but really it means  they we’re unable  to get out on a relatively warm winter day and poop.) Even seasoned beekeepers lost most of their hives. One of our live hives was beautiful.  Happy, gentle bunch of bees who stayed contently in the hive when we open the box and put on a new super for them to move into. They sounded like a well running refrigerator. The other live hive was a different story. As soon as we lifted the cover they were loud and angry like when your car suddenly makes a sound you don’t like. Within 5 seconds we we were surrounded by hundreds of bees. We had on our full suits but still it was intimidating and me allergic to bees and all. We moved quickly but steadily adding a super and brushing bees off each other as we left. (Really we had to go back because we forgot to remove the cover, lift off the new super again, take off the cover and replace the supper. I know, I know…we’re new at this. Then we we’re really covered with bees.)

Planted the cold frames this week:  Brussels sprouts, broccoli, caulifower, cabbage and more lettuce. hope to get into greenhouses #1 today with some lettuce transplants!

Tending the hives. The nice hive!
The cold frames
The Quonset Greenhouse beginning to fill
Waiting out winter
Baby plants

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