Friday, July 5, 2013
A number of odds and ends things have been building lately as I focused mainly on getting the entire garden mulched over. As I mentioned I needed to build another hive stand that will hold three more hives over at the West apiary and each yard needed mowing and weed eating again.
I also needed to add some finishing touches to a foot bridge I laid down across the muddy run off ditch at West Apiary as well. Both projects required a bit of pickaxe work to get the ground level enough for the concrete blocks. The foot bridge needed a couple of cross support boards nailed into place because the two 2x6's I was using kept sliding apart on me. Leveling out the hive stand is never fun and it has to be done in my bee suit as well since I am right next to a hive while working.
Bees are funny. The smaller hives are generally not aggressive at all and I can many times run right up to them and pop the top to add more sugar syrup and not trigger a defensive response but if you hang out near the hive for very long one of the girls will eventually start buzzing and head butting you. The vibrations from mowing and weed eating kinda pisses em off a bit too sometimes.
So since I was less than a foot or so away from a hive for well over an hour peeling fine layers of turf off until the 8 foot hive stand was level I had to do it with my jacket and screen head covering on.
Needless to say I was wet with sweat when I finished.
One of the stands over at North Apiary has also sunk in the front and needs to be leveled out once again. I only have one small hive on that stand so I think I am going to move that hive and then re-level the stand next week.
Now that all the routine mowing and trimming was completed along with all the garden work it was time to see if I could harvest some honey from the big garden hive.
Once I go in and steal some honey it's a pretty good bet I will need to stay away from the hive for a few days unless I am wearing a screened head covering. Some hives when they get big will hunt me down for days if they see me after I have stolen their honey and this is the main reason I keep most of my hives a few miles away. I try and use the garden apiary for hives and nucs that need a little extra attention. The survivor hive I got back in April is HUGE and has not swarmed at all this year. It has three honey supers on it and I needed to check em out but I was afraid once I did garden work would be out of the question for a few days.
I didn't even get down past the top honey super. The girls have completely packed that hive with honey. I took 8 frames out of the top super and replaced them with drawn frames and figure I will save the rest for later in the Summer. I only need enough honey to supply the people who have been bugging me anyway and besides with the supers that full and me only needing to get into the top super 99% of the bees had no idea I was even there. So no issues with being hunted down by insects with daggers now as I try and harvest squash or pull weeds. Believe me the garden hives can see when I am out there and I have been stung more than a few times in the garden after messing with a hive the day before. Wearing a hood while in the garden sucks too but being stung around the eye or ear is worse.
While I was working the hive my son came out and was sitting in a chair only about 20 feet away from the hive watching me and not one bee even paid attention to him.
Looks like I will be spinning out some honey tomorrow now.
I finally saw the bees working the cucumber and watermelon blooms yesterday and today and even saw my first baby watermelons and pumpkins. Still no baby cucumbers though and that is really odd for them to wait this late. I can only figure the cool Spring set them back a ways.
Everything else is doing wonderfully except the garden peppers which have a ways to go to recover from the rabbit ravagers. The pole beans have reached the top of the trellis, the corn is almost 7 foot high and tasseling out and the Sunflowers are about to bloom.
A good hard rain right about now would be perfect.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!