Saturday, October 12, 2013
The Goldenrod is all but dried up now but the Asters are still blooming and there are always a dozen or so girls working in the wife's overgrown Basil jungle. That is my new name for the raised beds because she allows the basil to just go insane. I tolerate it because the bees like it so much and it is one of the few things she plants that seems to have sufficient pollen and nectar to keep the honey bees interested. Now bumblebees, butterflies and other insects like most of her plants but honeybees are a special lot and require not only blooms but a bunch of them before they consider them worthy of spending much time on or wasting foragers to work them.
After the rain left the winds died down enough for me to get started cutting up the baseboard to close in the cistern pump stand. I got it all enclosed but still need to make an access door and finish the trim before I paint it. At the moment it just looks like a huge plywood box. Kinda ugly but heavy enough to allow some seriously vigorous pump action at a convenient height... For me... I told the Mrs. her pleasure wasn't truly my concern :)
I am going to build her a step for the thing though and I plan on putting a flower box on one side so she will like it a bit more. At the moment she isn't too impressed with it's austere look.
There was enough plywood left over to cut out the last two inserts I needed to slip under the screened bottoms on the last two hives that were left exposed. The screened bottoms I have been using have a plastic insert to close them off with but I just don't think it is thick enough to give the girls good protection from the cold during Winter. I am hoping a layer of 1/2" plywood and the plastic sandwiched between that and the bottom will offer them enough to reduce their honey needs this Winter. We will see. If I still have some starving hives this Winter I am going to seriously think about replacing all my screened bottoms with solid boards.
I must say Missouri kinda sucks for Bee management in a way. It gets so hot in the Summer that you need more air flow but also gets so cold in Winter that you need to really close everything up. You can't simply concentrate on one extreme only like those North or South of us can. This Summer of course I didn't even need the screened bottoms as it never really got hot enough like it did the year before. I still have one hive sitting on an old fashioned solid bottom board and they almost never bearded because of the heat at all.
After all that was finished it was time to put all my tools away. This is some nice weather but I am sure missing my extra two or three hours of work time I had now that the sun is setting so early.
Soon it will be dark by 5pm after we set our clocks back.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!