Starts with a B Bob — May 20th, 2019

Starts With a Bee Bob

Seven days were up Friday so we peeked into the beehive yesterday.  The queen’s cohorts had eaten through the marshmallow door to their prison and were out and about in the  hive busy building structures to store honey on. They had hardly touched the sugar water we provided for them so they must have spent a fair amount of time out of the hive taking advantage of the luxurious amount of dandelion blooming going on around here.

The queen’s prison is a tiny box about twice the size of a matchbox, she and a handful of courtiers are tucked safely inside, and that box is placed inside the shoebox sized box of bees for travel.  She needs to be separated from the rest of the bees because she’s a stranger to them and as such a danger to the hive. But living on the other side of wire mesh for a few days she starts to smell like she belongs and they accept her.  So the marshmallow allows for a few days of isolated security and then happy family reunion.

The tricky part to this is I got the lucky job of taking out the wooden plug and replacing it with the marshmallow.  In the video the guy demonstrating how wonderfully easy this is does not wear gloves. And then he uses his fingertip to cover the door while he gets the marshmallow ready.  The box, the door and the marshmallow are all too small to allow the use of gloves. The only thing not small are my clumsy fingers and the imaginary size of the bees stingers.

But, fingers crossed, we are on our way to having our very own honey and well pollinated blooms in our hay fields and pastures.

Moving the cows to fresh grass has started for the year.  The only problem is finding ground dry enough for the cows, if it’s too muddy they punch holes in the ground that stay until something smooths it out again.  And that means nothing growing in that hole until then. We found a compromise between grass height and mud but the cows are insisting there’s nothing to eat.  We think they’re acting like kids who want something sweet before dinner instead of an apple and since there’s enough grass where they are for another day or two we get the final say on this one.  If it ever stops raining long enough for the ground to dry we’ll have lots of options, this is the time of year the grass springs upwards.

Busy weeks in the shop, we’ve already sold half of our recent beef resupply.  If you’ve been thinking about adding an 1/8th to your freezer we are rapidly running low.

Garden planting is going slow, between rain, rain, rain and frost warnings the only things planted are potatoes, tucked under a heavy straw mulch and a bed of mixed lettuces and spinach with a light straw mulch.  Today I might get onion sets and radishes planted, I’ll have to see how muddy the garden is after this morning’s rain.

How does your garden grow?  Candy

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