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Archive for April 8th, 2012

Exciting!

We’ve had a bit of excitement around the Havens.

The day didn’t start all that out of the ordinary.   The Stroll Garden was beautiful, with the hostas burgeoning.

One of the irises in front provides a stunning look.

The vegetable garden is looking good too.

The beets are up.   They are so cute right now.   I’ll be thinning them soon.

In the same bed as the cold frame I have a broccoli patch.   It’s sort of hard to see it because I have floating row cover over it.

If you fold back the row cover, the bed looks like this.

So I did that this afternoon in order to do some weeding, thin the seedlings and finish putting mulch up close around them now that they are bigger.

I won’t be buying this brand of row cover again, it is very poorly spun and there are some very thin spots in the fabric that tear out easily in the wind.    This had happened to the existing row cover, so I went into the barn and got the roll out to cut a new piece.   Once I had it deployed over the row, I went back out where the roll was still sitting to put it away.

As I headed into the barn, I saw this on the rugosa rose that lives just to the right of the shop door.

Now THAT is exciting!   That, folks, is a genuine swarm of honey bees, all full of honey and looking for a place to live.

We had an empty hive sitting around for just such an occasion.   What I don’t have is a bee suit, and in spite of the legendary mellowness of a swarm, I really was not wanting to mess around with them without a suit.

Seeing as how it is Easter Sunday, the local purveyors of farm supply stuff were closed.  But I have a friend who has a bee suit, and so I ran down to his place to borrow it.    Then I donned it, took the hive over to the swarm and removed the lid and a couple of frames.   Then I placed the hive under the swarm and shook the branch it was on smartly.

Just like “they” said they would, the majority of the bees just fell gently down into the hive.

Then I put the lid back on the hive.   I only crushed a few bees while I was doing that.    Then I carried the whole shebang back over to the place where we want the hive to reside.   It is behind the vegetable garden in a sheltered area, far from the view of any neighbors who might be freaked out by a hive a bees in the area.

Later, things had settled down a bit.

I don’t know if I can adequately express how totally cool it was to be inside the bee suit and have hundreds of bees buzzing gently and confusedly around me as I carried the hive with the queen across the yard.

A little while ago Jim and I went out to check on the situation.   The hive is humming busily and happily.

I think we have succeeded in convincing the swarm to take up residence.   So now we have TWO hives of bees!   The new one, and the old one in the flicker box, which is still going strong.

I love pollinators.

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