Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Garden update 7/17/2013

There's not too much left in the garden.  The peas have all been harvested and pulled out.  The green beans have been harvested.  The corn has been harvested.  The potatoes have been harvested.  This is what's left.
 One bed of onions and weeds.
 The pepper plants are doing great!  We have more jalapenos than we know what to do with.  I took a whole bag of peppers to work one day and a whole bag to church one Sunday.  They are all full of peppers again.  We have canned banana peppers, made salsa, and frozen tons of jalapenos.
 The tomatoes have grown out the top of the trellis and are flowering still.  I ended up dousing them with seven to kill the stink bugs.  The nicotine poison was useless.
 The cucumber plants are still going strong.  I only planted a few this year to eat fresh.  We still have tons of pickles from last year.

Like the watermelon the butternut squash have started to split open from all the rain we have been receiving lately. 
One bed full of carrots and weeds.

Not pictured is one bed of sweet potatoes that is still going strong.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hive Check 7/9/13

It's been about a month so I decided to check on the hives again.  The green hive is just barely surviving while the gray hive is growing well.

These first pictures are from the green hive.  They have not touched the second super yet.
 They are still SLOWLY building out the frames in their brood chamber

 This frame is bulging honey.  I would cut it out but they don't have much brood comb as it is.
 This is the frame that is next to the bulging one, notice the giant hole.
These pics are from the gray hive.
 They have build out the comb of every frame in the second super and are filling them with HONEY!
 The next two pictures are of their brood frames.  I only got 3 frames into the hive before they started to get really aggravated and I retreated.  There's a reason I call this my "mean hive".  They like to sting me.

With the second super filled in with comb it was time to add a third.  This is exciting for us because the first two supers belong to the bees.  One brood box and one honey super is what they will need to survive the winter.  The second honey super is what we get to rob.
I have heard two methods of equalizing the colony strengths.  The first is to switch the position of the hives during the day.  This will result in the foraging workers returning to the other hive and increasing the number of workers that the weak hive has.  The second method is to take a frame of brood from the strong hive that is covered with bees and swap it with one of the frames in the weak colony that is still being built out with comb.  This will result in not only the brood but also the nurse bees that were on the hive when you moved it adding to the weaker colony.  What to do.... What to do....

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Another Snake!

I went out to the coop last night around midnight to lock up the birds for the night.  We had rented a movie and didn't shut the door at dusk as usual.  This is what I found in the coop.  If you don't see it, look in the 2nd nest box from the left on the bottom row.

A few minutes and a round from Grandpa's old Browning Automatic later.....