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Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring is here

It’s Monday, and my body hurts again. Living out here is sometimes pretty tough. I’ve already talked about moving the shed on Saturday. Sunday I moved some bales of hay. Normally that would not be a big deal, but the has been sitting outside all winter and spring so they were soaked with water and were about three times heavier than normal. I planted potatoes so had to dig up the area they were planted (that area is not as soft and fertile as the rest of the garden). I planted tomatoes (maybe not a smart idea it looks like it may frost this week) and got them caged. Next weekend I hope to plant the tomatoes and peppers I started from seed. The garden is finally starting to look like a garden again. I love this time of year …….. it is beautiful to watch Mother Nature bring the world to life again.

The bees never seem to go smoothly …….. this year one of the hives seems to be growing very well, the other not so good. I installed the queen, but she either died or was a virgin and never laid eggs. Without a queen a colony of bees is doomed. I took a few frames of brood (eggs and larvae) out of the laying colony and installed them into the queenless colony. Yesterday when I went out to check I was amazed. The queenless colony has taken one of the eggs and fed her royal jelly. The cell is two to three times as big as the normal cell. It takes longer for a queen to develop so she will not be ready for about 2 more weeks. Even after she hatches she will need some time to mate then come back to the hive to lay eggs. Fortunately I will still be able to swap more eggs with the good hive so they don’t fall to far behind. It was my most amazing time in the hive to date. I saw the queen cell, drone cells and for the first time I saw the queen (in the other hive) laying eggs. Phil says this is my “hobby” I don’t see it that way. I have chosen to assist bees to live on our property. They in return will pollinate our garden and trees and give us the best honey I have ever tasted. If I play this right, in a few years my apiary will grow and I will be able to sell honey (and other by products) to help Pooh Acres become more self sufficient. My dream is to somehow make this property pay for itself …. this is just one of the ways to make that come true.

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