The weather was beautiful this weekend so it was time to catch up on a few things. The early morning started with opening the bee hive. It had been a week since we brought them home. It was time to add one more brood chamber and put the first honey super on. Since it was fairly cool the bees were not too active. I did suit up fully and smoke the hive just a bit but everything went very well. Since there are many things blooming they should start to make honey now. There is a queen excluder between the brood chambers and the honey super to prevent the queen from laying eggs in the honey area. It has been really fun so far getting to know the bees.
I finally got the additional 50 strawberry plants into the new planting bed in the front yard. The plants that we planted a couple years ago are heavy with fruit. We were able to pick 2 quarts of beautiful sweet fruit in the afternoon. From the amount of berries still ripening on the plants I'm think we will be able to pick this amount each day for a week or more. Boy they were really good sliced up on vanilla ice cream with a bit of my mother in laws famous hot fudge sauce on them. My next project will be to make biscuits so that I can make my sweetie his favorite strawberry shortcake. It must be on biscuits though, none of that squishy sponge cake.
We had a heat pump installed a few weeks ago so it was time to built the rain cover over it. I just built a little shed roof with a scrap piece of metal roofing over it. Now when it rains or if snow from the house metal roof slides off it will not hit the outside unit.
There is still a ton of stuff to do during our short summer including getting the garden weeded soon before they take over.
Well, it sounds like we are having a passing shower, good for watering in those new strawberry plants.
Happy Summer Everyone
Last night we picked up our bees. We got to see the queen before she, along with her workers, were put into our hive body. They spent the night in the camper shell of the truck since it was dark and raining when we got them home. This morning I set the hive body on the base which is all set up in a corner of the yard. I suited up not really knowing what to expect so that I could take the screening off the hive opening and set the feeder on top of that. Since it was raining and not very warm it was recommended that we feed the bees. Our feeder sits on top of the hive body but under the top. The bees exited when I got the screen off but they were not aggressive. I got the feeder on and then filled it with the sugar water and put the top on.
The bees seemed to be happy. I watched them throughout the day and they were heading in and out of the hive and trying out the few things that are blooming in the yard. We are very excited about this addition to our homestead.
Well it took about 3 weeks to get it finished but the front yard is finally fenced. I finished by hanging the gate after work today. We fenced the front yard for a few reasons. We are putting the bee hive inside the fence to keep it away from the chickens who would think each bee made a fine snack. It also places it up in the vicinity of the dog yard and house which will both be a deterrent to bears. The added advantage to keeping the chickens out of the yard is now I can have my edible perennials and not have to fence each planting bed.
So far we have planted inside the fence blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and asparagus. I have some elderberries and ground cherries yet to plant this year. The strawberries and blueberries all bloomed really well and now have fruit set so we should have a good berry harvest this year.
I must first apologize for the long delay is posting. It has been a very busy spring here at the homestead. I took the week of Memorial Day off to work at the homestead and fortunately the weather was great.
The first thing accomplished was the painting of the back side of the barn, well at least the really high areas. I still need to finish the bottom but we had a lift for day so got the hard to reach parts done. We also used the lift to top the large pear tree to a lower height which will be more manageable for harvesting the fruit.
I also got 3 raised beds put into the garden. I have been wanting to put raised beds in for many years and now I have them. I only made them three feet wide instead of the standard four feet. I am not vey tall and it was a little awkward to reach the two feet to the center of a four foot bed. I am not going to walk on the beds so I will be able to reach the entire bed from both sides.
There are several other projects in the works and I will give you an update on them in the next little while.