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Caught another swarm & the end of potting up. | Speedkin

Caught another swarm & the end of potting up.

Over the weekend, one of Steve’s coworkers let him know that a swarm had landed in his front yard.  Would we like it?  Yes, please!  Steve was working so I loaded up a couple of kids and headed north of Quincy.  It was in a three foot tree in the front yard.  A couple of good shakes of the branch and they all fell nicely into a swarm box.  Got ‘em duct taped up, taken home, and hived up with some old comb to make them feel more at home.  Easy peasy.

A week or two ago, we got a call from Cara about doing a cut out.  A contractor working on an old house found bees living somewhere in the third story and contacted her to find an interested beekeeper.  I got there and the fella pointed out where they had been going in & out, way up high in the eaves of this gorgeous, historic three-story home.  I didn’t see any activity outside but he assured me that it had been up until that morning.  Not knowing bees, he thought that maybe bees just weren’t active in the mornings.  Once inside the third story, there were no bees to be found.  The walls were brick so they couldn’t be in there.  The ceilings were lathe & plaster, much of it fallen away so that I could see inside.  No bees.  I knocked all over the ceiling, trying to get a rise out of them in case they were hiding out of sight.  Nope, no bees.  We did find a pile of dead bees on a window sill in an adjoining room, away from the entrance/exit area but that was it.  That pile was only a couple of cups’ worth of bees so it wasn’t as if the entire colony had died.  We figure they must have heard that I was coming and moved away to escape the horror of my cooties.

In other news, the Great Potting Up Event has finally ended!  Whew! The pic below shows the sidewalk before I had even started the peppers, ground cherries, and wonderberries.  (The big, green clump on the left is the patch of sunchokes and the big, green clumps on the right are lemon balm and mints.)

Now, after potting up 551 tomatoes, 273 peppers, 42 ground cherries, and 54 wonderberries, plus the TPS and other miscellaneous seedlings already there, the sidewalk is full.  Good thing I didn’t bother potting up my own several hundred seedlings.  Those suckers are getting/have been planted out directly from their smaller 6-cell packs.

Speaking of which, it’s time to get out there and plant the TPS and the rest of the tomatoes.  I’m not sure if I’ll put the peppers, wonderberries, and ground cherries out yet.  I’ll have to see what my gut tells me when I’m out playing in the dirt today.  Have a good day, everyone!

4 Responses to “Caught another swarm & the end of potting up.”

  1. Jessica May 16, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Ok…you must have stocks in potting soil? Are you getting it by the 100lb bag from some awesome source? Please tell! I was reluctant to do much potting because I can only seem to find 8 to 12 quart bags and that does not go very far!

    • Diane May 16, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Man, I wish! I buy ProMix in the compressed bales and potting soil (Ultimate Mix, I think it’s called?) by the normal bag, both at the seed store. I seem to have settled upon a half-and-half mix of the two for potting up. The plants love it.

      This year, I thought I might keep everything in 6-cell packs to reduce the amounts of soil mix used but they just don’t give the plants enough room to hold them for sale, you know? And, really, customers usually want bigger plants so will need extra root room to put on that top growth. In years past, I’d use large styrofoam cups to pot up but, this year, I went with small 8-ounce cups instead. So it doesn’t end up using nearly as much soil mix as I used to use, yet it gives the plants room to stretch.

      But, yeah, buying the soil still hurts. LOL And, oy, all of that time potting up and labeling…

  2. Jessica May 29, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    ooooh, I couldn’t help myself, but I nominated you for the Leibster Award! Take it and do with it what you like! Just passing along the blog love!

    • Diane May 31, 2012 at 12:32 am #

      Thanks! Um… Is it bad that I have no idea what that is? :-P Sorry, I’ve never kept up on all of that blog award jazz.

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