Peachy.

Some local friends gave us four baby peach trees the other day.  I got them planted, mulched, and caged promptly.  Here’s hoping they do well (and I don’t manage to kill them)!

peach

Before much longer, the entire side yard will be an orchard and I can’t wait!

The cucumbers I planted a couple of weeks back mostly rotted since we had Noah’s flood #2 directly after that.  I replanted them yesterday, along with 100′ of summer squash — a mixture of Black Beauty, Grey, and Yellow Crookneck.

The strawberries are still coming in nicely and the raspberries have just begun to ripen.  The young fruit trees in the side and front yards have a goodly amount of fruit on them for how young they are.  Some have just turned two years old and others are only one year old so we won’t be overrun with anything.  Still, it’ll be nice to get a small sampling from most.  Fruit trees are most definitely not instant gratification.

raspberry

The tomatoes are finally starting to take off, no thanks to all of the gloomy weather we’ve had this spring.  The furthest row out, however, has had a rough start and I’ve had to replace several a couple of times.  The birds just love that row because they can swoop in and cause all sorts of death & dismemberment!  I finally got the strings up on Tomato Henge in hopes of slowing them down — and it seems to be working for the most part.

The pepper are sulking.  It’s just been too roller coaster-y a spring for them and I don’t hold out much hope for good production.  Yet, there’s always hope…  The lettuces are even growing slowly.  I’ve never seen lettuce grow so slowly!!  Beans still haven’t been planted as I’m still waiting on Steve to get my bean trellis back up.  He’s done about half of it and will get to the rest this week some time.

The bees?  The bees are doing well!  I’m so excited about the bees this year!  That split I did about a month ago has done really well — both halves.  The packages are coming along as they should.  The nuc I bought from Bernie last month is doing great.  I also caught two swarms a few weeks ago.  One died out, as it was just some left-behind straggling rejects, I assume left behind when the main colony took off to find new quarters.  They were in a bee tree that was knocked over & split during some pasture clean up and had been rained on — downpoured on — a few days.  We brought them home anyway with no hopes of them making it so we were not disappointed when I found them all dead as a doornail a few days later.  The second swarm was from a construction site, landed in a precarious spot that was not at all fun to get.  I was pretty sure I got the queen but things were crazy so maybe not.  Last I checked on them (a few days ago), they were still there!  I took a tip from a friend and put a frame of brood (from another hive) in with them to entice them to stay.  It seems to have worked so yay for that!  There is not a huge quantity of bees, though, so it remains to be seen whether or not they’ll make it.  I plan on getting in the hives again in a couple of days.  In the meantime, I’ve been building more frames because the five  good, strong hives are mostly into their third boxes now.  And still no sign of mites on any of them!  I know just looking isn’t a surefire way to get mite numbers but I pay very close attention to the drone brood that gets ripped open and have seen nary a one.  (I’ve always seen them easily that way before.)  Another major boost in my beekeeping confidence is my greatly improved ability to spot queens.  I don’t mark my queens so they’re not terribly easy to find at times.

I’m getting rambly again, aren’t I?  I’m back on the paleo/primal bandwagon and the caffeine/carb/sugar withdrawal is making my brain turn to jelly.  Really dumb, unfocused jelly.

2 Responses to “Peachy.”

  1. Feather June 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    How do you mark a queen bee?

    • Diane July 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      Sorry, I’m just now getting to this! To mark a queen, you catch her, carefully holding her by her legs, then put a colored dot on her back with a paint pen. Each year, beekeepers use a different color, rotating through five colors. Then, with one look in your hives, you can tell how old your queen is (assuming you see her and she’s not been replaced).

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