Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beehive... homestead update

It has been just over two weeks since I started beekeeping and so far it's been pretty good. I would say great; however, there are few blooms in my yard so I do not get to see the impact of my new addition. I do not see bees visiting the few blooms I do have in the garden either. The watermelon, Star Apple and Gefner Atemoya are going unpollinated. The two trees usually are pollinated by some kind of beetle, but I suppose bees could help.. eh. I will add that the cantaloupe melon that I planted randomly from seed had quite a few set fruit, but this dry heat is killing everything.

I am not a weather man, but I know Florida is suppose to be wet. Instead, this summer has consisted of two to three days of heavy rain 3-4 weeks dry. It's not what I am used to, and everything has suffered. The citrus tree leaves have been burned, same with many other plants. The fruiting vines have disintegrated. The raspberries, though in the shade, have take a beating, and withered down to brown fragile stalks.  And my garden beds are still solarizing. So it is difficult to name anything that I am excited about watching grow in the back. Even the seeds I started three weeks ago, disintegrated.. well the seedlings did. This is not something that can be controlled by more watering. This creates an ill-effect as the water seems to intensify the drying of the soil. It is as if the moisture magnifies the sun's intensity.

And back to the bees... The are getting testy. I will update later, but they seemed to be stressed about something, maybe will put some water out for them and see if they need some kind of moisture in the hive.... tough when there are no mentors willing to help a guy out. As for papa bear's hive, we did the transfer today( driving halfway each to meet up early in the morning.

The closing off of his hive was almost impossible. Hundreds of bees were hanging on the entrance this morning at 5 AM in complete darkness let only by the rays of moonlight shining through the startfuit tree. Thinking it couldn't be done I reached down for some primal cave man courage and swiped them away from the entrance and plugged it immediately. I duct taped all the cracks and used ratchet tie-downs to secure all parts together. Driving over two hours early in the morning wasn't bad, but keeping the car cold as ice so not to over heat the bees, was numbing.

 After waking up every morning much earlier than I have been used to since I was a swimmer in college, is frying my conscience. I am ready to get these garden beds back together and start growing again. Despite some of these set backs I must say that I am extremely grateful for my good fortune and cannot express enough gratitude for the blessings I have been given. Everything I describe, all the successes and failures are a pleasure. I just hope I can keep my eyes, mind, and heart open to the lessons in each adventure that awaits me.

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