Saturday, January 31, 2015

Raised beds and bringing the honey bee nucs home

Busy busy day yesterday moving the mulch pile and building 2 of 5'x10' raised beds for gardening.  Also moved those heavy earth box type plant containers out 2 feet so I could get between the fence and plants to prune, etc.  After building the raised beds they were lined with a 1" of newspaper hosed down.  Then a layer of leaves and finally a 1/2" layer of mulch.  Mulch was also added on the pathways around the raised beds.

Today was just as busy.  We drove a few hours north to a farm to get some premium compost and get a tour of their organic eco farm.  Quite interesting as they grow a lot of plant varieties that most people say is impossible for their climate.  We learned a lot and bought a few plants to take home as well as had the pickup truck bed completely loaded with compost as well as a small trailer we were pulling.

Next stop to visit a beekeeper about a half hour up the road to pick up a couple nucs which is like a small scale bee hive loaded with brood, a queen and a lot of bees.  In no time the brood will hatch and you'll have a full scale hive soon.  As the wife wanted no part of having the bees inside the truck, I dug out some space in the back of my truck bed to hold the nucs.  The nucs were pretty ragged with some holes we found out so it's a good thing they weren't in the truck with us.  Especially with the massive traffic jam we encountered on the way home.  At one point while the beekeeper was getting the nucs ready for travel, the bees seemed to get quite riled up.  Unfortunately I was standing there in a pair of shorts and tee shirt a tad uncomfortable with all the "agitated" bees new interest in me.  I finally dove into the truck to take cover. 

Once we got to the bee farm we unloaded the nucs and set them on top of the hives so the bees could orient themselves to the land.  Tomorrow morning the bees and frames will be transferred from the nucs into their new homes.  The beekeeper gave us a couple feeder jars filled with green margarita/lime mix which coincidentally is what we're going to have during tomorrow's Superbowl party.  So nice to already include the bees in our festivities.

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