Monday, March 23, 2015

The Honeybee Garden

For the last couple weeks work has been progressing on the honeybee garden which sits approximately 30 feet behind the hives.   Last weekend we planted the milkweed flowers and various other plants we had been accumulating.   Also there were many seedlings that were ready to plant so those were added to the garden.  Most of the seedlings were various varieties of sunflower but there were also Moringa (edible) and papaya seedlings.  I'm finally getting the hang of starting plants from seeds which is much more gratifying than store bought plants.

A couple hundred bulbs were also planted in the garden including many varieties and colors of iris, gladiolas and a bunch whose names evade me now.  A bag of mixed flower seeds (honeybee mix) was also sprinkled over the entire area.   If everything grows as planned it should be very beautiful.

A couple of days after mowing the lawn with that riding lawnmower, several bees kept harassing me as I worked in the yard.   Even when I wasn't even close to the hives a few chose to be quite annoying.  Fortunately I was able to send them to bee heaven and it's been back to normal since ... kind of.  The one very large hive by the chair where I used to sit and watch the bees seems to have a million guard bees hanging out on the landing entrance area.  They don't seem to like me sitting there any longer and let me know it.   It's like a bunch of gang members hanging out on a street corner and then I come along.  A few of them want to show off in front of the other guard bees and have a good laugh as the lumbering human gets chased off.  It's so humiliating ....

The original 2 raised beds are doing well but the new one is just ok.  That one didn't get enough good compost and soil so it's going to need some extra TLC.  Most of the plants are doing very well and we've been getting plenty of fresh tomatoes which is our favorite.  And it looks like the mustard greens will be ready for picking soon.
Growing corn in Florida should be interesting

Slightly challenged raised bed

Brussel sprouts

The rain barrel system has been tweaked and a level indicator was installed.  It rained right after it was installed so watching the indicator rise showed how quickly the rain barrels fill up.  The plumbing with the new pump was also completed and works very well.  Only thing that still needs to be installed is a backup system which will allow me to hook up a hose to city water in case the rain barrels run dry and the irrigation system needs to run.  The (new) irrigation system will be installed later this week and should automate most of the watering.  Because it takes a lot of time to water all these plants and you can't ignore that task.

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