Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pestilence, destruction with lost and found bees

To say things are busy at the Florida Bee Farm would be an understatement.  The tomato plants have been producing like mad and we canned 10 quarts of tomatoes in addition to using many of the tomatoes in recipes we like.
Washed tomatoes

canning tomatoes

But these tomato plants take a crazy amount of time every day.  I spend at least 2-3 hours a day re-staking, trimming browned leaves, looking for worms, and harvesting.  And I love doing it so don't get me wrong here.  It's relaxing.

But it's getting to the point where these tomato plants are at the end of their life.  They lost most of their leaves and I'm not sure why.  Possibly a fungus or ????  I'm pretty sure they have enough water and not too much since they are watered with a drip irrigation system.  Maybe the browning and losing of leaves is natural for tomatoes when they are fruiting.  I'm not sure.  But the latest problem has been an infestation of tomato worms which is a big problem since I'm doing this organically without pesticides.  These @#^*&^ worms burrow holes into a lot of tomatoes making them useless.  Yesterday I tossed dozens of tomatoes into the compost bin.  And I squashed a little more than a dozen worms too.  My purple cherokee tomatoes which were just starting to produce nice size fruit (which were not quite ripe) were hit hard.  Oh well, we'll just focus on the tomatoes we do harvest.  And next year we may rethink some things.

The bees are busy as ever doing what they do.  I caught a nice swarm in one of my traps but it looks like one of the hives on the stand is empty.  Maybe they're the ones in the swarm trap, not sure.

The pollinator garden in memory of Paul is doing great and loaded with flowers and milkweed.  The Monarch butterflies and honey bees are all over it. 

I think this blog may be winding down some as I just don't have the time to keep it active.  Too many things to do lately.

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