Friday, May 27, 2016

Gardening Record and demise of coon #1

The regular (orange) sweet potatoes are in the outdoor straw bales now.  The Kentucky Wonder green pole beans are in the dirt outdoors (breaking my June 1 rule, but I think it'll be okay, since it's 87 degrees) where the taters were last year (hence the few taters I missed digging are coming up there now too).  I ordered some of the stuff I'll need for irrigation while I'm on vacation next month.  I still have to find a place to kennel the dog, though.  The cukes were sown in the hoop house a couple days ago (not up yet).  And I managed to shoot one of the two stupid raccoons in the tree above the chicken coop.  The other was not at an angle/height I could get to, so he'll live a little longer (on my duck eggs, the jerk). I did this with the Mossberg 590, which I hadn't shot before.  I must say for a 12 gauge, it has no kick.  And the ghost ring sight is sweet.  I still have to get the last of the Adirondack Blues planted in the tires, and the runner beans and bush beans, and the beets, parsnips, gourds, (those are all soaking tonight) zukes, watermelon, pumpkin, and I'm sure there is stuff I'm forgetting. All this while trying to keep the house from falling in, and convincing Younger Daughter to DO HER JOB and weed whack the yard and garden area.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Well, that was fun! Swarm #4!

In another disrupted plan to get the taters planted, I caught a fourth swarm and spent the remainder of my afternoon dealing with that.  We were pulling into the library parking lot when I drove through a cloud of bees.  That says SWARM! to me, so I went into the library, picked out my books, put them in the truck, and then wandered around to see if the bees had landed.  Yes they had - in a pine tree at the apt complex next to he library.  I went to the apt office and politely informed the property manager that she had a swarm of honey bees on one of her trees, and could I pretty please take it home?  She was quite happy for me to do so, so I went home, grabbed my bee suit (which I didn't need, but makes people feel better) and a  kitty litter box (because my nukes are already full), and then drove back to pick up the bees.  Fifteen minutes later I had the bees in the box, my suit off, and I was driving to ICA to pick up the Pirate.  Another easy capture, standing on the ground instead of climbing a ladder or a tree!  When we got home, I dropped off the Pirate, and the bees, and drove to Dadant's in Albion to get more deeps (I only had  enough for the 4 swarms to have one apiece instead of the two they need) and more frames (I admit I got the pre-assembled ones because I just don't see myself having time to put together 50 frames before the Poland trip).  Now all I need to do is assemble the deeps, covers, and bottom boards.  And paint them.  But I WILL plant those stupid taters FIRST.  REALLY.

I am quite glad about the bees, in any case.  I am back up to 6 hives, and it didn't cost me the $100 per pkg that I would have had to pay had I ordered them instead of catching them.  Yea!  If I could get up to 10, then I would stop.

Not really, it's an addiction you know.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


It snowed on Sunday morning.  WTH Michigan?  It's a week past my last frost date!  The maters and basil seem to have survived (both those in the hoop house and those in the bales outside), so I'm not going to complain much.  Also, the day before that,  I captured three swarms from the feral hive in my old barn.  This was not what I was planning to do with my afternoon (that was planting taters), but when you walk by a tree with big blobs of bees just hanging from it at a height you can reach FROM THE GROUND (!?) well, I'll take them and be glad, especially since I was down to two hives.  There was one huge swarm that I put in a full deep, and two smaller swarms that went into nuts.  There was a fourth little bitty (softball size) clump, but they were gone by the time I finished the other three, and I expect they actually belonged with the bunch they were hanging closest to.  I left that nuc open until evening to catch the stragglers and then carried them all up the hill to the apiary.  I used ratchet straps to hold everything together, which turned out to be a good thing when I fell down on top of the deep. Since I stumble in that stupid hole on a regular basis, I think I'll try to fill it this week before I really hurt myself...