We were down at the farm last weekend and we got to drive on our brand new driveway! It has made such a difference; I barely recognized that part of the land. Not only do we have gravel to stop us from sinking into the mud, the bulldozer operator put in drainage channels and built up a berm along the edge of the deck to protect the driveway and the future garden area from erosion. He also leveled pads for our garden shed and RV.
Down at the house site, he cleared away most of the debris from the tree thinning, leveled the site, and sloped the septic field. We can’t even begin to say how happy we are with the work.
As if those weren’t enough pleasant surprises, our neighbor cut the grass along the road for us, our magnolia seedlings appear to like Georgia clay better than South Carolina sand, the daylillies have buds, and the fig trees are full of deep-green leaves. We threw out wild-flower seeds as we walked around and hope they grow into nectar sources for our bees.
Talking of bees, an article from Catch the Buzz may help explain why our bees often ignore what I plant for them and go find their own food sources. The bees know what the hive needs, just like sometimes my body demands a steak instead of tofu! In order to provide the bees variety at the house, I’ve planted more wild-flower seeds and have many other seeds started that the University of Georgia recommends for year round nectar sources. Another source recommended Clethra, a plant that blooms profusely in July-August when there is not much available for bees. I bought two plants through Amazon that shipped from Hirt’s Gardens. The plants arrived April 11 and the white one is close to flowering already. The plants were so healthy and so well packaged that I know I will buy from Hirt’s again. While I know that what I’ve planted will not be enough to support our hives, it’s a start and many of the plants will spread through their roots or by self-seeding. Every little bit that keeps them healthy and reduces the amount of sugar water we need to provide to get them through the dearth will help.
We took two of our hives down to the farm and got them settled in. They were not at all happy after the long trip on Friday and stung hubby through his bee jacket, but were calm by Sunday. We’ll take the next set of hives down as soon as we can close them up at night so the bees don’t have to wait to go forage or travel while the sun is up and keeping them too warm.
Now we just have to drive on through the final, crazy weeks of school. Working our hives, putting together more hive bodies and frames, gardening, and constantly changing our minds about house plans — all those things are keeping us in positive frames of mind. Summer is coming, and we are one year closer to retirement! We’ll be able to move the RV to the land during summer break and then start building a workshop, or a garden shed, or a house…. those plans change daily too!