That’s a message I try to communicate to my students all year, but this morning I am congratulating hubby and I on our success with bees this year.
The bees we rescued last week are doing quite well, as are a few of their buddies. When we took the comb out of the floor cavity, we separated comb with brood from comb with just honey, so we ended up with quite a bit of honey and nectar in the brood-tote. Sunday evening, we put the brood tote in the greenhouse so that we could open the lid to let the bees out without having bees drown once it started raining. Even after 4 full days, there is still a lot of nectar in that comb. The bees are mobbing this buffet of ready-made food!
I took the comb from the top, which has been almost completely cleaned up, and put in on our garden cart. (Ignore the date on the picture — we had to resort back to our old camera and I forget the set the date!) The bees now have access from above and below and can continue pulling honey and nectar out to store in their own hives. There are still some cleaning up the tote in the greenhouse — as long as nothing starts to smell bad, we’ll let them retrieve what they can and then melt the wax down.
The hives we created from the rescued bees are also doing well. I still didn’t see the queen this morning, but we had one NUC from a previous split that had 12 queen cells! We were able to put a frame of brood with a queen cell into two of the rescue NUCs and still leave 8 cells in their “home” NUC. I’d love to cut some of those cells out and create more splits, but we need to move some NUCs to out yards or the farm first. The third NUC from the rescue is a little weak, so we’ll hold off on putting a queen cell in there. They may move to one of the other, more viable, hives. If not, we’ll help them along with some more brood from elsewhere next weekend.
All other recent splits have evidence of a queen (new brood), but I didn’t see a queen in any of them. I was moving quickly through them and may have missed the queens or the queens may be out mating again. These are queens that have hatched within the last week, so we’re very happy to see brood. I guess I’ll have to set up new hive benches at the farm as well as check those bees so that we have somewhere to put them all! A neighbor wants us to place some hives in his sunflower plot, so maybe I’ll wait until hubby makes it down to the farm to set up bee benches!
Something else that made me happy this morning was the sight of my asparagus plants! I have no idea where I’m going to plant them at the farm yet, but I think I may just drop them in between the sprinklers. We know we won’t be tilling the soil there and I don’t know that we’ll get the actual garden set up this summer with everything else we need to do. We won’t be able to harvest asparagus for at least two years, so I want to get them in the ground somewhere this year!
Who knew that asparagus looks like little pine trees when it’s not in the grocery store? Apparently the plants can end up 5 feet tall! Maybe I’ll plant them behind the lavender and use them as a screen to block the view from the road!