The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
I finally received the go-ahead to start cautiously lifting some weight aka hive lids two weeks ago, so I’ve checked hives I was concerned about and, sadly, burned a bunch of mothy frames. When we made the last round of splits, we knew we’d have to monitor them closely and keep the division feeders filled, but then Hubby got bronchitis and I was still dealing with my pinched nerve, so neither of us could do what needed to be done. It’s prime wax-moth season, so they decimated a number of those weak NUCs.
Still, it’s not all bad news. Despite a very dry month, the Goldenrod is blooming and all the healthy hives have large bee-bread and nectar stores. We had a strong Buckwheat nectar flow from before the Goldenrod kicked in and the queens are currently ramping up brood production. If there’s anything good to say about “near record-breaking heat,” it’s that it gives the bees more time to prepare for winter. We finally have lows in the 60’s overnight, but continue to have highs in the 90’s with no rain in the forecast.
More good news is that there are very few small hive beetles in the new hive stand location. We seeded the soil with nematodes from Arbico Organics a couple of months ago and very quickly saw a difference. (The lower apiary has as much of a problem as ever. It’s too close to our planned house site, so we’re moving everything out of there soon.) We used nematodes from Arbico years ago back in the city to get rid of grubs in our lawn, and we plan to seed some to combat Japanese Beetles along with treating around other hive stands in spring. This recent batch of nematodes was so well packaged that they survived being left at the gate in the direct sun all afternoon thanks to an unnamed delivery service!
This time I’m wearing gloves…..
Despite the lack of rain, our single jalapeno plant continues to provide more jalapenos than we can eat. A friend of ours makes the best jalapeno jelly, so I’m using our overabundance to get much needed practice.
A few weeks ago, I included one chopped one jalapeno in a tomato salad, then rubbed my itchy eye about 2 hours later. Wow. It hurt. I was scared I’d damaged my eye. I remembered to flush with lots of water. If it happens again, I’ll jump in the shower to flush with more water. I don’t plan on letting it happen again.
Hubby later explained to me that I had pretty much experienced what tear gas is like! So, when we seeded the 12 ounces of peppers for the first batch of jelly, we obsessively washed our hands before and after — many, many, times. I guess it helped, but it wasn’t a solution! Internet tips say rubbing with alcohol removes the oils and bathing in milk removes the burn, but wearing gloves in the best bet of all! Eighteen ounces of peppers await and I have a pack of 50 gloves in the kitchen drawer.
The jelly was good, but the texture was a little off. I didn’t realize that powdered pectin is added before sugar but liquid pectin after, and the recipe didn’t make that clear. We’ll see what happens today.
What I am doing blogging and cooking on a Monday? Well, Georgia schools have the option of teaching longer classes and reducing the number of days, and that is what we do. I think it’s hugely beneficial to students, especially those who have been fighting the same upper respiratory illness that Hubby and I had and need some time to just catch up. My current school does a great job of keeping absenteeism in check, and that is a essential piece of the longer days = fewer days option. A short break also allows me to get caught up, research some new material to teach, and take care of those routine medical checks that seem to increase with age. Wow — I think school, and my writing styles morphs back into “teacher” — it’s time to go for a quick walk around the hives and get my “farm-girl” back!