Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June Bees

Lots of rain, sun in between.

Our first thought was that the flowers are going to be incredible.

Imagine waking to a torn sky.
Lying in your bed covered with debris. Falling.
A cacophony of sounds,
bombs... your child.

Just planted the greenhouse in our bushcraft garden. In a month it is a tomato, pepper and basil jungle.
You can refer to our post titled, "Sustainable Bush Gardening", posted on the 3/7/08 for information and pictures of our gardening methods.

Dandelions and saskatoon bushes bloom, indian paintbrush, strawberry, silverweed, violets and on and on. Meanwhile fireweed and the wild roses are growing strong. It is almost surreal even in a normal year when the bloom happens.

We've been having a wet spring similar to a season 8 or 9 years ago so .

Survival. This chick didn't make it.

Mushrooms that haven’t shown their fruit for years. Amazing to witness the boreal forest become

When it rains, when it pours the verdure explodes.

There was a Moose and her long legged calf crashing the pond today. Just browsing. Lots of bears this spring. A pair of eagles seems to have taken up residence close. Lots of ducks. Mallard, golden eye, merganser, bufflehead, red head, widgeon, ruddy, coot, scaup, ring neck.
Canada geese.

The resident sand hill cranes and red tail hawks are back. Our presence may be a nuisance but they get used to us and thrive.

Even the garlic, onions and peas are slow this year. Cool and wet. Most has started growing now. Potatoes still aren't up.

Short season, higher altitude and things grow fast and recover. Maybe..
We planted more seed rather than seedlings for late broccoli and cabbage. Looks like the seeds may catch the earlier planting of small seedlings.

We decided this was the year to start keeping bees. The more research we did the more daunting the task, between what they say you have to do, what humans have done to them and the short honey season and long winters here.

The point of death and extinction instead of sustaining themselves like they have been doing for at least the last forty million years.

There are so many opinions, so many who “know”. I read, “one question to 12 beekeepers and you’ll receive 13 different answers“. As far as I can tell, that is the case.

We built our own honey bee hives with several design ideas in mind. A STUMP, Emile Warre hive management, Kenyan top bar hives and the 8 frame Langstroth design. Another design feature, that was mentioned by a friend who kept bees for 15 years was a honey bee hive he helped removed from between the walls in a cabin. He said it was the strongest hive he had ever seen.
There has to be something more logical than an “all or nothing world“.

Using 2 x 10, double end walls for hive boxes (3 1/4“ thick), a few boxes with windows and coverings.
Warre’s dimensions wide (300mm) but 40% longer, 11 top bars each. Two boxes are deep and long enough to accommodate Langstroth frames. We ironed in bees wax and painted the outsides with linseed for moisture protection.

We can easily lift the hives whole with the pulleys we installed to fit boxes in from the bottom keeping the disturbance to a minimun. The hives will not be opened until fall. The hives are by our kitchen window under shelter. We can watch the hives and check their progess by looking in the windows once in a while.

We are feeding them sugar syrup because they arrived with nothing. We won’t take any honey this year. Next year they’ll eat their own honey during the spring.

I’m reminded, when I rinse my face off in the rain barrel that we’re in this together you and I, everybody… they have no choice. We have no choice. Some we don’t mind sharing water with…How many millions of barrels of oil and how many tons of radio active material were dumped into our oceans this year not to mention all the stuff that is routinely dumped. For many years.

To be people responsible for the way we live. Just being fair.

1 comment:

  1. Hi. Really enjoying reading your blog, but I'm curious about something. What do you do about the wildlife? In other words, don't you worry about bears or wolves or larger predators killing off your chickens or, even worse, being a threat to you? How do you deal with bears and wolves? Aren't they attracted by the garden or the smells from your cooking?
    I'd really like to know how you handle that...

    and PS - great blog