Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So the ladies at the factory garden lot are doing great. One day about a month ago I opened the hive...Just a quick look see to see if they needed more room. I pulled out a frame and as I did I heard the unforgettable sound of a queen piping.

I quickly closed up the hive, afraid to disrupt any queen fighting that was about to ensue. When a queen is born she will let the other bees know that she has been born by making a high pitched beeping sound (maybe she is declaring..."here i am!!"). She is also declaring to any other queens that are being born or about to be born that she is going to annihilate them! It also means, that my hive was about to swarm. I had missed my chance to split the hive and make two of MY OWN hives. Now they would split themselves and find a new home somewhere else. The new queen would get acclimated to her new home and then go off on her mating flights.

All of this happened while I was busy starting a new project with Grow It Green Morristown and didn't pay much mind to the INSIDE of the hive. Oh, don't get me wrong, I would visit this lovely hive and breathe her in throughout the week. What a smell a hive emanates on these long hot summer evenings. Sweet, humid air being blown in my face by the buzzing wings of these little worker bees. 2 weeks ago I went into the hive and saw a freshly mated queen. She was stubby and adjusting to her growing abdomen. I checked on her today and WHOA! she has filled up a whole box with brood and is just bustling along laying eggs! I was impressed with her work! Then I saw her and she was long and strong, as a good queen should be.

Curiosity had the best of me and i dug deeper into the hive. The bottom box was just kind of sitting there so I wanted to check it out and see if I could just get rid of it. I lifted it up, it was quite light. I pulled out a couple frames that were covered in noisy drones. I saw a few eggs, a few capped brood cells about to hatch and then I saw her. The old queen. There were two queens living in this hive! My mind says that the new queen is honoring the old queen by letting her live in the basement until she dies with the rest of the useless ones in the hive (the drones...i don't REALLY think drones are useless, just a little joke). But it was curious how the drones and queen were all in the bottom of the hive.

I felt no need to DO anything. I am loving this new season of beekeeping. I think I finally know what I am doing and feel comfortable with them, like a second skin. I am in love with them and am more understanding of their process' and life cycle. I am going to the treatment free bee conference at the end of July and hope to learn more about the process of mite illimination (misspelling intentional).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Update

Well, it has been awhile! So here is a little update:

After filling up the greenhouse at the farm in Lincoln Park and getting the square foot gardens in place I decided to try again at the factory garden lot.

chard, napa cabbage, and kale in a section of my square foot gardens

I thought I would get crafty and buy some cement and get the fence up for real this time. This time there was no ground hog getting in. I put bricks all along the outside to keep the fence down (no going under fence) and I cemented the posts to the ground as deep as i could dig. The thing is I am no fence builder (any ideas or tips or help is GREATLY appreciated!!) The cement blocks were not in a perfect line (lesson learned) and the chicken wire sags a bit. Sagging chicken wire means groundhog climbing

Groundhog climbing means groundhog eating....




even my spilanthes (toothache herb, which makes a human's mouth go numb!!)

but i am still planting...and caging certain my sweet diane and honey rock melon. who knows?! maybe will have a new post or two put up and make the fence rodent proof?

jokes on me i am sure