April 25, 2010

Taking time to enjoy spring, and to work like bees

Most any weekend in spring is busy. I love it when I get notes from some of the plant societies which I belong to, since they all seem to understand how precious weekend time is. They usually start with " Matt, I hate to ask you for a favor during gardening season, but..." This weekend we have been getting ready for a big party next weekend, when we host the National show for the American Primula Society. We host an opening night cocktail party and dinner for all out-of-town guests, and if you ever saw what out house and garden really looks like, you would understand how crazy we can get cleaning up!

This weekend's to-do list was long enough, but there are alway detours to be expected, baby ducks need tending, a big box of bulbs arrived Saturday from Brent & Becky's Bulbs with 150 Galtonia bulbs, 200 Anemone coronaria and 100 Ornithogalum  bulbs, all which needed immediate planting since they were starting to sprout. 
Ornithogalum saundersiae bulbs waiting to be planted.

And then, there were the bees...

When Joe went into the hives this weekend to check on the queens and the honey situation, he discovered that more honey supers needed to be extracted. So we stopped what we were doing to extract more honey. This honey is part autumn honey, and part spring, and since it has been an early spring, thee hives are full of dark, sweet honey.

A full frame of honey, which weighs about 10 lbs, is still capped with bees wax. We scrape it with a fork ( since we lost our de-capper), and the frames are set, 3 at a time into the tall steel drum called a honey extractor, which spins the supers allowing for centrifical force to 'extract' the honey from the exterior side of the frame. Then the frames are reversed, and the same process is repeated for the other side.

The comb, now empty of most honey. Yet some is left to be returned to the hive, after all, the bees did work hard for this!

Lastly, the ducklings are getting BIG! The two in the rear, are just a nosy couple from the flock, but they haven't left the ducklings alone all weekend.

1 comment :

  1. Good luck with your events next weekend. Hopefully this weeks weather cooperates and you get everything done.

    I really like Galtonia viridiflora, which did you order? Knowing you both! Will you plant the Galtonia bulbs in pots and then take them into the greenhouse or will you see if they will survive outdoors?


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