Sunday, 12 June 2011

the magic of greenhouses & the art of beekeeping

after only 7 days in the UBC greenhouse, the seeds for the Chinese Market Garden are nearly 3 inches tall!  at approximately 98% germination rate, we are in good shape.  now time to get them in the garden!

on another note, our bees are now settled behind the compost and we have much to learn about them.  on Friday Will gave us a lesson on these honey bees...

i was mesmerized by his careful handling of the bees and amazed by the busy work of the little creatures, so i may not have all my facts straight, but here's what i remember:

honey bees only live about 28 days- when you see them outside of the hive it is probably the last 5 days of their life which is focused on collecting pollen and nectar.

the beekeeper must take care to inspect the hive and make sure there is only one queen- otherwise the bees could swarm and defect to another home with their new queen.

our queen's name is Gwyneth.  we were surprised that she didn't look too different from the workers.

as a beekeeper, it is important to wear all white so that the bees do not think you are a bear...

and here's some of the comb the bees made in just 3 days (!).  notice the lack of honey- that means we desperately need to plant more bee forage for them (work party on Tuesday at 10am!), and in the meantime, Leanna is feeding them sugar water.

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