Garden and Bee Update – Early July 2013

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Me in my bee gear


Let’s start with the bees! We opened up the hives this past weekend and found Geraldton in full swing. They were not happy that we were in their hive but we worked quickly to get through the brood boxes and add a new bottom board. They have been busy making us honey and we were able to harvest our first honey super from them!

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Our first honey super of the year

Unfortunately, Moose Factory isn’t doing as well and has a much smaller population. The hive had some trouble with chalk brood this spring and this may have affected the number of bees. We’re still seeing brood (so our queen is laying) and they look healthy now but the bee numbers just aren’t there. We’re in the process of figuring out how we help our hive so that they go into the winter strong.

For comparison, this is Geraldton at their peak activity (usually around 3:30 pm):

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And this is Moose Factory at the same time. They have always been a quieter hive but this is much quieter.

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This is why we keep two hives – being able to compare makes it easier to see what is going on.

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The view from the hives

In the garden things are going well. Our corn is huge:

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And the potatoes are growing out of control. We keep hilling them up and they just keep growing! One now looks a little wilty but I have hope it will recover.

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Our first squash has been joined by a few others, although the zucchini isn’t doing anything more than producing male blooms.

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And our other bed (which I call the onion bed) is doing what it should – carrots, peas, beans and beets growing away.

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I am happy with how things are progressing but can’t help worrying (why did that potato wilt? Shouldn’t my zucchini have more leaves?) so I am glad that I don’t have to live off my gardens alone!

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