The garden is parched right now, the rains expected over the weekend were nearly bust for us, perhaps 1/8 inch of rain. Raleigh got 4.31 inches on Saturday with several bands moving through on Sunday as well. Chapel Hill got 2 inches in a short time, I saw puddles in the pavement there today, bands also passed through Chapel Hill and north of us on Sunday. The weatherman now says we have an 2 inch deficit for rain this year. Considering all the rain that missed us I'd say our garden has a 7 inch deficit. The only good news on the rain front here is we might have collected 50 gallons of water for the rain totes, still could save another 450 gallons if we got a good rain.
It had been 5 weeks since I looked into the beehive, the last time was when I added the new brood box. The new brood box is doing real good, all the frames have drawn comb on them. Several frames are close to filled up with brood and honey. No pests seen thus far! I had a few bees that seemed annoyed with me, one crawled on my knee where I got stung once before and today I did not get stung, so far one sting is all I have gotten at the hive.
I did not look into the lower box, there we a lot of bees in there and it was in the lower 90s so I left them be. Not sure how to take the boxes apart without killing too many bees that get on the bottom of the top box and top of the lower box, guess I'll learn that in time.
This morning I found this preying mantis that have killed this Annual Cicada and was having it for breakfast. Yes mantises can be cicada killers. I have seen mantises with bees, butterflies, dragonflies and a hummingbird. Back in 2004 when I was tagging Monarchs on the Eastern Shore of Virginia I found Monarchs in the clutches of mantises quite often, even a Monarch I had banded the day before.