Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Top Feeder and garden frame

Finally I picked up a top feeder for the bee hive, it holds 2.5 gallons of syrup.As you can see I stained it the same green as our house.
Here are the first bees to discover it, took only a few minutes.
I went to the food co op in Hillsborough and came back to find we had rain while I was gone maybe a 1/4 inch. Doppler showed a tiny band pasting right over us just before I got home. No rain seen elsewhere so for once we got lucky. 30% chance today for rain.

Two hours later the bees found the feeder. I took the top off the hive without smoking them or wearing protective gear either. I felt somewhat comfortable without the gear a few bees did harass me, but no stings. See our pond it looks pretty empty, maybe 25 foot in diameter right now.

Here is the 'new' garden frame made out of recycled 2 x 6s I took from a 10 year old deck this spring. I also cut 8- 2 x 3s x 18 inches to screw onto the sides later and mount 4 - 1/2 inch PVC pipes to to make a taller hoop frame later. If the acorns start to drop it'll go on sooner.

 We'll be planting carrots, kale, lettuce and maybe radishes in there soon. I ordered some Rainbow Blend carrot seeds, Lacinato Kale seeds and Gourmet Mix Lettuce Seeds last night while looking for Armenian Yard-Long Cucumber Seeds which I ordered as well. I tasted the Armenian Yard-long cucumber yesterday(about 14 inches long and 3 inches wide) at the farmers market and just had to grow my own.

The tomato plant at top right above the frame is a Rainbow Tomato, only picked 2 big tomatoes from it so far, it was our worst performer in the tomato realm.
Here you can see Jubilee in the front left, nearly dying, it still has a few small orange tomatoes, did pretty well. The A frame in the center of the garden has a 12 foot tall Cherokee Purple, it is still flowering, did great this year. The cucumber trellis on the right has given us maybe 50 - 8 inch cucumbers this year, the best year we have had with cucumbers.

Tomatoes are about done, we picked maybe 40 pounds of them. I made spaghetti sauce in 3 huge batches and froze what we could not eat right away.
 Almost forgot we finally have Patty Pan Squash, these seeds are at least 2 years old. Just two squash as you can see above and below. Can't buy these tasty squash is the super market. Thank you bees for the pollinating job and giving us squash!


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

So the syrup for the bees is a supplement to the flowers? It is all a mystery to me!
Your new veggie bed will be nice. Your pond is sad looking right now, there are stock ponds that look like that around here.
Congrats on the Patty Pan squash!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Yea for the bees.

Q said...

Thanks for letting me know my visitor today was a Variegated Fritillary.
I have not seen one for years.
I also have had a few Robbers this year.
My squash is coming along too. Doing an Autumn vegetable garden is the best. When it is 109 outside I stay in...July was too hot
this year.
Thanks again for the id.

PlantPostings said...

I'm enjoying watching your success with honeybees! And I love your macros of the Patty Pans -- they are so tasty. Enjoy!

Bridget said...

Sounds like you had a very productive Summer there. Here in Ireland it has been the coldest Summer for 50 years with very littlw sunshine. I am in envy of your Tomato harvest, mine are only now starting to ripen. Lots of green tomato chutnet this year I suspect!

Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

Even if i am familiar with bees as I've joined my father when i was a kid harvesting honey from a native bee colony, i still don't know much about bee farming. I have a friend who wants to raise bees but the native ones, so he is in a dilemma as most of the available for sale are the Australian species. Do you know how those in the wild can be attracted to a specific farm condition? thanks.

Shady Gardener said...

How do you cook patty pan squash??

You are "busy as a bee!" :-) Has school started there, yet?

Diana said...

Randy, happy to see the bees are doing so well. They must love it there.

Tomatoes here have been coming on the past month but only enough to eat with our meals each evening until yesterday... our temps finally got to 92 and that helped with a 9 pound harvest. Our best performers have been Cherokee Purple followed by Ashleigh and all the rest are laboring this year. Maybe better next year.

Hope you and Meg have a wonderful week.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I'll be interested to see how you like the top feeder. I've considered getting them for our hives, in part because we can also use them to control hive moisture in winter, but most beekeepers we've spoken to don't like the bee losses with them. I see yours has the wire mesh. Did you add that yourself?

Either way, we have to hurry and decide how to feed our hives for fall, as this morning when we pulled drone frames, we discovered the bees have consumed half of their honey stores they had just a few short weeks ago. There's no question we're in a nectar dearth at the moment!

sweetbay said...

Wow you really are dry. It must have been frustrating to watch the rain showers pass you by this summer. We're dry here too but not hellishly so.