Well, here it is. Blight, cabbage worm, slugs, and beetles. And that's not even going into the whole ground hog battle. Next year I will use more row covers, I've found it to be the most effective way to control most of my problems. Maybe I can even hide under it.
I love keeping bees. It is such a challenge and such an art. So much goes into keeping them thriving, and there is so much to learn. I am working with my next door neighbor Becca, and our fearless assistant Elsa.
After loosing last years hive, we started this year with two hives, each with laying queens. Each hive/queen gets a name, so Queen Latifa and BeeJeezus joined the bee yard. Mid-summer we divided the hives into two more, smaller hives and ordered a new queen, Beeyonce for one of the hives, and took a frame with two queen cells from BeeJeezus for the other one (Sweet Baby Beejeezus). Both new smaller hives seem to be doing well and the new queens are laying away.
This past week we checked on BeeJeezus and found the hive to be queen-less. With winter right around the corner, it is too late to order and establish a new queen. The bad news is, her colony will slowly dwindle, with no eggs to hatch, and come spring, it will be an empty hive. The good new is, that we get to take her honey and share some with the other hives.
Over the next couple of weeks we will prepare for a long cold winter. We plan to wrap, insulate and shelter the hives from winds. And hope that they survive.
I found a big hole in the chicken run the other morning. I thought that filling the hole back in, and covering it with a cinder block would take care of it, but apparently it did not. The animal just dug right under the cinder block.
The side of the run, that shares a wall with the shed is the weak point. All the other sides have four feet of wire on the outside to prevent digging, but I could not get the wire under the shed.
So I dug 4 feet on the inside of the run and lay down some wire, covered it back up and put the cinder blocks back down.
So far so good. It helps me sleep at night.
Here is a peek at the inside of the coop, which is just a 4 ft by 4 ft corner of our garden shed shared by seven layers (although I like to call it the barn).