My bees are keeping me REALLY busy right now. I have 20 honey supers (boxes for bees to put honey in) plus a super for comb honey on my hives right now, and I need more boxes!! I am going to assemble the rest of my frames (to hold foundation that the girls turn into honeycomb) this weekend, because I need still MORE supers. The main nectar flow is on and the girls are going crazy. The three tallest hives below are just bursting with bees. I'd say at least 60,000 in each hive. And yet I can go in there and work them with just my veil and a t-shirt on (and pants. I don't do naked beekeeping) and they are very gentle.
Today I bottled 18 kg of honey (that almost 40 lbs for you Americans! :) with way more to come. I have another five-gallon bucket to bottle, plus those 20 supers will need to be extracted at some point.
The weather today was gorgeous, but I took this photo the other day when it was still stinking hot and humid, and the girls were bearding on the hives again.
Yesterday morning I had to go out and add still more supers to the hives. The second hive from the left drew foundation and filled an empty box with honey is SIX DAYS. That is amazingly fast. So I slapped two empty boxes on that and another hive this morning. That'll keep 'em quiet, at least for a few minutes!
Wearing a beekeeping helmet and veil does absolutely nothing for your hairstyle, except perhaps to make grey hair more obvious!
Meanwhile, down in the vegetable garden...
...it's going to be a great potato year!
The sweet clover I planted for my bees is doing well.
Beans are appearing!
So are peppers. Not sure what this is... serrano?
Also not sure which berry this is! Loganberry? Boysenberry? I bought a bunch of berry plants last year. It would have been smart to mark them!
Jimmy Nardello peppers/
A bush basil my friend Pierre gave to me as a tiny seedling!
Tomatoes! Not red yet.
Haskap berry. I am looking forward to trying these. Hope the birds and squirrels don't get there first. Squirrels ate most of my strawberries this year!
And the bane of my existence...
Colorado potato beetle. Surprisingly attractive, amazingly destructive. I have been working hard to hand-pick these buggers and their larvae on a daily basis. Last year they nearly overwhelmed my crop, but this year we're doing much better. As cute as this beetle was, it went under my heel after the photo. You can see how much of the potato leaves it had already snacked on!
The nest of 13 eggs. Karène had gone for a brief outing, so I took a photo. I think they may hatch sometime in the next week.
...the Eastern Phoebe is back on the nest for a second clutch. I think this was originally a barn swallow nest (I love the piece of rope hanging from it!) but the Phoebes use it every year now.
Sadly, I have not seen many barn swallows this year. I have read they are in decline. They are one of my favourite birds, so it upsets me not to see them around.
But my bees are doing well, and are no doubt a large part of the reason my flower and vegetable gardens are doing so incredibly well. LOTS of pollination!
Have a great weekend.