The Early Growing Season

Spring ( it even looks like spring today!)                             Waning Bee Hiving Moon

This morning or early this afternoon I pull the grass out of the entrance reducers and the bees will be free to navigate from their new home.  Tomorrow I’ll check on the hive to see if the bees have remained focused in the middle of the hive box.  Otherwise the newbees have the run of the grounds and the air around here.  From now through fall we’ll be engaged in a delicate dance, first to prevent swarming, then to encourage adequate honey supplies for winter, then, if possible, production of surplus honey for sale.

One colony will receive the traditional treatment with three hive boxes, reversed and prepared for winter.   The other two get another hive box and after that, supers.  I’m trying to gauge how much sense it makes to struggle with overwintering since the odds seem stacked against it.

Veggies go in the ground, today, too, seeds and a few transplants–leeks, in particular.  Yesterday I moved the tomato seedlings to larger pots.  The seed potatoes are in a kitchen window, eyes beginning to bulge.  On Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ll cut the potatoes into chunks, each with an eye, then wait a day or two for a callous to form.  After that, in they go.

At that point the bees will be in their first week, all the vegetables with the exception of the post-frost plantings will be in the ground and the garden will have assumed its early growing season form.  At some point, too, I have to get out and work in the flower beds, the gardening that used to occupy all my efforts.  Now the perennial beds are established and I understand the patterns and problems they have.  Flowers are not as labor intensive as vegetables.

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