• Tag Archives Apiguard
  • Harvest

    Fall                                      New (Harvest) Moon

    Second round of apiguard in the parent and the divide.  The top box on the package colony has gotten heavier, but I plan to feed them some more as I will do to the parent once the apiguard comes off in two weeks.  Sometime in early November I’ll get out the cardboard wraps and cover the hives for winter.  That will pretty much finish bee work for the year until late February or early March.  I’ve given away honey and plan to give away more.  Part of the fun.

    A quick walk through the vegetable garden shows kale and swiss chard looking good, a few rogue onions that escaped the harvest, plenty of carrots, beets and butternut squash.  The harvest is 2010-10-04_0351not yet over and will go on until the ground threatens to become hard.

    While I drove through the countryside on my way back to Lafayette on Monday, I passed field after field of corn and beans, some harvested, some not, about half and half.  Seeing those scenes put me right back at home, especially the corn fields.  Here’s a field near Peru, Indiana with the combine spilling corn into a tractor trailer for transport either to a corn bin, grain dryer or even straight to the grain elevators, all depending on the price and moisture content of the corn.

    Indiana is no longer home, Minnesota is, but Indiana has a large section of my heart, the chamber of childhood and early young adulthood, a room full of corn fields, basketball, small towns, a baby sister and brother, county fairs and James Whitcomb Riley poems.  I was glad to be there the last few days and to walk again in the part of my heart filled there so long ago.

    We move now toward Samhain, Summer’s End.  Blessed be.

  • Bee Diary: September 21st, 2010

    Lughnasa                                             Full Back to School Moon

    The fumagilin-B in heavy syrup, sugar 2:1 in a gallon water, rests now in the hive box wide feeder with the screen and two plastic reservoirs on each side of the screen.  The bees can come up around the screen and reach the syrup.  It will do two things for this colony, the package colony.  First, it will feed them so they can shore up their stores for the winter months.  Second, it will treat them for nosema, an infection that threatens their survival over the long winter.  Nobody got riled up when I put the feeder on or when I poured the syrup into the troughs.

    I also put the shims on the parent and divide to give the bees space where the apiguard goes in the hive.  When I lifted the top hive box off to place the shim underneath it on the divide, I saw that the apiguard had reduced by half at least.  The treatment has gotten to them.  The shims went on, but propolis made getting the hive box squared away on top of the the shim difficult. The propolis allowed the heavy hive box to gain traction on the shim pushing it off center.  Even so, I did, finally, get it on.

    When I get back from Indiana, I’ll finish the apiguard treatment, then begin the fumagilin-b for the other two colonies.

    Last night I passed out pints of honey to the Woollies.  It tickled me, the satisfaction I got from seeing my friends heft the honey. Scott tasted it.  They will take it home, put it on toast, use it in cereal, whatever they want.  Each time they do, a bit of Artemis Hives transfers itself and its quite literal energy to them.  In that way they become us and we become them.

  • Miracles.

    Lughnasa                                              Waxing Back to School Moon

    Nap.  Off to Ace Hardware for chemically resistant gloves.  Really.  Why would I use anything that required them?  Normally, I wouldn’t.  But the varroa mites compromise the divide’s ability to survive the winter and the U says to do this until IPM begins to work.  If I didn’t have a strong recommendation to go ahead from people whom I know share my overall perspective on medication, I would just chance it.  Kate made shims for me to put on the hive boxes to give bees enough space to walk around and get in the Apiguard.  She made them in plenty of time.  I forgot to take them out with me.  Sigh.

    I have to go out again tomorrow and put them in place.  Didn’t realize I’d forgotten them until I came inside and saw them still there on the dog crate.

    The garlic is in the ground.  This is the first year I’m planting only garlic I have grown.  In previous years I’ve always bought a few bulbs of a variety I haven’t tried.  The planting of garlic grown here both naturalizes the plant to our locale and gives me a sense of a circle closed.  Satisfying.

    Dug potatoes, too.  One row of three.  Not as productive as last year so far, but not bad.  I planted these at ground level in the oldest of the raised beds, one almost flush with the garden floor.  I will not do that again.  Way too much bending over.  Still, the thrill of digging a potato out of the loose soil constitutes a miracle as far I’m concerned.

    The older I get the more I have the opposite problem from the early advocates of higher criticism of the Bible.  They thought miracles were problematic in the biblical narrative and went about finding natural explanations for them or chalking them up to mythologization.  Not me.

    Miracles are everywhere in my world.  Those pale yellow roots against the darkness of the soil.  Edible!  Planting garlic in the fall so I can harvest it next June.  Cooperating with insects to produce a sweet, delicious liquid that I can share with friends.  How about that!  Being part of a young woman’s search for her vocational path.  A person mutating from young adult to a professional.  Getting up in the morning with energy and eagerness for the day.  Greetings from Vega and Rigel with tails thumping and bodies quivering.  Knowing that we get our food from the energy of a star 93 million miles away from us.  Having a modest grasp of quantum mechanics.  The absolute, dumbfounding miracle of love between Kate and me, our kids, our grandkids.  Friendships that have endured for years and years.  Life is so full of miracles I have to fight through them to get to breakfast.

  • Jax

    Lughnasa                                     Waxing Back to School Moon

    After a nap, I headed out again, the second of three busy days.  This time I went to Jax, a return to the 1950’s with dark wood paneling, a lovely buffet table and Jean-Marie’s jax-matchbookmilestone birthday.  Happy Birthday, Jean-Marie matchbooks, the whole Jax touch.  I met Jean-Marie’s daughters and spent a good bit of time chatting with her oldest who until recently was a graduate student under Marla Spivak, the bee goddess of the UofM.  She and Jim of Nature’s Nectar, whom I saw later, convinced me to try and keep my old parent colony.

    The elegance of the Jax setting made for a dignified tone.  Other docents came in and I spoke with Joannie Platz, Toni de Lafour, Marilyn Smith and a few others.  I saw Allison as I left.  She has a very fashionable red knee brace.

    A long drive out to Stillwater to Nature’s Nectar to pick up Apiguard, Fumigilin-B, shims, hive stands and corks.  Jim’s a knowledgeable guy and easy to talk to.  He gave me some good advice about the parent colony.  He requeens every year, so the need to eliminate the old parent colony is not so high.  With tests and assays I should be able to keep on top of the mites and other diseases, too.

    The drive back from Stillwater was in pouring rain; the first time I’ve driven in really heavy rain this year.  Back home now and dry.

    Tomorrow is the docent lunch at noon, then the UTS event at 6:00 PM.