Mid-Summer Waning Garlic Moon
Today I performed partial hive box reversals in all three colonies. The second hive box of three gets rotated to the bottom and the first or bottom box rotates up to take its place. This means that all the hive boxes have to be moved, so it is a labor intensive activity, especially so now that some honey has begun to be stored. One hive box was very heavy, my back a bit reluctant. Having done that I checked the top box on colony 1 and the top two honey supers in colonies 2 and 3. None of these have much honey.
Since I put queen excluders on 2 and 3, I pulled those off, intending to leave them off for a couple of days. At the hobby bee-keeper meetings I’m told this is a common way to get the bees to move up into the honey supers. I’ll put the queen excluders back on maybe Wednesday. Since I reversed the bottom and second hive boxes, there’s not much chance the queen will get up there.
So far the bee season seems to have hurdled the early cold and rain and settled into a more normal pattern.
The potatoes and leeks both have mounds around their stalks now, blanching for the leeks and more space for the potato plants to produce tubers. A lot of gardening tasks are very time sensitive and these were among them. When the potato plants flower (now), they begin to set the tubers. As the leeks grow, only the parts covered by soil will blanch, turn white, and be useful for cooking. As the young apples begin to grow, the bags have to go on before the apple maggots come out to play. Also now.
The bees, too, require definite care and different kinds of care all through early spring and summer, then less attention around now, when the honey flow begins. Later in August will come extraction, then preparation of colony 1 for overwintering. Gonna try one more time. Colonies 2 and 3 will move out near the truck lane, into the sunny part. That’s for next year.
Our tomato plants started from seed have begun to mature, though they are far behind the two plants Kate bought at the green barn. Those plants have blooms and green tomatoes. It remains to be seen whether we’ll get any tomatoes from the others.
We’ve harvested one full planting of spinach, several of lettuce, some sugar snap peas and just this week, lots of strawberries. We have onions, carrots, beets, more lettuce and spinach, plus pole and bush beans all underway. There are cherries and plums in the orchard in addition to the apples and the raspberry canes are in good mid-season form. We’re going to have a good season as we continue to learn how to use our garden to complement and supplement what we buy at the grocery store.