Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blackberry blossoms and wildflowers

The farm is entering what I would call its "yellow spring." The pasture is full of yellow buttercups, complemented here and there with groups of white daisies with yellow centers. (The blue bachelor's buttons also add a nice touch.) All the greenery is still new enough to have a yellowish flavor.

The wild blackberry vines are also in bloom. Some of them, as you can see from the photos above, are fairly close to the beehives, and the bees have certainly taken notice. I have been picking the wild blackberries for the last two summers, and each year the crop seems to be more abundant. I have tried to leave area where I know there are vines alone -- not clearing them out or cutting them back. You'll be hearing more about the blackberries as we get into the summer. Right now the bees seem to be having a feast (right).

Sally, Jane and I put out three rows of corn (two yellow and one white) and four rows of beans (two Blue Ribbon and two October) in the garden on Saturday morning. We still plan some pumpkins, tomatoes and one or two other things. We'll see what pops up.

The hives had a busy weekend. Lots of bees were going in and out constantly. They have also taken a couple of jars of feed. I opened both hives last night and found that on the left one (the newer one) the bees still have a tendency to gather under the top cover. They are drawing a good bit of comb up there rather than on the foundations. I'm not sure what to do about that, so I'll have to consult Jim Brown. The other hive is still working away, although there has been more activity in the top box than the lower one. I switched the positions of the boxes, making the top one the lower one, to see if that makes any difference at this point.

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