Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Update: bees, blueberries, etc.

The last couple of weeks have been up and down on the farm. The weather has been generally cooler than usual, and that has caused some problems and delays. We also had a good bit of rain this weekend, which eventually will help everything but has slowed us down in getting some things done.

Bees: One hive survived, and one did not. That was confirmed this afternoon when Jim Brown and I looked into the hives for the first time. One of them (on the left) is full of bees, drawing comb and getting ready for the queen (whom we did not see) to lay some eggs. During the warm part of the days, these bees dart in and out and seem to be having a great time. Inside, there are thousands. (I'll try to get pictures this weekend.)

The other hive was not so fortunate. None of the bees survived, and there's no good explanation for it. Jim says the cold snap we had just after the bees were installed "didn't help them any." Getting used to a new home and dealing with sudden cold was more than these bees could stand.

Jim says he will be getting some more bees in next week (one of his new hives died, too), and that I can have a box of what he ordered. So, soon, we should be back with two hives.

Blueberries: The blueberry bushes had a hard time during the cold a couple of weeks ago. The frost got to the blooms and turned some of the leaves black. The bushes themselves survived, but the blooms are gone and we probably won't get any blueberries off them this summer. So it goes.

The garden: The cold has scared us off from planting for at least a week or so. We may try to put in some things this weekend when the temperatures are likely to get into the seventies.

So, we are past Easter and mid-April. No permanent damage (except to the bees), but it will take a while to get back on track.

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