Bredbo Valley View farm - providing quality education in Permaculture and sustainable living practices.

Monday, October 18, 2010

They're back

They’re back – and everything is well in the world again. I managed to survive a couple more pig maulings, one in a most delicate place and a month of cooking for myself.

I’ve managed to procure a number bee boxes at a good price, it involved a quick trip one evening down to Bega, but now I have enough to get myself started. As you may recall, Mrs Duck had provided me with my first swarm, temporarily housed in a broccoli box. Mrs D was going to give me a hand to move the bees into their new home, but she convinced me that I’d be okay to do it myself.

I now wonder if she has ever really read my blog? Surely she knows I stagger from one disaster to another, I appreciated the confidence – but, as Mr Spock would say – ‘Logic would suggest Jim’.

Ben and I moving the bees
Not being a skilled bee keeper in any fashion I knew one thing, or maybe two. Firstly I needed a bee suite and secondly, I probably couldn’t do it on my own. So, I borrowed a couple of bee suites and recruited a trusty off sider. Ben was wrapped that I asked him, just having celebrated his 12th birthday he was pretty chuffed he was going to do something so grown up. And operating the smoker was right up his alley.

So, we donned our suites and under mother’s watchful eye made our way to the bee box. Mrs D had told me it was easy, just plonk the frames full of bees into the new box, tip the left over bees in front of the box and that’s it. So we attentively lifted the lid – expecting the bees to swarm all over us in a very angry manner. However nothing could be further from reality. The bees stayed on the frames, we placed then in the same order into the box, shook the rest of the bees out of the old box and walked away. The bees were very well behaved, no angry girls, not much smoke and no stings. Unfortunately, I only had one box ready, so I need to put foundation on some others, get a queen excluder and stick a second super on them.

What I didn’t say was when I picked up the new boxes a new swarm was busily making one of the boxes its own. These boxes had been in storage since 1992, the guy had dragged them out for me to look at in the morning and came back to find the swarm hard at work. Its not a large swarm so we’ll see how they go.

So Mrs D confidence was well founded, her gifted bees did her proud and are now busy making the cook a fine box of honey for her winter cups of tea.

What else has happened – well over 60mm of lovely rain. The river is up again and the grass everywhere is green. I’ve never seen it so green and every dam in the country between us and Canberra is over flowing, we have never experienced such a great spring. Of course, with that much rain the pig’s house got as bit flooded, but that has dried out now and everything is well.

The Cook’s garden looks a treat, her potato’s have grown six inches and strawberries are thick and flowering – luckily we have bees, and the asparagus has been glorious. She spent the whole day in the garden weeding and planting today – she’s pretty happy with her new tap as well.

Unfortunately the rain has delayed the finishing of the pig loading ramp and yards, but the rain was well worth it.


The Duck Herder said...

hey that is awesome.

I never said PLONK them into the box........

you and Ben are VERY clever - did you get to see the queen?

well done team bredbo!

Valley View said...

You didn't say plonk - sorry, you probably said something like 'place gently' and my male brain translated it into plonk. We didn't see teh queen - but we didn't look very hard either, we were keen to get it done and finished before the sun went down. We checked teh other hive and it was small be very busy.

Thanks for the help - we'll be out collecting swarms ourselves before long!


Old Nev said...

And all I have done lately is cook up a seafood banquet for my visiting niece from Adelaide.
Just think prawns and bugs and crabs and oysters some fried rice and a couple of bottles of South Aussie wine topped off with a huge pavlova. Gee life is tough on the land.