Baby Chick

That glorious little chicken who is most definitely not a baby. Cricket. Every now and then I remember to call her Cricket. That is an improvement.

Her Mumma chicken Duchess returned to laying and stopped behaving like her Mumma. Things were returning to normal.

Last week Duchess became broody. Despite there being 2 nesting boxes and at different points in time they are both used, they usually prefer one over the other. It is usually the one that is occupied that is the only one they want to use that day.

When Duchess is broody it disrupts all the chickens. Most of the time this disruption manifests as a whole lotta noise, screaming at Duchess to Move.

Baby Chick decided to problem solve. She found a new spot. The chickens are not allowed on the verandah. They respect this, or so I thought…

Baby Chick has decided that the half wine barrel that has the sage, baby spring onions and chamomile is her new spot. This is most definitely on the verandah.

Now out my window Lucy and I see thisimg_4879 img_4878And then later find this

img_4880

The spring onions on this side have not survived…

More Hive stuff

I made a rookie error and did not allow enough time for the 7 million layers of paint to dry. I cannot remember if I put 4 or 5 coats of paint on, it all got a little confusing. I am guessing some parts got 4 some got 5…

My ever patient sister didn’t say a word but I was sick of skirting around all the boxes as they dried, I wanted them off the lounge room floor. So after almost 2 days of drying IĀ  stacked them up, man they looked pretty!

Then I started work on constructing the frames. My poor hands tell the story of the 32 frames that I made. That wire is sharp! Once I had made about 5 I thought I would get them out of the way and pop them in the hive.

I could not separate those damn boxes!!! They were stuck together like nobodies business. I actually had to use my hive tool to prise them apart. Some of my glorious paint was ruined but anyway…. Lesson learnt. I now have them stacked like this.

img_4875

This is easier to pull apart. I will probably put a coat of paint on the bits that were damaged. I finally found out how to put the base together, this is the last thing that needs to constructed. It is also the last thing that needs painting. Then I will throw it out in the back yard to wait for its inhabitants.

I have registered as a bee keeper. A little preemptive but it is a legal requirement to have our registration number on each box and I would rather do this on an empty hive. I am unsure if I will decorate the hive. I kinda want some orangey hexagons randomly on the side but I am unsure if this will look nice or not.

img_4876

Look at all those lovely frames in their home. I read somewhere that you should set up your beautiful hive in your lounge room and admire it for a while as it will never look as pretty again. The bees will ruin it, the weather will ruin it. I am doing as they said. Admiring the beauty.

img_4877

The hive tool. Apparently the most important tool (arguably it would seem, some say the smoker is the most important, I cannot weigh in on this just yet…). So far it has been the most useful to me, the smoker is still in its box.

 

Hive construction

Turns out this should not be done indoors. I blame the weather. If Spring had ever sprung maybe I would have done this outside…

img_4862
This is not subtle advertising for Bosch. That is my drill and it is lucky it is not in the bin…

img_4863

I had some technical difficulties with my drill. After some choice words and some feet stomping I borrowed my brothers drill and impact driver. Smooth sailing from there. Now I have the shell of a hive!!

img_4860
Fairly impressed with myself that all the handles are facing the right way!

It needs 4 or 5 coats of paint. I have decided to paint it the same colour as the picket fences in the backyard. Not for the aesthetics but because there is still half a tin of that paint left in the shed. Plus it means that I am much more likely to finally get round to touching up those bits of the picket fence that I managed to damage with the lawn mower.

I also finally found the email that explains when I pick the bees up. 2nd or 3rd week of November. Plenty of time to finally work out where the hive is going to go.

I am feeling much more confident since completing the beginners bee course. I am sure this is misplaced confidence but when it all goes pear shaped I now know of at least 3 very experienced bee keepers that I can call and plead for help.

 

 

ps I went to the monthly bee meeting last night. Got home late, had trouble getting to sleep then had whacky dreams. Spiders as large as dinner plates, really fat and hairy and people were keeping them as pets and patting them like dogs. I hope this is absolutely unrelated to all the bee pics I looked at last night….

Hive Opening

I have no photos of the day. Over the weekend I went to the interactive field day part of my beginners bee course. I had a lot riding on this day. If I couldn’t handle the bees flying everywhere, the moving mass of bees on each frame or the bees landing on me I would have to sell all the things I had purchased and say good bye to my potential career as an apiarist.

I LOVED IT!!!!!

I felt protected in my bee suit (I am unsure if this is a false sense of security but I did not get stung so I will take that as a win!) the flying bees did not concern me. The bees on the frame were no issue. I can totally do this bee keeping thing!!!

I am ready for the honey. So ready šŸ™‚

IMG_4192

Garden life

I bought all the parts to construct my bee hive. They don’t look very bee hive like stacked in a pile on the floor but I am hoping they will be easy to put together.

img_4859img_4853

I have been planting more flowers and buying more seeds. Have I mentioned how much I love buying seeds?? Seeds are quite possibly my favourite things in the world to buy. The possibility that they represent is so exciting to me! I bought daikon seeds so that I can make my own kimchi. I bought amaranth as I believe it has a lovely flower plus I like to eat the seed and you can eat the leaves as it is growing. 3 things from one plant, what a winner!! Lemon balm for the people and the bees. Agastache licorice blue, also for the people and the bees. The agastache is a bit of a long term seed project as it doesn’t flower for 32 weeks after planting. As I will only be planting the seeds this weekend I think it will flower in a year. Apparently it is like crack for bees! Ok I made that up but it is incredibly nectar rich and they love it.

The garden is looking a little riotous at the moment but as there is green everywhere I am happy šŸ™‚ I have been weeding so much lately, all the same weed, I do not know where it has come from but it is doing my head in.

img_4865

Also I caved and bought some seedlings, my seeds aren’t germinating as Spring has failed to arrive. We have had frost the last 2 nights. The days have not been very warm and the seeds are not liking it.

The seedlings are amazing. You get a 100% recycled and compostable tray and you fill it with single seedlings that are somehow in squares of soil with no packaging. It is a brilliant brilliant idea, you only get the amount you need. I often look at the traditional seedlings and think, why are there so many in a tray? who wants 6 or 8 zucchini plants? The only down side (which wouldn’t have been an issue if I was paying attention at the time) was when I got home with my 2 cucumber and 2 zucchini and all 4 looked the same same, I had put no thought into their location in the tray. Most seedlings I can tell apart at the single leaf stage but these ones were tricky. I think I have it right but I may not… But what a great idea to reduce waste!! Wish I took a photo before putting them in the ground…

These are my potatoes,Ā  I am having trouble keeping one of the chickens out of there so I don’t think they will thrive.

img_4874

For some reason she respects this netting system although she can easily fly straight over the fence at any other point, I will not question this but be thankful.

img_4873

Beeautiful or scary

I am half way through my bee keeping course. The bees arrive in a month. I am buying the hive in a few days so I can paint it and make it all pretty before the bees arrive.

The only problem is…

I have not actually seen a hive in real life before. I am a little concerned that I am going to freak out, hate it and want to quit.

img_4813

I have a hugely irrational fear of spiders. Huge fear! Very real, very fearful. Sometimes bees look like spiders. I am unsure how I will feel when there are 30,000 bee/spiders all in a heap, moving around. Flying. Flying spiders is actually a recurring nightmare that I have, right up there with spiders developing immunity to Mortein. Oh the nightmares!

In retrospect I should have done the course first then been to see a hive. If that was successful then order the bees and buy the equipment. Or gone all sensible and been to see a bee hive before I contemplated getting bees.

I am fairly committed this way. Who knows, maybe this will cure me of my fear of spiders.

I am looking forward to constructing the hive, painting it, decorating it, generally preparing the area for my new friends. I am super hopeful that my desire to help the bees/ eat glorious honey/ have awesome pollinators at hand will override the fear.

Bring on the HONEY!!!!!