Gardening Products

Home Beekeeping

Few gardening-related hobbies are as fascinating and satisfying as raising honey bees. Contribute to the health of your area's honey bee population. Buy this guide to learning bee culture and start your own bee hives.

Garden Chickens

Raise adoring pets that pay you back with delicious and nutritious fresh eggs. This offer provides all the information you need to get started with your own backyard chickens. Click here today to get started in this rewarding hobby.

Kitchen Garden Store

Learn to preserve the produce you grow in your home kitchen garden. This home canning starter kit includes everything you need to can your first batch using the boiling water bath method for high-acid foods. Find it and other canning supplies at the Home Kitchen Garden Store.

Pages

small kitchen garden

bean flower

Give your bean plant experiment a chance to grow up and it will eventually reward you with some of the most unusual blossoms you’ll ever see. Different bean varieties produce different colors of blossoms. I’ve seen white, yellow, and purple in my own garden.

Have you ever sprouted a bean seed? Every one of my kids did this in preschool, and I remember sprouting beans in grade school. At some arts festivals and county fairs, I’ve seen booths where you could plant a bean seed and take it home to watch it grow. Maybe you’ve sprouted a bean seed?

Amazingly, bean seeds will sprout even under somewhat unnatural conditions. For example, the seed I started in grade school was in a clear plastic cup. We folded a piece of paper towel into a strip, rolled it into a cylinder, and lined the cup with it. Then we wet the paper, shoved the bean seed between the paper and the wall of the cup, and set it on a windowsill. We watched roots grow down while stem and leaves grew up.

Bean Plants can be So Much More

starting a bean in a cup

Who didn’t do something like this in preschool, grade school, or at a science fair? My kids brought home beans planted in soil, but I prefer this approach; it ensures that you’ll see roots, stem, and leaves as the plant starts growing.

I’d be willing to bet that most people who have sprouted beans have never seen their bean plants grow up. Let’s reverse that trend! Make a point in the next growing season to plant some beans in your kitchen garden.

There are bush beans and climbing beans (also known as pole beans). Bush bean plants grow short and nearly support their own weight. They can look like very small shrubs. Climbing bean plants grow long and twist around whatever they find nearby that’s at least as tall as they are; they’re vines. All the climbing bean plants I’ve grown have reached at least 10 feet in length. The photos show what you can look forward to if you plant climbing beans (which I recommend over bush beans in an article titled Canning and Freezing: How Big Should Beans Be?)

No Special Care Required

climbing bean vines

At first, a climbing bean plant looks like a bush bean plant. However, after a climbing bean deploys its second set of leaves, it stretches a leader skyward (left). That leader twists about as it grows longer until it rests against something; then it turns toward whatever it’s touching. When another spot on the leader touches something, the leader turns again at that point and so on.

It doesn’t take long for a climbing bean’s leader to wrap repeatedly around a trellis or neighboring plant. On the right, two leaders wrap around a single upright. In time, the leaf clusters will enlarge and flower stalks will emerge from them.

In hopes of encouraging you: I gave the bean plants in the photographs no special care. Before I planted seeds, I dug an eight-inch circular hole about eight inches deep, filled it halfway with compost, and added back soil I’d removed to make the hole. I tossed the compost and soil to blend it a bit, and then erected a support in the center of the hole. Then I set four seeds around the support.

I watered heavily the day I planted seeds, and kept the soil damp until seeds sprouted. Then, for the remainder of the season, I left the plants alone except when I harvested beans. It’s that easy. You can grow that!

bean-laden trellises

My tripod bean trellises are only eight feet tall; I recommend making yours at least ten feet. Thirty nine days passed from when I photographed the bean sprouts (above) until the beans reached the tops of my trellises. Still nothing to harvest, but the first beans were only two weeks away.

beans ready to harvest

September 1st – two months after planting – my bean plants were covered with ready-to-eat beans as well as flowers that would produce even more beans. A convenient characteristic of bean plants is that they produce an abundant crop in just half a growing season.

You Can Grow That is a loose coalition of garden bloggers encouraging people to garden. Please visit the You Can Grow That website for a list of other participating blogs.

 

Lewisburg Community Garden
Despite thorough weeding on September 5th, my autumn lettuce patch includes quite the assortment of weeds. The seeds for the lettuce patch came from one or more vendors at garden shows I attended in 2011 and early 2012; one packet might even have been a #gardenchat seed mix. If you haven’t participated in #gardenchat, give it a try. Find more about it here: Garden Chat

My kitchen garden is so small that I plant very intensively. By late August, nearly every inch is under vegetable plants, so I rarely add a third planting for cool-weather crops. I got lucky this year.

I had planted onions which matured and begged to be harvested in late summer. In the same patch, at least one carrot plant put out a seed stalk; a clear sign that the roots were mature—perhaps too mature. So, by September 5th, I had a generous space in which to plant fall veggies.

Lettuce, Spinach, and Pak Choi

After harvesting my summer vegetables from my garden annex, I pulled weeds and raked the soil smooth. Then I “broadcast” seeds. That means I threw them on the soil. I put pak choi in one area, mixed lettuce varieties in two areas, and spinach between the others. Then I gently raked the soil to work the seeds in just a bit.

In six weeks, the lettuce and pak choi have done beautifully, and I harvested my first lettuce salad in the spirit of Post Produce! Despite a few nights below freezing, the salad greens are growing beautifully, though shooting photos for this blog post revealed a modest slug population dining on the leaves.

I’ve erected the ribs and spine of a hoop tunnel to provide protection for one of the lettuce patches as nights get colder. I’ll cover it with clear plastic and try to nurse the lettuces along into winter.

Post Produce is a link party hosted by Daniel Gasteiger at Your Small Kitchen Garden blog. Link to your entry at Post-Freeze Post Produce.

Lewisburg Community Garden
I love to use pak choi in stir fry, but it never occurred to me to grow any until this year. My plants are a bit feeble, but still looking very nice; next year I must improve the nutrition of the soil in my garden annex. I didn’t get down low to take this photograph and so was amused when I loaded it on my computer and spotted the slug back under the leaves. Slugs, of course, are what have been making holes in my autumn salad greens.

Lewisburg Community Garden
Looking southeast across the Lewisburg Community Garden reveals a variety of vegetable plants. One border of the garden (visible on the right in the photo) sports dozens of sunflowers.

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania – the town where I live – got a new gardening hotspot this year. Bucknell University turned a chunk of downtown real estate into a community garden. The garden covers what might have been two or three in-town lots and is obviously very popular.

Small Kitchen Gardens within a Garden

The Lewisburg Community Garden includes 22 garden plots available for rent by citizens. These small gardens within a garden vary in dimensions, though they seem roughly to have equal square footage. From the looks of it, all these individual plots are in use.

Each gardener brings unique style to the community garden. Some of the plots have a Square Foot Gardening flavor, while others have more of a post-Neanderthal sensibility. In each, vegetables of many types grow with promise of fine harvests for the community’s gardeners.

Lewisburg Community Garden looking north
In late spring, the new Lewisburg Community Garden was growing vigorously. This view is from outside the garden’s south fence looking north. The land floods periodically so making it a garden rather than housing seems quite sensible.

Garden for the Community

Personnel from Bucknell and community volunteers maintain nearly half of the community garden for charity. What they grow in it goes to a local food bank – and there’s a lot growing there.

Experienced gardeners provide expertise, and it’s clear from the associated blog that many involved parties are learning gardening through this project.

It’s such a joy to see plants emerge and develop in the community garden. I hope this becomes a focal point for people to learn about real food; about how plants convert sunlight into stuff we can eat, and about how homegrown produce is so much better than the processed, packaged stuff crammed onto shelves in the local grocery stores.

Lewisburg Community Garden carrots and squash
The carrots in this section of the garden will eventually go to a food bank as will the summer squashes from the bordering rows. Actually, the summer squash is already producing heavily; you might be able to spot a few yellow fruits among the leaves on the left.

Technorati Tags: , ,

an Amish Home Kitchen Garden

Over the years, Your Home Kitchen Garden blog has presented some of the topics I wrote about in my book, Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry it, Too. Brenda Haas talked with me about it on a special live broadcast of #gardenchat from the Garden Writers Association Symposium. Here Brenda speaks with a representative of Corona Tools.

While my home kitchen garden deteriorated from neglect (and nasty elements), I spent a week at the Garden Writers Association annual symposium. There, I had the great pleasure to meet Brenda Haas whom I’d known for more than a year on Twitter, but had never met in person.

Brenda manages a weekly online conversation called #gardenchat. At 9 PM EST on Mondays, gardening enthusiasts log on to Twitter and post questions and comments, creating dozens of wild, intersecting conversations. I always enjoy #gardenchat, even when the subject is ornamental plants, and it’s a great privilege to know its curator.

The #gardenchat Special

Brenda had scheduled a special #gardenchat broadcast to take place at the Garden Writer’s conference. For this, she did a series of interviews using Ustream.tv, and they went out live while a tweetup of garden enthusiasts took place in the next room. I was one of the interviewees!

The Youtube video embedded in this post is a big chunk of the conversation I had with Brenda at the conference. There’s a lot of background noise because there was a party in the adjacent room, but you can hear our conversation if you like. We talk about several of the topics I wrote about in Yes, You Can!

 

 

Technorati Tags: , , ,

young front yard home kitchen garden

The homeowners here make no apologies; they planted a home kitchen garden in their front yard, so live with it. I’m glad I live in a community where food plants don’t offend people’s tastes.

There has been a lot of fuss recently about turning front yards into home kitchen gardens and I’ve been making a lot of it:

  • I was happy to report in April about Ivette Soler’s, The Edible Front Yard, a book that encourages its readers to replace their useless lawns with home kitchen gardens that both look good and produce food.
  • I posted in early July about the nonsensical government of Oak Park Michigan prosecuting Julie Bass for growing vegetables in her front yard.
  • Most recently, I railed during a radio interview about the crime we’ve committed against our planet by planting lawns in every yard, and I explained my plan to replace my lawn with food. (The interview wasn’t yet in the archives when I wrote this post, but it should be there soon.)

During these months, I’ve enjoyed watching the progress of a new garden that appeared this spring in my neighborhood. Yep: it’s in a front yard. We walk past it occasionally on family walks with the dog, and I’ve watched the plants grow from seedlings into young adults. It warms my heart and I hope the homeowners expand their planting bed in the coming years.

maturing front yard home kitchen garden

Perhaps six weeks after I shot the earlier photo, I captured my neighbor’s home kitchen garden growing strong. Someone is going to have a lot of tomatoes to deal with, and that’s way more awesome than having to deal with a useless lawn.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Neck Pumpkin from Your Small Kitchen Garden

The big squash is a neck pumpkin that grew in my home kitchen garden in 2010. The small squash is a homegrown butternut squash for the sake of comparison. Yes: seeds from that neck pumpkin may reach you by mail in February if you hop over to Your Small Kitchen Garden and sign up according to instructions there.

Your Home Kitchen Garden’s sister blog, Your Small Kitchen Garden is giving away food! Food? OK, it’s giving away seeds from which you can grow food. The promotion started a few days ago and runs until February 13, 2011.

Seeds for Your Home Kitchen Garden

Neck pumpkin, Pennsylvania Dutch Crook Necked Squash, Long-necked squash… get them all through the Small Kitchen Garden giveaway. Actually, these are all names for the same squash. Plants are very resistant to Squash Vine Borer and they produce fruits that resemble butternut squash only generally much larger. In fact, I’ve seen neck pumpkins that weighed more than 20 pounds!

Neck pumpkins are common in central Pennsylvania, but I’ve never seen them in other states. When you buy a neck pumpkin at a Pennsylvania farmers’ market or a farm stand, there’s a pretty good chance the farmer will ask, “Making pie?”

probably an andes tomato from Your Small Kitchen Garden

I pick tomatoes before they ripen. This one is probably an Andes Horn paste tomato. Minimally, it’s an heirloom paste tomato that tastes great raw or cooked. It’s mostly meat, nearly seed-free, and in my experience is hardier than some other popular varieties of tomatoes. Get 20 or more seeds to grow some of your own by visiting Your Small Kitchen Garden and signing up according to instructions there.

I’ve used neck pumpkin in pies, and I’ve also served it in all the ways I serve butternut squash. Butternut squash is a tad smoother and it has a richer flavor, but neck pumpkin tastes just fine.

My neck pumpkins grew to about 12 pounds this year, but the seeds I planted came from a 20 pound behemoth. The giveaway includes enough seeds from one of my neck pumpkins for you to plant at least one hill of squash.

Andes Tomatoes from Your Home Kitchen Garden

Also in this year’s giveaway are seeds from my crop of Andes paste tomatoes. I don’t know for sure that my tomatoes are of the Andes variety, but they match descriptions I’ve read and they look identical to photos of Andes. I started with seeds from some tomatoes a neighbor gave me, and the seeds I’m giving away came from my second year’s harvest.

blue hubbard squash from Your Small Kitchen Garden

Supposedly the model for the alien pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, blue hubbard squash can look quite gnarly. I’ll dissect this modest blue hubbard over the weekend so seeds have time to dry out before I mail them in February. You can get some of the seeds from this squash to plant in your kitchen garden. Visit Your Small Kitchen Garden Seed Giveaway to learn how.

I love these tomatoes. They are indeterminate and have performed extremely well in my garden… and they taste terrific.

Blue Hubbarb Squash

The blue Hubbard squash is among the most beautiful of squashes. It’s exotic, and you might even feel that a whole fruit is ugly. However, the meat of a blue Hubbard runs from blue/green toward the skin, to yellow toward the center of the fruit. It’s gorgeous.

The meat is also delicious, having a squashier flavor than butternut; I like blue Hubbard for my pumpkin pies and other baked goods, but it would be terrific mashed, grilled, or baked.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

frosted broccoli in a home kitchen garden

After harvesting a few pathetic miniature broccoli crowns from my home kitchen garden, I left the plants to continue growing and harvested a few meals’ side shoots. While the harvest was very disappointing, the plants’ growth was impressive. The largest grew more than eight feet tall. Frost found a few florets on that first cold night and glittered in the early morning sun.

My home kitchen garden is shot. We’ve had some frost and we’ve had a few deep freezes. This year, I felt no panic about frost; I’ve been overwhelmed with tomatoes and chili peppers so I was kind of looking forward to a night cold enough to shut it all down.

On the morning after that night, I shot a few photos. They capture what I love about the first frost in my home kitchen garden.

frosted broccoli flowers in a home kitchen garden

Broccoli flowers attracted pollinators through much of the season. The first frost of autumn looked a bit like an aphid infestation on the stems supporting the blossoms.

 

frosted squash leaves in a home kitchen garden

The winter squash plants on that first freezing morning of autumn in my home kitchen garden looked as though they were forged from ice.

 

frosted squash leaf tips in a home kitchen garden

The leaf bud end of a winter squash vine looked otherworldly with a crystalline growth encasing it.

 

dead squash patch in a home kitchen garden

Hours after the frost melted, the tomato, pepper, bean, and squash leaves in my home kitchen garden were limp and discolored. One day earlier, this section of the planting bed had lain under a dense canopy of winter squash leaves. Only weeds survived the cold night.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Home Kitchen Garden Field Pumpkins

It’s hard not to like a heap of ripe field pumpkins. I’ve used such pumpkins to make pies, but they’re rather bland. I recommend them instead for seasonal decorations, carving jack-o-lanterns, and feeding to pigs.

My home kitchen garden is quite modest in size, yet I squeeze an enormous amount of produce from it. This season, I planted way too many tomato plants in way too little space, and harvested at least 300 pounds of tomatoes (I wish I’d kept a tally… in peak season I harvested 15 pounds of tomatoes per day).

When I grow too much produce, I muse a lot about selling some of it at a farm stand or a farmers’ market. I give a lot away, and I preserve what I think we’ll use in a year. And, despite the hassles of dealing with so much produce, every fall I develop winter squash envy, feeling a great urge to add more varieties of winter squash to next year’s garden.

Winter Squash 2010

This year I planted four types of squash: Butternut, Neck Pumpkin, Blue Hubbard, and Kobocha. Sadly, vine borers decimated the kobocha and the blue hubbard; I got no viable fruit of either type. On the other hand, the butternut and neck pumpkin plants were healthy and prolific.

Home Kitchen Garden Delicata

Delicata has tender skin that many people eat along with the squash’s flesh. From descriptions, this squash sounds very tasty. Each squash is about the size of a quart canning jar, though perhaps a tad thinner.

I gave away one neck pumpkin, and have three on my dining room floor. They weight about 10 pounds apiece. I also have a quickly-diminishing heap of butternut squashes; we’ve eaten it grilled several times, and I stir-fried a wok-full of sweet & sour squash that went nicely alongside beef & broccoli. With Thanksgiving just a month away, I anticipate cooking up some “pumpkin” pies (using squash instead of pumpkin), and I’ve been on a soup-making kick lately, so I expect to be making squash soup in the near future.

Squash Fix for a Kitchen Gardener

Baileys Farm Market, about eight miles south of here, sets out an impressive selection of winter squash each fall. I took my camera and visited this past weekend, hoping to capture some of the magnificence of their squash display.

Home Kitchen Garden Carnival Squash

Carnival squash is colorful and similar in character to acorn squash. I love the textures in this photograph.

Home Kitchen Garden Turban Squash

I love the colors and shapes of Turban squash. We had at least one in a decorative cornucopia as a centerpiece each Thanksgiving at my parents’ table. We probably ate a few of them when I was a kid, but I don’t recall… and I haven’t tried any since.

Wading through the field pumpkins at Baileys is entertaining in its own right, but even a very experienced kitchen gardener is likely to discover new things. My photos reveal only some of the winter squash treasures I saw this weekend. It was so hard not to bring home five or six samples of squashes I’ve not tasted. There’s a reasonable chance I’ll visit Baileys again before winter and pick up a few squashes to taste and to seed next spring’s home kitchen garden.

My favorite item at Baileys was a rather uninteresting squash: it was more or less round, mostly orange, and warty. The squash itself wouldn’t have held my attention, but according to the sign, the variety was simply, Orange Warty Thing. Apparently, this is a very eatable squash, but people tend to use it more as a decoration than as a food.

Home Kitchen Garden Triplet Pumpkin

I’d never heard of Triplet Pumpkins before I visited Baileys, and a few cursory Google searches turned up no references to this squash. The color is similar to that of Blue Hubbard squash and the texture of the skin is vaguely pumpkin-like. However, Triplets are twisted and lumpy. The orange squash in the foreground is Hubbard.

Home Kitchen Garden Orange and Green Squash

I’d never seen a Cushaw squash until about two weeks ago when they showed up at the farmers’ market I frequent. I was fascinated by the colors and patterns, and was happy to find a large bin of them at Baileys Farm Market. I had also never heard of banana squash (top-left in the photo) and encountered it for the first time at Baileys.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

basil blossoms in a home kitchen garden

The basil plants growing in a pot on my deck have flowered. OK, herbs. Herbs flower too.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day today, was very wet in my home kitchen garden. That’s a good thing for the garden, but not so much for the photographer. Thankfully, for the first time ever, I shot my Bloom Day photos a day early. It was heavily overcast yesterday, so there wasn’t a lot of contrast, but the photos reveal a garden very much trying to produce more food before the season ends.

What is Bloom Day? Carol over at May Dreams Gardens started this monthly celebration of flowers. Garden bloggers the world over participate by posting photos of whatever’s abloom in their gardens. I manage a home kitchen garden with the philosophy that I don’t want to expend energy planting stuff I’m not going to eat. So, my focus is food, but happily, fruits and vegetables start out as flowers. Here are the August babies in my home kitchen garden:

dill blossoms in a home kitchen garden

So… I have a bunch of dill blossoms in my garden. I didn’t plant dill this year, but last year’s volunteer dill plants seeded themselves aggressively, and I’ve had three or four plants in bloom at any given time for the past six weeks or so. It’s reassuring to know that several large seed heads have already produced hundreds of seeds which now wait on the soil to sprout new dill plants next spring.

 

tomato blossoms in a home kitchen garden

If things are abloom in my garden, at least some of them are probably tomato plants. I’ve more than 80 tomato plants in the garden this year, and have canned 45 pints of tomato products. There are about 100 pounds of tomatoes on my dining room table, and the plants hold, perhaps, another 100 pounds. These pretty flowers may produce fruit, but it won’t have time to ripen before this autumn’s first frost.

 

bean blossoms in a home kitchen garden

I grew climbing beans for my first time last year and enjoyed their behavior so much that they have become “must haves” in my home kitchen garden. This spring, a woodchuck munched a lot of my plants, but what’s left is producing enough for my family of five to have about four servings a week.

 

lima blossoms in a home kitchen garden

My lima beans are two experiments in one: 1. I’ve never grown lima beans because I’m the only person in my family who likes them. 2. I’m growing eight plants in a single windowsill planter… way too little root space. So far, the plants are flowering abundantly, and there are dozens of bean pods. The pods are just starting to fatten up, so I have some hope of gathering enough lima beans for at least a few servings.

 

cuke blossom in a home kitchen garden

Yet another first for me: I’m growing cucumbers. I planted two varieties, and nearly all the plants have been destroyed by vine borers. Still, I’ve harvested three cucumbers, and there are many more at various stages of near-readiness.

 

squash blossom in a home kitchen garden

Closely related to cucumbers, my winter squash plants are crazy in bloom. Vine borers have killed or weakened nearly all my blue hubbard plants, but neck pumpkins and butternut squash are growing strong. Oh, and it looks as though kobocha squash don’t know how to make female flowers; my plants have grown many dozens of male flowers, but not a single fruiting blossom.

 

broccoli blossom in a home kitchen garden

My broccoli didn’t produce well this year, and I’m shopping for better varieties for next year. If you have a favorite that produces large heads, please leave a comment to tell me about it. I’m still harvesting small broccoli florets from the side shoots, but I think I enjoy the flowers more than I enjoy the tiny servings of broccoli.

 

pepper blossom in a home kitchen garden

While I’ve more than 80 tomato plants in my home kitchen garden, I also have about 60 chili pepper plants. This one’s visitor, I think, is confused. These bugs usually stuff themselves into squash blossoms; this may be the first time I’ve seen one on a pepper plant.

 

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

beehive prepped for my home kitchen garden

I scraped every inch of wood on the inside of this hive body, and put a fresh coat of paint on the outside. Each slat of wood inside the box is the top of a “frame” that will hold a sheet of beeswax called “foundation.” When I received the phone call this morning telling me I could get a package of bees, I mounted foundation in the frames, and assembled the beehive out in my yard.

I had very low confidence that I’d have honeybees in my home kitchen garden this year. As I reported about six weeks ago, I rebooted my effort to get a beehive started (Beekeeping at my Home Kitchen Garden) after last year’s discouragement. However, because of budget constraints, I was planning simply to bait a beehive and hope to capture a wild swarm of honeybees.

Shopping for Beekeeping Gear

In the past six weeks, I cleaned up a hive body (called a brood chamber) and the component frames that will eventually hold honeycomb made by bees. So, on Saturday I decided to visit a local apiary to buy foundation. Foundation is a sheet of beeswax pressed with a pattern of hexagons that bees will happily build upon to create honeycomb and brood comb.

The apiary was closed on Saturday, but its operator told me there’s a beekeeping supply store just up the street. This was news to me, so I drove out to see what the store had to offer.

A Truckload of Bees

bees headed into New York City

The folks I found filling their car with bees at the beekeeping supply store had driven out from New York City. They have been campaigning to legalize beekeeping in Manhattan, and the beekeeping ban ended in March! Apparently, there are a lot of beekeepers in the city; these packages were going to folks all over the island.

While I wasn’t paying attention last October, a company called Brushy Mountain Bee Farm opened a branch store about five miles north of where I live. The store sells everything a beekeeper needs to succeed. Coincidentally, on that Saturday, the store had received a truckload of honey bees customers had ordered.

I browsed, I chatted with the staff, and I watched a customer load a station wagon with about sixty packages of bees. I don’t know how many packages had passed through the store that day, but some people who ordered failed to show during the scheduled pickup time. It became apparent that there might be unclaimed packages of bees… and here my reclaimed, ancient beehive was ready for occupants.

I left my phone number, and this morning I received a call. Some bees had, in fact, been abandoned by the people who ordered them. Yep! I bought a package of bees.

Bees Installed in my Home Kitchen Garden

three pound package of honey bees for my home kitchen garden

The package of bees I bought sits on my porch as I suit up to prevent bee stings when I install them in the hive. It was so cold that the bees could barely move much less sting me. This three pound package of bees held at least 10,000 bees, including a queen in her own container. The queen’s cage is inside with the rest of the bees… but she’s in her own room in part so the beekeeper can make sure she makes it into the hive.

It was raining and miserably cold today by the time I had the beehive ready to receive its new residents. It was so unpleasant that I didn’t even try to take photos of the procedure. The bees were sluggish because off the cold, and they got a bit wet. Not one tried to sting me, and I’m afraid several hundred didn’t make it into the hive.

Of the more than 10,000 bees that made it into the hive, the livelier workers immediately started examining the beeswax foundation. I hope they quickly find the food I provided for them. As they mill about and feed, they’ll warm the inside of the beehive… and that will make them livelier still.

The rain and cold will continue for another day, but by the weekend, it will be warm enough to draw the bees out so they begin exploring their new neighborhood. I’ll keep an eye on the food and replenish it when it runs low (which I hope it does quickly) and I’ll check inside the hive in ten days to make sure the bees have settled in OK.

I’ll share more about the beekeeping experience in coming posts.

 

Technorati Tags: , , ,