Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Around the farm...

 A quick check of the bees shows that they're thriving; lots of new brood and drawn comb, and lots of young bees.  They're having a good time and showing every sign of hives that will do well this year.  I don't like to open the hives; opening them disrupts the bees for a couple of days afterwards, but I wanted to know how they were doing; laying pattern of the queen, amount of honey stored, pollen stores and a general feel for how each colony is doing.  Having done that they're all in good shape, and ready for the next bloom.
 I open the hives on a warm, sunny day, and today was just about perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky, and the view of my mountain valley was a real treat.  The sheep are back mowing the back lawn again, with the edges of their area patrolled by the dogs who are getting the hang of this rotational grazing:  Simple rule:  Sheep outside the net is a bad sheep, and should be encouraged to go back into the net.  The dogs do this automatically now. 
 The alternative grazers, the pigs, do a more complete job.  Here's the area grazed by pigs almost two weeks ago, with ungrazed above it. 
The farmstead has had a series of owners who enjoyed flowering and fruiting plants.  Here the rhododendron shows bouquets of pretty flowers, and is very popular with the local bumblebees.  It's been interesting to see which plants the honeybees pretty much ignore and the local bees just mob.  This rhodie is one of them; the horse chestnut is another.  The honeybees are all over the honey locust tree, though. 

1 comment:

SmithGang said...

Those pics of your mountain valley are beautiful. here is south Georgia we are flat as they get. I've often wondered bout bees , farmers here rent hives from a local bee company. you see 8-12 boxes per fields , but I often wonder who gets the honey when they pick them up and wouldn't all those chemicals kill them. the honey has to be oozing with chemicals they spray.