Thursday, October 27, 2011

other projects this summer

well, i finally fenced in the back property line.  the neighbor wanted the fence in, i hadnt prioritized it - we did some horse-trading. 

end result?

3 big grey pines dropped in the backyard.  these trees were leaners (~60-80 feet tall) and when we had the 18 inches of snow during the winter of '09 - they were leaning too far for my comfort over my boat.

so with a little quid pro quo - he got a fence in sooner and i got 3 huge trees cutdown.  pretty sweet.  i even found a taker for the wood - so my boys and i got it cut and stacked and the wood is now up in pollock pines ready to keep someones house warm.

i have some pretty cool pix of the fence and the guy up in the tree - but for life of me i can t make this blog take them vertically - even though they show up properly on my desktop.  go figure.  so you get to see 3 of my fav guys who helped out on the project.  (l-r) austin, andrew and jed. 

and thats my boat to the far right.

7.5 gallons - hmmm baby...

yup - the weird weather didnt seem to impact honey production too much.  if you followed my 12 swarm captures (mostly from my own hives) i figured i would experience a poor honey harvest.  well, we saw a 50% increase from last year (2010 saw 5 gallons).  i also had queen issues early in the year - which i believe was the result of me swapping the brood supers - resulting in queen supersedure and subsequent swarming.

so 2012 will see no brood box swaps and as i re-queened with new world carniolans in late june, i am hoping that they will avoid swarming - as that trait is downplayed in the nwc strain. 

time will tell.

as of this week i have applied the winter prep medicine to reduce the varroa mite and have 6 strong hives.  i do have 1 hive (the 7th) that i will be break down shortly, its having wax moth issues - and that is an indicator of other factors causing a failing hive.  i will set out the honey in that hive and have the other hives rob it and add to their winter stores.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

from there to here...

well, i did it again. no summertime posts, no updates - you would think i would know better. however, it is what it is. so lets jump back a few months to the garden. my last post showed a pretty good hail storm, a week after i planted my tomatoes in May. well, old mother nature did her best, er- worse -  but we were able to pull out ok, but it was a tough year.  tomatoes didnt produce until august, we had cool weather throughout the summer and didnt get the intense weeks of heat which really kick the tomatoes in high gear.

as you see in the picture (mid june timeframe) the garden did do well early.  2011 was a challenge, but gardeners are an optimistic lot, by nature - otherwise why would we plant seeds and dirt?