July! finally an Update

This is  going to be a longer than usual post as I try to make up for my tardiness. We have been real busy around here with one thing or another so here is a bit of a rundown of what’s been going on.

Finally we got the wood chipper working correctly after getting a revised design of chute, vent panels  and revised feed tensioner hooks. its like a different machine. I had a lot of catching up on the wood chipping front. all the braches that where removed for the installation  of the perimeter fence. The limbs from the long over due pruning of some of the big old cherry trees and the clear up of the two trees that fell over in the winters storm and just general spring clean up.

I began chipping with gusto, sorting the wood in to the cedars and other types of wood to chip to use as mulch on the front gardens . with the fruit tree wood , apple, cherry and also the alder I chipped those up to use for smoking fish and other foods ….alder being my favorite for smoked tuna but  I thought it would be nice to try some of the fruit woods. After they are chipped I put them in paper grocery bags to dry out before use .I also sometimes sell a bag or two to people who what to use it in their BBQ.

Cherry wood chips  Cherry chips bagged to dry

 

The bees have been doing well and for a brief spell I was up to three hives here when the local nuc arrived. That was only short lived because I found that the back hive was queen less . so I combined it with the nuc and now have two very strong hives, both with two honey supers on. the front hive had the honey super on first and I just had to try some of the honey so I removed a frame of honey but without an extractor we had to mash the comb with a spoon to get the honey out and then filter it . The honey tasted great but it was a lot of work for just one frame , so I decided we better purchase an extractor before the rest of the honey is ready .

IMG_5138 honey extractor

 

On to the gardens . The wild flower mix I had planted in a shady planter had really turned in to a surprise. I had no idea what would come of it but it has turned out looking really great , adding some much needed colour to a shady dull part of the property.

Wild flower mix  IMG-20120625-00173

The Vegies are doing great , we have had some nice beets out , the colours on which were just so awesome I had to take a pic of them the third round of radishes are coming up, the rutabagas are doing great as are the peas and potatoes .

raddish seedlings  IMG_5175

Planting the Orchard

 

i have been talking about setting up an orchard on part of the land since we moved in and there is nothing like leaving it to the last minute when my nose is to the wire to get me started. we are putting in a perimeter fence and on the south line there is a beautiful big old cherry tree that over time had self seeded a bunch of cherry’s along the base , some of them are quite tall and i didn’t want to just waste them by cutting them up to get to the fence line so i decided to move them (plus it was an excuse to test out the backhoe). So i got started on my Orchard which just consists of some cherry trees right now but i hope to get to putting in apples ,pears , nuts and what ever else i can get my hands on that will grow here.

here are some pictures of the start of the orchard. the photos are before the stakes have been added

 

IMG-20120402-00089IMG-20120402-00091

The Bees Have Arrived

 

The Bees arrived on Thursday so i had to get the hives in place and setup , levelled and ready to go for the arrival .

i situated three hives but only two colonies of bees are arriving this Thursday.  IMG-20120402-00076IMG-20120402-00080

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When the bees arrived i watched a video to demonstrate what to do from urbanbees site (my bee supplier). i made a video of my experience, which was not as smooth as shown in the instructional video. you can definitely tell its my first time

Busy Bee, Building Hives

A couple of weeks ago I did a two day course on bee keeping at the surrey bee centre. just an amazing course . before the course I did not know anything about bees , i  was surprised at how interesting bees are. I Had mostly wanted the bees for garden pollination and  of course the honey but they are are just so interesting and having a bit of a hard time at the moment, so it would be great to just help them out and maybe they will give me the benefits I wanted in return.

beehive (1)beehive (2)

I had a look around on line for bees and hives etc but wanted somewhere local and with a bit of googling I came across a local bee suppliers called urban bees .The problem with trying to get bees at this time of year is they come from over seas and are ordered on a waiting list so I am a little late to get on the waiting list but urban bees not only had the hives and frames and all the gear they could get me bees so I placed my order and went and picked up the hives.

 

beehive (3)beehive (4)

 

today I started to assemble the hives and the frames . I was a little daunted at first but it turned out to be real easy . I decided I didn’t want to paint them, I wanted a more natural look in my yard so I sealed them so they would age nicely and weather and go silvery but not rot so easily.

I am scheduled to pick up my bees mid next month so I will update soon.

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