Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Roasted Vegies and Queen Bees

At 40 degrees Celcius it's a roasting day today! I have just been out to look at the veggie garden and many of the plants are seriously wilted. I have heard you shouldn't water your plants during the heat of the day, but being under a griller like our sun today, they don't have much chance either. I have even put an old umbrella over the cucumbers to try to restore them a bit. I have never grown cucumbers before, and they were developing quite nicely until the heat of the past week.

Next year, I am going to get a huge blind made that can be rolled out from the house eaves and over the whole thing. Then they might survive summer a little better. Our garden is our household's main source of vegetables; I rarely buy anything, so it's worth while putting in the investment.

We have another 40 degree day predicted for tomorrow, and everyone is bracing for the expected bushfires. This time of the year, we live bushfires, as my man works for the Dept of Primary Industries, and goes away to help fight them each year. He has not been called away yet, but could well do at any moment.

I ordered a new queen bee recently, so I can split our one large hive into two. She came this morning via express post in a small box with four attendant workers. The postman tooted her horn as she put the parcel in the letterbox so I would know not to leave her there to roast.

I have never done this before, but have read up on the internet and my 'Beekeeping for Dummies' book. I also went to look at buying some secondhand hives, a hot knife and an electric honey extractor yesterday.

The man was a retired beekeeper, and had heaps of equipment to choose from, so we will pick up everything next weekend. He was full of information, so I picked his brain as much as I could.

I ordered a 'marked' queen, so she has a white dot on her back for easy identification. I mixed up some sugar syrup and wiped it across the wire, and they all had a feed, so all seems well.

I might not install her until the cool tomorrow night, because settling into a red hot new hive might finish her off.

We need to open the other hive, find the queen, then choose some frames with brood, honey and no queen to put into the new one. Next, the workers chew through the candy plug in the little box and release the queen. The few days it takes allows the hive to get used to the newcomers. Very 'political' and interesting.

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others

...St John Chrystostom


zooms said...

I wish you cooling clouds and a successful enthronement.

BlissHill said...

I like that. Thank you.

Ann O'Dyne said...

dear BH - thank you for your supportive comment at my place.
25 degrees at 6am is not funny.
of course, open windows overnight is supposed to cool the house down but all I got was the smell of the Meredith fire - they still have 41 trucks working on it and I am so upset for the sheep and possums (the kangas are more mobile).
I did not undress or go to bed last night - imagine how awful it is to be right in Meredith.
If the cause is an arsonist, as it often is, I am spewy that we never get a chance to throw stones like our gentle religious muslim friends do.
Only days ago I saw a butt thrown out the window of a car in front of me on a minor road between grass verges and paddocks.
I wished I had a gun.

Beezlebublog has a post about her bee bites - find her through my links for a laugh.

Have I mentioned to you before this, that another link of mine That's So Pants is on her way back to Oz after 25 yrs in London, and plans to buy in Gippsland fore the writing peace.

BlissHill said...

My man has been involved in most of the major summer fires for many years now, and I always mourn for the animals. the bush regenerates, but so much suffering. He talks of koalas,possums, wallabies, even snakes.... all confused and trying to escape.

Re: electric fences: I had horses for years, and often used to climb through the fence wires in the morning, thinking I would miss the electric, but not always! It certainly freshens up your thinking at 6am on a Sunday morning. A kind of 'electric shock treatment'for the not so mentally ill.........