It’s official, I have bee fever. Yet I still do not have a single bee tenant.
Of course, I am still on the waiting list for a nuc and I have also signed up for the local swarm retrieval list, even despite having zero experience. A friendly neighborhood beekeeper has promised to alert me if there is an easily accessible swarm reported in my area, and that he will come and show me the ropes and even let me keep the bees! Fingers crossed.
In the meantime I have purchased two more hot wax dipped hives to match my first one, and I have set them all up in the dappled sunshine under my wild cherry tree facing south east. I have also applied lemongrass oil swarm lure to them just in case any scout bees happen along.
I have also stocked up on deep and medium supers and frames to fill them, since as I understand it when you need one you need it now. I have also acquired a bee smoker and found plans to build myself a couple of simple wooden nuc boxes for the future. Wish me luck!
I was joking around in a previous post about how hard it is to find cheap wood chips around here this year, and how I was pretty close to buying my own wood chipper and putting up an ad for tree services!
Well it turns out that is exactly what has happened. Today I bought myself a used chipper and soon I will be pestering neighbors for their tree trimmings. Can’t wait!
Well, no actual bees yet, but my order for a nuc (nucleus of bees) has been put in and should be ready for pickup in a few weeks. (A nucleus is a box containing a few frames of worker bees and a queen, kind of like a mini hive.)
What I do have is my very first beehive!
I’ve wanted to start raising bees ever since I got my own property, and was pleased to note that my city allows up to three hives per urban lot. I’ve been busy for a few years getting the rabbits, chickens and other creatures coming along, and I decided this year it was time to start the bee adventure.
I’ve been a member of the local beekeeping club for a couple of years now, and this weekend there was supposed to be a beginner beekeeper’s course hosted by them that I signed up for. Sadly there was not enough interest and the course was cancelled. Since my entry fee was refunded, I decided to use it to buy my first hive.
My starter hive is a Langstroth, obtained from Flying Dutchman in Nanaimo. It consists of a slanted bottom board to keep out rain, a deep brood box filled with ten waxed plastic frames, an entry reducer bar, an inner cover, and an outer telescoping cover topped with sheet metal. All the wooden parts have been hot wax dipped at the factory, so no paint or other finish is required.
I also picked up a hat with veil (veil not pictured), and some gloves. I already have a hive tool, so I should have everything I need to be ready for my first bees. I will be buying or making another deep brood box and a medium honey super in the next few weeks, so I’ll be prepared if everything proceeds as planned and my bees need more space.
I often say I’m excited on this blog but this time I am REALLY excited! Stay tuned for more bee news!
The babies are now a little over a month old and looking very cute. They are eating piles of fresh wild forage each day from our little organic field, which has really been taking off. They hardly eat any pellets at all, and I find this makes them extra healthy and friendly as they look forward to their daily greens.
I did a quick once over and so far it seems like all the bunnies I picked out for the shoot today are bucks except for the little Californian at the end. The photos represent all the colors we have in the current four litters. I have multiple chestnut agouti kits as well as the ticked black. Enjoy!
Broken blue otter Rex buck, right side
Broken black otter Rex, left side
Opal Rex buck, left side
Creme/Rex/Champagne buck, left side
Chestnut agouti Creme/Champagne buck
Chestnut agouti Creme/Champagne buck, right side
Californian doe, right side
Although I only live a few minutes away, I’ve never been to visit this little park until today. Despite being a gorgeous sunny day, my dog and I were the only visitors, which is just how we like it.
This park has been described by many online as “disappointing”. To be sure, it is small, surrounded on all sides by housing developments and the highway, and the “modern” petroglyphs are beginning to take over, see below:
The original petroglyphs can be hard to make out, since they have become overgrown with moss and debris. Here is the main frieze as it looks today, but the individual images are hard to distinguish.
Here’s an image taken from the internet of how they looked when the site was freshly prepared:
A little more impressive! It’s interesting to think that so close to my home, Salish people were here carving these images into sandstone over 1000 years ago.
One of my favorite parts of the visit were the dozens of pink and purple fairy slipper orchids that I saw everywhere. I’ve never seen this variety in the wild before and they were exceedingly charming. Apparently the corms used to be a food source for native peoples.
I also saw a few white trilliums, a flower that always reminds me of my childhood back east, where the woodlands behind my house were wall to wall carpeted with them every spring. Sadly, Google Maps reveals that most of that magical forest is cut down now to make way for housing developments.
One of the best things about this miniature park is that not too far in and up and you are treated to this pretty breathtaking view:
Definitely worth a visit!