Monday, April 6, 2009

Big changes this week

The rain and warm weather this week led to some big changes in the garden. Everything, whether greens that had overwintered from fall plantings or tomatoes just placed in the ground, seemed to double in size overnight. The sugar snap peas have blossoms and the brand new strawberry plants have berries. In the ornamental beds, the native Fothergill (which likes wet feet and is in my rain garden bed) is covered in fuzzy, white flowers. I harvested huge bouquets of kale and mustard, and even shared some with the hens.

The biggest change was in Loretta's bee hive. Remember that two weeks ago I saw that the top brood box was full of last year's honey, and I planned to remove some to open up the hive for more brood and to encourage the bees to move into the honey supers? Well, yesterday I opened the hive . . . and found that the top box was now full of capped brood! All that honey had been either eaten or moved, and hundreds of new baby bees had taken its place. The hive was packed with bees, three medium brood boxes full of brood, and I did see one queen cell. Despite all this, they had not moved up into the honey super! So, it looks like this hive is ready to begin again with last year's swarm, swarm, swarm mentality. Let's wait and see; maybe next week I will find a full honey super up above all those new baby bees.

Finally, yes, I know it is early to have tomatoes in the garden. That is why I have a full, matching set of individual hot caps, made from milk cartons, to place over those plants at night this week when the temperatures plunge.