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Archive for June, 2009

I didn’t do much to the garden today, pulled a couple of weeds, but not much else.  I did, however, admire all of the flowers that are out right now!

Sugar Snap Peas

Sugar Snap Peas

Some kind of bean.

Some kind of bean.

Tomato Flowers

Tomato Flowers

This carrot is going to be huge!

This carrot is going to be huge!

These first two raspberries tasted amazing.

These first two raspberries tasted amazing.

These Russian Blue Potatoes are getting bigger all the time.  I can't wait to see what the potato looks like.

These Russian Blue Potatoes are getting bigger all the time. I can't wait to see what the potato looks like.

Kathleen saved these beans from last year and passed them on to us.  They're beautiful.

Kathleen saved these beans from last year and passed them on to us. They're beautiful.

The wheat is finally starting to produce berries.  I was worried that there wasn't going to be enough soil for it.

The wheat is finally starting to produce berries. I was worried that there wasn't going to be enough soil for it.

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Queen Beatrix

The bees need a post of their own.

We first got our bees mid-May from a beekeeper out in Central Saanich.

We went to his bee farm to pick up the bees he had packaged for us.  He said that the queen was either Chilean or Hawaiian.  If she is Chilean, that means that our bees will be a darker orange in colour, more aggressive, but also more likely to survive the winter.  If she is Hawaiian, our bees will be blond, a bit more docile, but they tend not to survive the winter as well.  I think our bees are Chilean.

I offered to be the one to move them from their bee box, to their new home in our garden.  I donned the best bee clothes I had – sweat pants, tall socks, a long sleeve white shirt, some gloves and our bee veil.  We taped up my sleeves, so the bees wouldn’t get in.  Did you know that bees tend to attack things that are big and dark like bears?  I convenient evolution for them.  Knowing that, I made a decision to wear light coloured clothes.

I did pretty well at first.  I was a little nervous, but pushed that down, and tried to let my happiness at having bees make me honey come to the surface.  I pried out the bee frames from the box, and slid them into the super (the box that holds the frames) that we set up.  They were covered in bees.  I had a hard time not squishing them with my fingers.

Then the unthinkable happened, 3 bees got under my veil.  I still had 2 frames to go!  Trying not to panic, I quickly got the last 2 frames into the super.  A bee stung my chin, and was hanging from it.  I could feel the weight.  Another bee stung my chin, but fell off.

Peter, Nick, Ryan and Phil all were cheering me on, and telling me that I was doing great.  So I got the lid on the hive and moved away as quickly as I could.  There were bees all over me!!!

Peter helped me flick them off, and I took off the veil and got the bee out of my chin.

Peter bravely scraped the stingers out of my chin once we were inside.  I looked awfully swollen, a little shaken, but otherwise fine.  I plastered some baking soda on my chin and iced it.

We celebrated our new pets by drinking some blackberry port from Cherry Point Vineyards.  This definitely made up for the pain in my chin.

Now our bees are happily buzzing away and I’m used to having them in the garden.

We named the Queen Bee after the Queen of the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix.  Our hive is growing and we’ve added a shallow super already.  We think that soon, we’ll put on the divider that keeps Queen Beatrix in the bottom two supers, and put a honey super on top.  And we’ll have lots of honey before we know it!

Our lovely worker bees.

Our lovely worker bees.

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The End of June

I was going to take a picture of the carrots that we picked while thinning them out.  But they got eaten instead.  They were delicious and sweet.  I look forward to eating the rest of them.

Some other things we’ve been eating from the garden are peas, lettuce and radishes.

The radishes grew astonishingly quickly.  I planted them and another batch of carrots at the same time and some of the radishes are already as round as a quarter.  I discovered that you can eat radish leaves!  I put them in a quinoa salad I made and they were surprisingly tasty.  So now I hope to try this recipe for radish leaves.

We’ve been up to all sorts of things in the garden, but they didn’t seem to be that exciting at the time.  Looking over the past couple months, are garden is getting to be a lovely place to sit.

My first job as a beekeeper - put the bees in their new home.

My first job as a beekeeper - put the bees in their new home.

Pixel in the bathtub full of Red Fife Wheat.

Pixel in the bathtub full of Red Fife Wheat.

Tail ends of the first carrots.

Tail ends of the first carrots.

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