Monday, May 30, 2011

Beekeeper's daughter

Ivy has expressed a lot of interest in the beehive; to the point of occasionally getting in trouble for inviting neighborhood kids over to check it out and getting a wee bit too close. So today I suited her up for the first time and took her with me when I went to check the hive. I wanted to teach her how to act around the bees - how to be responsible, slow, and quiet.

Normally a not particularly cautious person, she surprised me by showing some reservation about this situation. So I duct taped her pant legs' closed, let her wear the enormous hive gloves, as well as the big hat and net. This made her feel more confident - though she was constantly paranoid that a bee had somehow made its way under the hat and she refused to believe me that it was one of her braids moving around.

The bees seem to be doing alright. I'm not sure, though, since I don't exactly have any experience yet. There do appear to be less of them. Bees live only about 3 weeks during the summer months, and since there hasn't been much time for the next generation to be born, and it's been a good three weeks since I've had them, there looks to be a sharp dip in the population. I'm crossing my fingers that nothing terrible is happening. They haven't made much progress since I checked them last weekend.

I couldn't find the queen, but again, I suck at that and haven't seen her since I put them in the hive. So that doesn't mean anything. I looked closely and didn't see any evidence of disease or mites, which is awesome. They are also still very chill about me pulling out the frames. They just don't seem to give a damn. I use a smoker, but only lightly. They are all, "Whatever!" and completely ignore me.

My garden is doing... not too shabby. I haven't been able to give it much attention because of school, so I can't complain too much, but I do wish I could have it looking/producing better. I have to keep reminding myself that 1) I am not supporting my family with its bounty, so it's ok if it fails, 2) it is only for my own amusement, and 3) I am not trying to get in Better Homes and Gardens or some shit like that. 

But I'm sad because my spinach bolted. It's been so damned hot that they barely made it six inches tall before farting out on me. I love spinach so I'm bummed. I did read that in my area it's easier to grow spinach in the Fall because spinach also prefers short days. I'll try again then.

My potatoes are getting tall. I forgot what potato flowers looked like and I think they are puuurty. Here, I took a crappy photo for you. I think that I had a smear on the lens.

 My regular peas did not grow at all, which is bizarre, but my snow peas have gone crazy. All of a sudden, there are snow peas all over the damned place. I picked several handfuls, ate a good dozen of them as I went, and then made dinner with them. I am very excited that this is the first time that my dinner was dictated by what was growing in my lil' garden. It feels really good, you guys.

Very first garden meal! Stir fry with snow peas, spinach, carrots, and "chik" patties. This is one professional food photo - it deserves to be featured in a snotty food blog. Or something.

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