Sunday, April 21, 2013

Before the chill

Here's what was blooming (or almost blooming, in the peach tree's case) in my yard two weeks ago. That was right before a week of snow and temps down into the single digits. I don't worry about the plants or tree surviving, but the flowers were toast. Sadly, this probably means no peaches this year. Last spring was warm from March on, and we harvested a bumper crop. More bulbs are flowering this weekend, with more snow on the way. That's how it goes.

I won't show you a photo of my very ambitious rhubarb plant. It was thigh-high and already flowering. After the deep freeze it was a pile of mush. It will survive, too, but I regret not harvesting it when I could.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The newbies on the block

Last week I got some new bees, a package from Wyoming. Last year's bees swarmed and the hive never recovered. I was rather worried about this batch; the delivery was rather earlier than I would have liked, followed by a week of bitter cold and snow. Unlike a swarm, package bees don't have the opportunity to stuff themselves with honey before their journey, so their resources were thin. Basically, just the sugar water I placed in a feeder inside the hive. I need to track down a source of clean, untreated honey I can feed them with. Sugar water will do in a pinch, but it's not optimal.

Still, the weather warmed up yesterday and I came home to find bees hovering around the hive entrance, and they had drained the feeder. So that's a good sign. And they are finding the few flowers blooming.

More snow is on the way Monday.