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October 18, 2016

Mulberry Season

By Nutrition2 Comments

Just a month ago that is what the mulberry tree looked like. Now we’re right in the middle of fruiting and harvesting more berries than we can immediately use! So we’re freezing them and using them in ways like this….mulberry tropical frappe.

The bees….they’ve had a bit of a trial this week. They’re doing well, but we needed to fix up the base of the hive, that was splitting due to the tight time frame Rick had to build it in. He’d used part greenwood and part aged wood and hence a split down the base. So he whipped up a new base and we had to lift the hive onto it. While we were at it, he wanted to do a hive inspection.

The top box is choccas with comb, smells sweet like honey, and Rick cut into the comb a little to find sweet nectar, which he gave a little taste test.

Also while we were opening the hive, we popped in the wintergreen essential oil soaked coaster to deter the hive beetles (who rudely had been squatting in there).

Now, the problem came after we lifted the hive onto the new base. The bees got a little confused. Some figured out where the hive had moved too (it was only about 20cm from the old location! But others got stuck at the back of the hive, and probably confused by the smell of fresh paint on the new base and also the wintergreen scent. So a whole tribe of bees were crawling around the back of the hive trying to find their front door.

Then the storm hit. Lots of wind, bucketing rain etc. Bees can’t fly properly once their wings get wet. So a bunch of bees died in the storm, unable to find the entrance to the hive. Sigh.

The next day all was back to normal. Bees flocking in and out of the hive, the honey scent had returned and all was good. Just a few bee carcasses around as a reminder of yesterday.

Another chick was born about 2 days ago. Very cute! We’re now just waiting on the ducklings. The duck was totally distracted by her new home when she came here, so her eggs are under a hen. It will be pretty amusing to watch what happens when they’ve hatched and the hen tries to raise them! I wonder if the duck will realise they’re hers?