So this elusive ball of fire called the sun decided to emerge this weekend and so we tried to get as much done as we could! We definitely feel behind.
We started early on Saturday. I focused on cleaning up the memorial garden (aka the pretty garden). I purposefully planted primarily perennials to keep it low maintenance. The hydrangea, peonies, tea trees, thyme, rosemary, and some of the lavender over-wintered well, but the jasmine didn't make it - that was a gamble for our zone - and neither did a lot of the lavender.
The boys either dig in a designated pile of dirt or play with trucks. I'm loving these ages! While I'm excited to have baby #3, I'm a little bummed I'll be largely sidelined again next spring/summer (Gabe crawled at 6 months which means baby could be mobile as soon as April).
So we went to Lowes to add some color to my slowly developing memorial garden. I went in wanting zinnias but they looked puny so I walked out with these beautiful pink gerber daisies that Quincy helped me plant.
We have some old zinnia seed which I'll scatter in the empty spaces of the sunflower bed to see if any take. And then I picked up a yellow rose bush for grandmother's garden (there's a song about the yellow rose of Texas) and a posh white rose bush for mama's garden.
And then a crazy intense rainstorm came through and interrupted our work that afternoon.
On Sunday, we went to church and came back to garden some more.
I also went to check on the bees!
I was supposed to try and find the queen and make sure they were ok about 5 days ago but you're not supposed to inspect a hive when it's cloudy and/or rainy.
I am not a patient person but I didn't want to be stung! And I didn't get stung! I'm 3 for 3.
As you can see from my notes, my goals were to:
1) Find the Queen
2) Inspect the frames - make sure there weren't any signs of pests, disease, or requeening/swarming
3) Refill the feeder with sugar water
Alas, I failed to find the queen but I didn't see any signs of the hive trying to raise another queen and I saw all three stages of development: eggs, open larvae, and pupae. So allegedly the queen is out there fertilizing! Here's how I feel about not finding the queen:
I'm trying, people!
My book told me to flip the frames upside down rather than turn the frames around (I think so one doesn't accidentally put the frame back in backwards), but when I did that with one of the frames a huge chunk of comb fell off into the bottom of the hive. That was the only time I heard the angry buzzing and got a little nervous. I decided to leave the chunk since they were pissed...I will, however, have to scrap that off the bottom of the hive during my next inspection...scary!
Any experienced beekeepers out there want to endorse the flipping the frame upside down method? Because I don't know if I want to do that again.
Random/funny aside from this morning: At my prenatal checkup this morning, I mentioned being a novice beekeeper and it turns out my ob just got started with his first two hives as well! I'm excited to swap beekeeping intel with Dr. Wolanski throughout this pregnancy.
Unlike seeing a midwife who is happy to dwell on emotions and the physical foibles of pregnancy, I often feel like I need smalltalk topics. He sees so many women, it's like I want to stand out in some way? I am planning a post on my opinions about the midwifery model of care vs. an ob. I love Dr. Wolanski but he's still an ob and it's just very different than seeing a midwife. I promise to elaborate in a future post!