We had a new Honey Bee ( Apis mellifera ) delivery in the early part of the week from the Bees Choice. Yay! There were some minor delays in getting queens this year due to the massive pesticide incident in California during the end of the pollination of the almond crops. Someone “accidentally” killed 80,000 colonies by tank-mixing pesticides and spraying during the daytime hours while the bees were out foraging. That’s a LOT of bees when you multiply that by 40,000-80,000 per hive. So sad. 1,300 beekeepers suffered losses. This also started the initiatives from the White House to Save the Bees! Without these wonderful pollinators, the United States would be out of food in less that four years!
This brings me back to our little story…in Florida, we have an africanized honey bee drone population for queens to mate with (a no-no), so we have to buy queens from areas that are not yet infiltrated or ones that were artificially inseminated to help dilute this current drone population. The goal is that the more beekeepers we have in Florida that follow the best management practices, the more we can dilute the undesirable traits of the africanized drone population. The beekeepers in most of the southern states have to order queens, in addition to the 1,300 beekeepers that lost their colonies in California, which caused an unexpected high demand and therefore, low supplies and delays. Our queens made a long journey from Hawaii to be with us.
Our two 5-frame NUCs should be ready to be transferred to their new lavender 10-frame Langstroth hives very soon.
This week, we were at Mote Marine’s Aquaculture Park (sturgeon facility) and ECHO where we made some new friends and met up with the Phil and the crew from Morningstar Fishermen.
The remainder of the week was a clean up week since it’s a holiday weekend – Happy Birthday America!
- Lots of mowing and weedeating since the grass, pastures and weeds grow REALLY fast down here in Florida with our hot, rainy summers. By the time you finish, you have to start all over again if you don’t get rained out in the process. 😉
- Getting materials for next weeks projects – end wall posts to be installed. Yay!
- Procured a walk-in cooler that we disassembled and transported most of last week that needs a new home in the Quonset. Still trying to figure out exactly where.
We’ve added some Resource pages under HOW-TO link in the menu above. Pages that have links are completed, those that do not are planned and we hope to keep adding to these as we go along. Those following us on this blog and Facebook will be the first to know! So, don’t forget to follow us and LIKE us, if you haven’t already.
Currently, we have:
Florida Gardening – planting calendars, guide for herbs, guide for vegetables/fruits, integrated pest identification and options and other useful online resources that we have come across. More coming soon
Florida Beekeeping – calendar of blooming plants, FL BMPs, diseases and pest of the honey bees, beekeeping associations, and other useful online resources that we have come across.
Aquaponics – here we plan to add Q&A type info from the questions we tend to be asked more frequently. Got ?s, let us know. The most specific information on aquaponics will be in the DIY Projects section for those that have attended our classes.
Recipes – here we plan to add recipes for many of the items as we get ready to harvest to allow everyone to see the versatility that heirloom vegetables and fruits can have.
DIY Projects – here we plan to put all the handouts and materials from our various classes. It will be a members-only section, log-in information will be provided at each class.
Still planting and harvesting microgreens (sunflower, radish, broccoli, wheat grass available) and our 3 foot basils (genovese, citrus and thai available). The citrus basil knocks our socks off. It’s really flavorful. Let us know if you want to pop by for an order.
Thai Basil and Citrus Basil