We still have not uploaded the photos from the weekend, but here are some to hold us all over for a little while.
Here we have some hogs--snouts sullied--after a hard afternoon's rooting session.
They have cleared all of the land for our orchard and have also just about finished our bramble and briar patch. We'll be moving them behind my log pile along the west end of the farm this coming weekend.
Here is Erica hard at work planting what will hopefully one day be a wonderously prosperous apple tree. All of the trees we set in have started to bud and are full of leaves. The bees are starting to leave their hive and gather nectar and I saw several of them already buzzing by the apple trees. We have set up the hive right amongst the apple trees for maximum pollenization.
Speaking of bees: When they arrived, they were looking rather piqued. So much so that they seemed to be--and were--mostly dead. After a quick couple of calls and some photos sent via email, the supplier has agreed to send us a second shipment as a replacement. Our queen, however, looked healthy and quickly worked her way onto the honey frame foundations to start her egg laying work, but the colony is off to a rocky start with so many dead bees during shipping.
We'll be adding the new bees as soon as they come. Below is a shot of the bees that we received in the mail. An acceptable amount of dead bees would be no more than 1/2 an inch on the bottom. You can see how something must have happened during shipment to cause over two inches of dead bees. All the bees amassed on the bottom are dead. There are still several thousand living bees clinging together at the top end of the cage, but this may not be enough to establish a heatlhy colony. Also of note is the can in the center of the shipping cage. This is filled with sugar solution to feed the bees during their voyage through the mail. Just to the right of the can, nearer the top, is a small cage which houses the queen and five of her royal servants. Their job is to feed her. She apparantly cannot be bothered with such menial tasks. Anyhow, only one servant was left when the cage arrived, so that might explain why the queen was so eager to leave her little cage...She might have been a little hungry.
Stay tuned...More to come!