Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spring Is Around the Corner, Bees Are In The Air

Not literally as of yet, but certainly figuratively. I'm all signed up and ready to start a practical beekeeping class through HSU Extended Education. I'm excited for the opportunity to help this fascinating and vital insect continue to thrive. Not to say that I'm not just ever so slightly anxious about getting my first sting over with...

During the cold wet and dark winter months (it is very obvious I'm happy the hibernation is ending?), I've been reading up on the subject and picking the brain of Tom at A&L Feed as to what to expect. "Beekeeping for Dummies" by Howland Blackiston is a great beginner's reference, Tom loaned me two editions of Bee Culture, and I found a Humboldt Beekeeping group in Yahoo! So I feel at the very least mentally prepared, and very slightly educated. Let the buzzing begin! Class doesn't start until mid-February and bees don't get shipped until some time after that. Patience grasshopper...or should I say, "Patience beekeeper"?

In the mean time Miller Farms is offering a fruit tree pruning class this weekend which may help me get a handle on the three bare root apples I planted last year. They are giving me some consternation as I don't think they weathered the whistling wind we have here near the ocean very well. All the little apples dropped last summer and the leaves dried up to a crisp despite moist soil. The neighbor around the corner has crafted homemade wind blocks with metal posts and what looks to be visqueen (is that really how you spell it?). Must try it.

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