OK, there are going to be lots of pictures in this one!
First, the bees. They are doing well. Though one hive still has a moderately high mite count, both hives are growing rapidly!! The queens are laying really well and the population is just exploding, which is great! They are bringing in lots of nectar and pollen, too. So, you would think that they would stop drinking the sugar syrup and just fill up on the food they are bringing in. But, they are scarfing it down, which makes me think they need it (or maybe what’s in the syrup). To help decrease the mite population we are adding HoneyBHealthy to their sugar syrup, as well as 15 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil/quart of syrup (some friends of ours totally got rid of their mites using bergamot!) We are still doing weekly mite counts to make sure the level doesn’t go up. So, here are a bunch of great pictures (well, some aren’t so great, but I had to post them!)
This one show a great capped brood pattern in the middle with lots of white capped honey on the edge.
Here’s a great one of pollen and capped brood.
Here is a queen. It’s fuzzy, but she is the long bee in the middle.
This is a pic. of brood (baby bees) being capped over.
And this one I was so upset that it didn’t turn out!! We were witness to a bee birth 🙂 This baby bee is just about to come out of the comb. Here is his little fuzzy head!
And one of our girls hard at work.
Now, on to K’s garden! We put in our new/used sink this weekend and put the old one in the garden for K. This morning, K and I filled it with pineapple sage, chocolate peppermint, purple basil, hyssop, chamomile, zinnea, lambs ear, calendula, and a tomato. I tried to put things in there that she could smell, taste, and feel. But, it’s a little crowded. So, I may move the hyssop to my herb garden 🙂 She really likes it! And everything is very well watered!
Here’s one of the garden.
And my little helper.
And my little helper practicing her best sad face.
So, as far as land search… well, we have been a bit disheartened. To be able to have the sustainable homestead that we would like, we are really hoping for more land than we will be able to afford in our current area. Land prices around here (and back in Asheville) are so inflated that we can barely afford an acre! We did, however, just find out about the possibility of buying some land from a family member. This would be great! My biggest worry though, is that we would be surrounded by many people who have very different beliefs than us. Plus, one of my herby friends and I have just started to talk about opening up an herb school here. If we moved, I couldn’t do that. (Well, it’s not that I couldn’t, but I don’t think there would be the desire for an herb school where the family land is.) I wish there were some overwhelming factor to push us somewhere. It would make this decision so much easier… do we spend more and have a higher mortgage, or by less, have a smaller mortgage and less land to work, do we spend more and buy less land to be near a town we love, or spend less and buy more land, but be near a town that doesn’t have such a supportive community for alternative living? I don’t know! Anyone out there got an answer??