Heat Wave! This Year, We’re Prepared

22 Jun

NY has been hit with a heat wave again! BUT (unlike what happened last year when they died off after the heat wave) we ARE prepared! Umbrella! – check! Plenty of water! – check! Fully open entrance! – check! Ample space and top ventilation! – check!

So I think the girls will ride it out this year.

On cooler days, the bees keep the hives warm, and I can feel the warmth when I open the hive. Now they don’t have to make so much effort to heat it up. They may have to cool it down, but if the outside temperature is 93, then that’s the target temperature for brood. I’m assuming they can just relax and “beard out” on the landing board, which is what they’ve been doing since the heat wave hit.

Also – got first squash harvest of the year – very yummy with basil and ranch dressing.  Getting the Emsco SIPS container was the best decision for the roof garden. The sunflowers are getting taller by the minute. Thanks to the wonderful pollinators, backyard gardens around here will have great yield this year.

The roof garden has been watered solely on used bathwater to not add anymore to the water bill – which we hope makes the landlord happy.  It’s a lot of effort (for Omar) who has been hauling the bathwater to the big plastic bin outside our kitchen window. I thought about rainwater collection, but the rain barrels are kind of expensive and I didn’t want to drill holes in the drain pipe. So we just got a plastic trash can at Home Depot, and a bungee cord to fasten a mosquito screen on top.

Check-In Log 6/21:
I checked the hives on Monday June 21. The third hive bodies with plastic foundations (the ones I added a few weeks ago) are now finally getting built up and getting filled with nectar. I’m still feeding then once a week. I’m not sure when to stop, because they always eat up what’s in the gallon bags every time.

I am reluctant to harvest honey this year – I have not put the queen excluder for harvesting, because they are so slow to build on plastic foundation and won’t stop eating the syrup. I plan to order 2 more medium hives with wax foundation next week, and then let them build these up fast for their own use.

Article in NY Times:
There was an article on NY Times about blessing of the bees. Today, I was on the crowded, hot subway platform, and I was thinking of the Great One who created the bees, then thought, wow, the subways are like hives with swarms of humans in it…
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/the-blessing-of-the-bees/

NYT was also asking for submissions from beekeepers across New York, so I sent in a photo – which made it into their slideshow:
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2012/06/22/nyregion/cityroom-beehives-ss-18.html

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