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Old 04-09-2017, 10:44 AM   #11
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How's the garden coming along??

I didn't sell my extras, just snuck around dropping them on neighbors' doorsteps and co-workers' desks... sort of the plant fairy.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:00 AM   #12
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Well, we had some excitement this morning. Some of our bees swarmed and took off! DH was in the backyard getting the vegetable garden ready for planting and heard them buzzing. He ran inside where I was having my coffee and we watched them from the kitchen window. Wish I'd thought to take a picture. They settled in our neighbor's tree and I called a master gardener friend who is also a beekeeper and has captured swarms before. By the time he called back, they had gone. I posted to my neighbors on Facebook and NextDoor giving the phone number of the Swarm Coordinator in case someone sees them. I hope no one tries to spray them. That would be bad.

In the meantime, yesterday, we went to a local wholesale nursery and bought a bunch of perennials. We have LOTS of weeding to do.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:08 AM   #13
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I wonder what caused the bees to swarm and take off from their home, GG? Do you think something spooked them? DH maybe, accidentally? I hope you're able to get them back safely.

I can't imagine someone spraying bees. I'm delighted when I see a few here in the yard.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:13 AM   #14
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How's the garden coming along??

Oh no, GG! You gave them lots of TLC. Maybe the queen got a wild hair.

Many folks think bees and hornets are the same thing. Sure hope your girls don't get sprayed.

We have lots of them around here, all wild but very mild.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:29 PM   #15
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I've been growing a few herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, oregano) in the back corner of the yard. Last year I decided I would grow cherry tomatoes in pots on the patio. I bought a couple of pots, cages, and plants. Just when it looked like some of the tomatoes were ripening, they would disappear. Not laying on the ground or pecked by birds, but just disappearing. Finally Mrs. T identified the culprits - it was those #%&@!$ chipmunks! I never got a single tomato all year. Not even going to try again.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:38 PM   #16
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Finally Mrs. T identified the culprits - it was those #%&@!$ chipmunks! I never got a single tomato all year. Not even going to try again.
Chipmunks are mostly vegetarians. (sorry about your tomato losses)
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:27 PM   #17
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When a hive gets too filled up with residents, some of the girls and boys swarm to start another hive elsewhere. They will pick a queen and start to build another hive. Quite common to see in the spring. During cold weather, the smart ones stay inside the hive and live off the honey they have stored all summer. I am sure there are still enough left in GG's hives to pollinate her garden this year.
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:28 PM   #18
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When a hive gets too filled up with residents, some of the girls and boys swarm to start another hive elsewhere. They will pick a queen and start to build another hive. Quite common to see in the spring. During cold weather, the smart ones stay inside the hive and live off the honey they have stored all summer. I am sure there are still enough left in GG's hives to pollinate her garden this year.
That's mostly right. They developed a new queen, she killed her sisters and then she threw her mother out and and a percentage of the other residents went with her. It's one way they reproduce. There are still several thousand bees and a new queen in both of our hives. That's just one less hive nucleus we could have sold. Ah well - we're still learning

During the winter they huddle up inside the hive and the queen stops laying, so there are no new bees to replace the ones that die (foragers only live a few weeks). So there are fewer mouths to feed on the honey.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:17 PM   #19
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she killed her sisters and then she threw her mother out
That's just mean.
But there are days I feel that way too. :)
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:01 PM   #20
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We don't safely plant out here until after Mother's Day. Folks who plant before then are a boon for the greenhouses, they get to buy their stuff twice. I'll plant flowers, tomatoes, and green beans.
Down here, we are good after mid-March. We might get a rogue freeze after that, but I can throw an old sheet over the garden, and it does fine.

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