Pollen Detectives

B: We love it when our little bees come home loaded with pollen. They spend all day buzzing about stuffing pollen into pouches on the tibia of their hind legs which are called corbicula, or pollen baskets. Pollen baskets! It makes me giggle every time I hear it. I think of cartoon bees with tiny... Continue Reading →

Tomato, Tomahto

MB: This is the time of year when everyone's daydreaming about their vegetable gardens and the star of the dream is usually the tomato. Everybody has their favorite tomato — or ten. The reasons for these preferences are as numerous as the varieties of this delectable vegetable. (And don't start with the "Is it a... Continue Reading →

Queen Bee Rules

After leaving the honeybees alone for a few days to let them get settled in, I opened the hive on Friday all suited up and nervous. I checked the cage that had held the Queen and, to my immense relief, it was empty. Yea! They released her! Burr comb is random, wild comb that the... Continue Reading →

Garden Critters

B: In even the smallest gardens, amazing things happen all the time. Last week we had one of those perfect gardening days here in Southern California — blue skies, warm, wispy breezes. Gardening on days like this brings about a kind of meditative state, a peculiar slowing down of time that creates focused alertness. In... Continue Reading →

Hallelujah, We Have Bees!!!

MB: Wow! The last two days have been a jumble of excitement and nervousness. Even though I obsessively watched videos and read my books and websites over and over, I was still afraid I would do something wrong, like forget what to do in the middle of putting the bees in the hive. It felt... Continue Reading →

Bees? Anybody See Some Bees?

B: Remember yesterday when Mary Beth said that barring unforeseen circumstances we would have bees today? Well, we have unforeseen circumstances — sort of. Actually it was an assumption that got us, as they often do. We assumed that they'd be coming by mail, but the bees are being picked up tomorrow by an Island... Continue Reading →

Getting Ready!

MB: Before I give you an update, I thought this picture of almost-blossoming quince buds would cheer you up. Spring really is here, it's just been a little hard to believe. Ray made a slatted bottom board and a hive stand. So now the hive really is ready for its new residents. I just finished... Continue Reading →

Rescuing the Seedlings

MB: The seedlings inside and outside are all coming along, albeit not without a little scare. I had 2 tomato plants suffer from the dreaded Damping Off Disease, which strikes fear into my heart. But I stopped it in it's tracks with chamomile tea sprayings and sprinklings of cinnamon on the soil around the seedlings... Continue Reading →

Did Someone Say Chickens?

B:  Mary Beth's been working feverishly to get ready for the main event, the arrival of her honeybees in less than four days — more on that in the next post. In the meantime, we thought we'd show you what the Block Island garden looks like in the last throes of winter. As every gardener... Continue Reading →

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