Monday, May 23, 2011

That must have hurt!

The chickens are doing well. Occasionally USPS puts out a VERY large egg, which literally splits at the seams. My latest concern with the girls is that every now and again USPS delivers an egg without a shell. I will increase the amount of oyster shell grit which supplies vital calcium to their diet. This should solve this problem. The end of May I will be getting two new baby chicks; a Barred Plymouth Rock and a Blue Andalusian. The chicks are going to be cared for by a neighbor and fellow chicken lover until they are old enough to join the big girls on Wyckoff St.

This was another rough winter for the bees which did not survive the extreme cold for long periods of time. My teacher lost 80% of his NYC hives. They are Italians after all and not accustomed to the cold weather. I have installed two new packages of bees which I had to order from California due to the high demand and lack of availability through my club. Imagine the UPS driver walking down the street with two buzzing boxes filled with 20,000 bees total. One idea I have to address the cold weather and its effect on the bees is to install a new queen in the fall from stronger stock; perhaps Russian, although they can be quite aggressive and prone to swarm in the warmer weather. I was able to process one-and-a-half pounds of bees wax which I hope to make into candles.

I hope that this summer I will have a chance to spend more time in the garden. Last fall I planted lettuce that has thrived this spring. After ten years it was time to rebuild a couple of raised beds in the "back forty". The new hen house, which is a palace, provided a good opportunity to redesign the center bed in a hexagonal design; think honey comb!

Happy Spring!