I was going to put a photo of my crazy-vigorous tomato seedlings here – but then, while inspecting the hive, I saw the queen strolling around. She is huge! By length, a little over twice as long as a worker. By weight, I bet she is four times heavier. I actually saw her laying eggs, which was a first for me.
I also found a dozen or so queen cups, which is what the bees use to raise new queens. They do this when they are overcrorwded and want to swarm, or when the queen is weak and they want a new one. So, this could be a little worrisome. But, before she can fly, they slim her down – she is so huge I am guessing they don’t want her to fly right now. And, she is laying like a rivet gun, so I can’t see why they would want to supersede her.
Sigh. If only I could understand what they were saying. Click on the picture to biggify. She is about one-third of the way up, and near the centreline of the photo, facing to about eleven o’clock. You can see how many bees are circled around her, sort of facing her.
Two tomato seedling have been planted out in the greenhouse. This the first time I have used the 4″ soil blocks and the tomatoes are thriving. One of them had such vigorous roots the soil block looked like it had a thick white beard.
We also bought two Paw Paw plants and a Blood Orange from Fruit Trees and More; the orange came with several little fruits on it, which is super exciting. Our little greenhouse is growing a nice crop of exotic fruit trees.
I had a little flurry of writing this week; a combination of bad days on my bicycle and a provincial election.
On Democracy, Meaning, & Feeling Insane. (or, When in doubt, plant beans.) Because you feel a little less crazy if you are not the only one.
But enough about me…what have I loved this week? What have I loved…?
Since I wrote not one, but two posts about cycling this week, here is a very interesting article about bike helmets. I have my eyes open for MIPS-equipped helmets.
Trending on my Facebook is a conversation fomented by You Absolutely Should Not Get Backyard Chickens. Also schemes for cooking the many free roosters available on Craigslist.
The always-wonderful Root Simple posted about Buffalo, New York’s Urban Homestead Program. Get this amazing brick house for $1 ($1.01 Canadian at current exchange rates). If I am understanding this correctly, there are 139 pages of homesteadable properties in Buffalo. When I emailed this around I said, “I want to die. And then come back to life so I can die again.”
I have spent many happy hours lost in both Low Tech Magazine and No Tech Magazine. Here are some links:
Robin Wood uses a foot-powered pole lathe to turn nested bowls from green wood. This actually seems like a good career move.
Inexpensive but accurate machine tools were made from concrete to produce artillery shells for WWI. Here is how to make a lathe at home for $150.
And, in case of emergency, Toilet in a Bucket.