Monday, April 27, 2015

A Busy Little Hen

I checked on my Chickadee nest and found this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Miscellaneous Ramblings from the Past Couple of Weeks

I've been busy grafting apple & pear trees for the past couple of weeks so as the rain comes down today I thought I'd catch up with some pics.

Finishing up a bench graft. I grafted 51 varieties of apples and 6 varieties of pears onto about 110 rootstocks.

I use the bark grafting technique to graft to larger limbs of established trees.  You can only do this grafting when the sap is starting to flow and the bark will "slip" away from the wood of the tree. I make a downward cut and slowly peel the bark back.
I then slip a piece of scion between the bark and the wood of the tree.

I coat the graft with wax from a toilet bowl gasket to keep the graft from drying out. It works just as well as the grafting wax you can buy and is much cheaper.
I then wrap it tightly with garden tape to keep pressure on the graft.
Happenings in the Back40 include a Bluebird box with 5 eggs,
 and a box with a Chickadee nest well underway

It won't be long before the apple blossoms are open.

The rain has stopped for now so I'm going out to enjoy Spring.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A New BEE-ginning

After losing our bee hive to the severe winter Janet was anxious to get a new hive of bees started. Last week she purchased a package of bees from her mentor.

After spraying them with sugar water to discourage them from flying she removed the feeding can leaving a large hole in the top of the box. Then it was a simple matter of dumping them into the hive.

The queen came in a small plastic cage that has an escape hole plugged with sugar candy. The worker bees would eat away at the candy to let her escape the cage and enter the hive.
We're looking forward to spending the summer months watching these incredible creatures as they go about their business of establishing a productive hive.

The Tree Swallows Have Returned

Last week I noticed that the tree swallows had returned to their box in the Back40.  Last year was the first year that they had nested in the Back40 and I look forward to watching them this summer swooping and diving for insects over the Back40.