Still working to make up for all the dead seedlings. Meanwhile, at least some of my work was not in vain... we harvest some lettuce and the perennials didn't have a chance to suffer from failure to thrive since I planted them last year.
Mid month, the bees arrived. I hived them, using the old frames with drawn out comb to give them a head start.
There is not much in bloom these days in my neighborhood. Luckily, some sunflowers (self seeding - thank you very much!) are blooming. OK, there is food plus I feed them sugarwater.
Hoping they make it as I am observing lots of ants trying to rob my hive from the sugarwater.
What am I doing?
Well, I honestly watched it for a while, trying the all natural remedies:
* sprinkling cinnamon around
* putting hive on cinnamon sticks
* thyme and peppermint leaves
* thyme and peppermint essential oils
* pouring boiling water into the anthill
Result? Ants still happily marching into my hive.
No more sugar water!
Still ants..... and NOW? I am being told that ants can take down a hive in a week, so I needa do SOMETHING. DRASTIC. FAST.
Back to my good old ant traps. Seriously, I am not in favour of this but it is the only thing that I know works:
I use old plastic containers from yoghurt or hummus or whatever we ate. Yes, I store them for all sorts of possible usages, just like this one.
OK, back to the ant traps: Take those containers. They need to have lids, though.
I poke a few small holes into the lids, just big enough to fit an ant or two through it.
Then I make sugarwater, as I would when feeding bees:
Heat 2 cups of water, take it off stove, stir 2 cups of regular sugar into and let it cool off.
Pour this stuff into the trap container, add 1 or 2 teaspoon(s) of boric acid (wear a mask when handling) and stir it in.
Now, bring those traps outside and place them into the ant street. I typically pour a bit out to make sure they understand what dead super-yummy stuff I have for them. The ones that don't die from eating it, carry it into the anthill and feed it to their young.
It may take a few weeks but I got rid of 2 ant colonies that way.
Boric Acid is poison; let's not kid ourselves but with one trap (1 teaspoon of BA), I was able to kill 2 colonies. And yes, that stuff now is in my soil. However, adding boron to soil can be beneficial to certain types of soils. So, it's not all too bad although I am really not proud of having to go this route to protect my newly hived and vulnerable bees. Choices, choices, choices.
So, what did we harvest in May?
2 lbs of lettuce
8 lbs of peaches (from that one tree that we planted bare roots last spring.... the same tree, that looked dead and Roberto wanted to throw it out only 1 million times! THAT TREE!)
1 lbs of artichokes (yay for perennials!)
35 chicken eggs
37 duck eggs
"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another."
Decimus Junius Juvenalis