Blog posts from February 2011

New Black Petunias

Feb 25, 2011

Petunia_blackvelvet
Check out the fab new black petunia varieties available this spring

I have a short blip about them here: Black Petunias

 

Bring on the Bees!

Feb 17, 2011

Alright, so I've started my backyard bee project. I will be setting up two hives in my own backyard and two hives up at North Haven Gardens in the large organic vegetable garden. My hives will be located in a fenced-in side yard where I'll be planting all my fruit trees and berry plants. Should be the perfect little Fruitopia for them!

So I have 4 full hives to build...

Bee_buildinghive
It's quite the project...especially since I don't own a nail gun..(WISHING I had a nail gun, lol). There are 4 large brood boxes for the base and two honey supers for each hive. So that's 12 boxes to be built. Here is one of the brood boxes...The brood box sits at the base of the hive and it's where the queen and her subjects hang out and raise babies...

Bee_broodbox

Each brood box contains 8 frames each. Each honey super also contains 8 frames each...so for 4 hives I have 96 frames to build...

Bee_broodframe

Each hive also contains a base, an inner lid and outer lid that must be built. To help preserve the wood in the most non-toxic manner, All wood surfaces are then rubbed down with boiled linseed oil. Inside and outside of all the boxes and lids. The only thing left completely untreated are the brood and honey frames. The wood on these frames is left completely natural.

Bee_innerlid

By the time I got 4 brood boxes built and a few lids and frames, I required an adult beverage...Just be careful not to drop any linseed oil in your whiskey...lol. After you linseed  all the boxes and lids, they have to dry for 3 to 4 days. Be careful with linseed oil, it can spontaneously combust. Make sure the cans are not left out in full sun. Make sure to lay flat any rags or clothing that comes in contact with the oil to completely dry out for 24 hours. It can then be washed.

After you linseed, you put two coats of exterior paint on all outside surfaces of wood, and the upper and lower edges. You DO NOT paint the interior surfaces of the boxes. I'll be painting the brood boxes this weekend to get them ready to introduce the NUCs in a couple of weeks. Then, I'll have to get to work on building all the rest of the honey supers and frames...

Then my bees will come home in April! Super excited...I'll have about 180,000 new babies...
 

Free Lunchtime Classes This Week!

Feb 14, 2011

I have two free classes up at North Haven Gardens this week. This Wednesday the 16th from Noon-1pm, I'll be covering what vegetables to plant now in North Texas. On Friday the 18th from Noon-1pm I'll be teaching you how to keep backyard chickens in the city. Come join me and learn at lunch!

Follow this link for more details. http://www.lesliehalleck.com/events.html

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