Yesterday, I was watering in a layer of mulch and soil around the potato plants when I heard a strange buzzing sound. I ignored it, and it got louder. Could the neighbor be home from work already, running some sort of machine? I turned off the water and the sound was much clearer. It was the sound of tens of thousands of bees bearing down on me, a huge black cloud the edge of which was only about 20 feet away.
I reminded myself that honeybees aren’t aggressive, particularly when they’re swarming (seeking a new hive), and stood my ground. For about five seconds. They were headed straight for me, and I ran like hell toward the house.
I dashed inside, got some local organic raw honey, and smeared a little bit into our recently purchased bee box. Ran back out the the garden with the box, but I could hear that the bees had already moved on, across the road. Oh well, that’s a project for next year anyway – we’ll probably buy a queen and workers from a local business called GloryBee. It would have been great if they’d decided to settle in with us, though.
Bees can wait, but with organic eggs at $5/dozen, chickens can’t…so a new coop is rising from the rotted ruins of the one that was here when we arrived. It’s made of scrap lumber from a local sawmill and the better pieces of the old coop:
The most labor-intensive part of making your own beer is the bottling. Using bigger bottles helps, and replacing a rubber gasket now and then seems more sustainable than using new crimp-on caps every time, so we got a bunch of used Grolsch bottles…bottling is so much easier with pint bottles that don’t require use of the capper device.