December has just begun and we were greeted unusually warm weather for then first few days but that quickly changed to cold rain with an impending ice storm on the way. I want to see how the bees are doing. I haven’t seen any in several weeks and I hope that just indicates they are tucked away and clustered for the winter. The Do Not Disturb sign is posted and I must respect that. But that is hard to do without some reassurance. Maybe there is a way I can peel back the tar paper wrapped around the top bar hive to expose the plexiglass window. I closed up the bottom board close to the screen and wonder if there is enough ventilation and insulation to prevent condensation. Do they really have enough honey? How do I satisfy my curiosity without causing the bees any grief? Not sure right now but maybe tomorrow holds some answers. That is if the weather permits some unobtrusive inspection.
Now that the Christmas shopping is just about completed it is time to consider plans for the spring and for the past few years that has meant placing an order for more bees from¬† I can’t imagine entering spring without bees so I’ll probably order at least one package to be sure. Then the question is what kind of hive will they call home. I have plenty of langstroth hive equipment but that does not allow for sharing with the top bar hive too easily. I have lots of wood from last year as I did not yet build that second top bar hive. This year of three hives I began with in the spring only the top bar hive has thrived and survived. Which leads me to consider that it may be the way to go. I think a check for live bees in the top bar hive will help with that decision.
It’s also time to consider what will grow in the gardens in the coming season. I have lots of seeds and don’t plan to plant food other than what has proven successful these past 5 growing seasons. It’s usually tomatoes, squash, chard, endive, beans, edamame, habanero peppers, radishes, a variety of herbs and lots of different flowers. Especially sun flowers. So I’ll do an inventory of those seeds and list up what I’m missing. That’s the list for the annuals. As for the perrenials there’s berries of all types already growing well. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, kiwi, strawberries and cranberries. Oh and I can’t forget the elderberries. The backyard is a maze of food in the spring and summer and although the yard is small it is possible to get lost.
I missed my timing for getting more mushrooms and plugging them into logs. Mostly because I didn’t go out looking for trees to fell or finding logs along the roadside or asking my neighbor the landscaper for logs from his work. I guess I am waiting for some proof of success from the current batch of logs.
In the meantime the birds keep visiting the feeders and trying to get seeds before the squirrels gobble them all up.

Things to do each month for a better life.

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