This weekend careened by with wonderful, dirty delights. Dirty delight number one was digging through my worm bin, removing about half of the old bedding, placing worms back into the bin oh-so-gently, and then adding freshly soaked paper. In addition, I also drilled about twenty new holes into the bin. So, I'm hoping the little buggers will repopulate. It's my belief that since I used wood chips in addition to newspaper as bedding, they were basically running out of fresh bedding sooner than expected. The worms will eat their bedding as well as their food, and their waste is toxic to them. So, they now have a semi-clean home and some fresh nibbles to nibble.

Another dirty delight was digging through our compost bin and preparing beds. I didn't get too much done on that front, but oh, how wonderful to dig through lovely black gold that was once wilted lettuce, onion peels, kale stems, apple cores, leaves, straw, chicken pooh, orange peels, and so on.

Dirty delight number three: our friends' housewarming party where I got down to some dirty electro breaks while my friends and Brian djed. I also met this super rad girl who had made fire fans earlier that day for the conclave at BRC, as well as makes her own hula hoops. She explained that I need to get sprinkler tubing and that I should order my tape from identi-tape.com. Home-made hoops is on the to-do list before summer festival season swings into full force.

Dirty delight number four, though not so dirty: Top-bar beekeeping class with Will at Pistils Nursery. Here's a synthesis of what I learned:

I need to encourage my bees to brood in the front/middle of the hive, and in part, I do that by putting the false back into the center of the hive when I first introduce them. After a day or two, they will have started brooding in that space, so I will move the false back to the rear. Come fall, I may take a bit of honey, but I should leave them at least 3 combs for the winter. Taking honey in the fall is controversial, but it discourages them from becoming a brood hive and encourages continual production of honey. I'll observe and see how much honey they have, but really, I imagine I may wait. In a year from now, I will want to harvest all remaining honey stores, again, to encourage them to make more honey and also to prevent swarming.

Their hive, ideally, faces east and gets shade in the afternoon. Insulation has not been recommended lately, but with the past two colder than average winters, it's now being recommended. Simple insulation ideas could involve lifting the roof off, placing wool insulation on the lid, and replacing the roof.

He explained to us how we introduce the bees to the hive and how we harvest honey. He also told us what to listen for while in the hive. At first, they will start buzzing rather loudly, but once they feel comfortable, that buzz will quiet into a warm hum. If that hum drops off, they are tired. It's time to leave the bees alone. He talked a bit about being in-tune with the bees and how wonderful it is when they allow you to be one with them. But sometimes they're grumpy. They could be in the midst of a bloom (baby bees bloom from their brood cells) or there could be something wrong. The guards will let the beekeeper know when she's not welcome.

I think that I'm going to be put on the swarm list. Brian wants to have 5 hives, and I think that may be a bit much. But I wouldn't mind two so that I hopefully will always have bees, plus an extra hive in case ours swarm. Another great aspect of the class was getting to meet fellow bee-dreamers!

Meanwhile, Brian was at home building our top-bar hive which I wanted to help with but ended up having a friend emergency (man trouble) which led to a female gathering at the bar where we declared our love for each other as sisters and lambasted anyone who would do anything to hurt any of us, exclaiming our unity and love with dramatic words and gestures and tears and hugs.

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