Saturday, April 12, 2014

Of Bees and Acorns

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that I captured a swarm  today!

The bad news is that was probably from my one hive that survived the winter.  I was walking down one of my trails when I found myself in a cloud of bees.  I looked around and noticed a stick with bees thickly clustered about it.

Thinking quickly, I nabbed one of my empty hives and placed it on the ground near the coalescing swarm.  Unfortunately the lucky stick was buried beneath a half dozen other sticks.  I gingerly removed the overburden of sticks and slid the stick into the new hive.

I slid the top back onto the hive because queens like it dim.
I think this is the hive that lost the swarm.  My guess is that these bees are robbing honey from the hive they just left.  It makes me think of the ship in Swiss Family Robinson.
I also planted the acorns that were starting to sprout.  I planted about 500 Willow Oak Quercus phellos acorns and about 200 English Oak Quercus robur.

700 acorns at 5 per square foot.
I know you are not supposed to count your chickens before they are hatched or your oak seedlings before they are dug.  Still, the profit potential is magnificent:  Oak seedlings run about $55 per hundred so there is a potential payoff of $2.50 per square foot.  There are not too many legal crops that have that kind of upside.

The State of Michigan requires that nursery products be inspected before they are moved off property.  I have no intention of selling these seedlings.  They are for my own Landscaping for Wildlife use.  I may even have a few extra seedlings that my closest friends can dig up and use for weinie roasting sticks.
---End Disclaimer---

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