The Bees are Still Looking Good!

We took a gander in the hive today, and while there are FAR less bees (somewhat expected this time of year), everything really looks nice. Lots of honey, a little bit of brood, lots of propolis (tree sap that the bees use to glue everything together to make the hive weather-proof), and no evidence of any bad guys. Phew.

Capped honey

Uncapped honey, otherwise known as nectar - look at all the different colors!
Bees are so clever, they let the water in the nectar evaporate before they cap it. How do they know how long to let it sit?

I spent a good deal of time in the garden this weekend, harvesting and cleaning out beds, as my November planting date is fast approaching, and I'd like to get a cover crop in where I can before then. I cleaned out a bed of paste tomatoes, as they were pretty much spent anyway. Four tomato plants filled up our green bin entirely. I also am throwing out our old tomato cages that we made last year, as I have some hot information on a new kind to build next spring. More to come on that!

I harvested the squash and cleaned out those vines, as well.

We harvested more tomatoes and peppers, as well as basil, and made more freezer pesto.

I cleaned out the pollinator bed by the plum tree, as the plants were starting to get quite leggy, and put in many of the plants I got from Annie's last week, some salvia, milkweed, papavers, a scabiosa. It looks bare, but before long, this will be full of growth, and since it's a sheltered location, I shouldn't have to worry about frost here over the winter. Many of these plants will be the first to bloom in spring.

We had cooler weather here over the weekend, thankfully, and trees and bushes are starting to change color.

high bush blueberry
Hotter weather is again expected this week, so summer isn't over here, yet. Sigh.

The chickens stayed in their coop today, we made a lovely pomodoro for lunch, more pickled jalepenos are in the works as I type, and a mystery dessert is also making it's way out of the kitchen. We watch "The Great British Baking Show" on Sunday nights as a family, and it always makes us crave some sort of pudding (I use that word in the British sense), so we finally got wise and started preparing for it, rather than raiding the cupboards for whatever sweet thing we can find. Last week we had a Swiss roll. Wonder what we'll have tonight?

Kate's hibiscus

The surprise gift from last year (still don't know who sent it)