Bah Humbug!

To the ants, anyway. To the freaking ants who keep coming in the freaking beehive. Bah! Bah to you I say. You take me out of my happy Christmas place and send me right in to panic mode. BAH!

I can't believe nothing has worked. Not diatomaceous earth, not vinegar, not cornmeal, not cinnamon, not coffee grounds. I caught them today, red-handed, crawling through the muck at the bottom of the hive legs. I lifted the roof of the hive (it's chilly but sunny) and there were dozens. I may have freaked out a little. I stood there for fifteen minutes and killed every ant I saw. I hovered, watching; one would crawl out from the combs, and he'd be history. I may have cackled maniacally. I may have hollered, "Gotcha, you little shit!"

And then I left to do some weeding. And when I came back, THEY were back! So that's when I hollered to Tom. And we brought out the big guns.

Yeah, OK, it's a toothpaste box. But Tom, my genius of a husband, put a bunch of that liquid ant killer stuff inside? and since it's buried in the ground and only open to the ground, the bees can't get to it. And yeah, I know. We're all about no poisons around here. But I just have to help out the bees a bit. They've had it rough these past few months, their numbers are diminished, there's obviously no way they can fend off an ant invasion (this has been going on for a while, after all) and we can't have the ants eating all the honey because the bees need that to survive this winter. So, yep, I used poison. And I hope it works.

As I was standing there murdering every ant I could find, I watched the guard bee at the hive entrance. She was pretty upset that I was standing there making noise (thwap! smash! "#&!^*#!) and every so often would fly out and buzz my face. The bees are on edge. Too many invaders lately (wax moths, varroa, ants), too cold (a few hard freezes and many frosts), too little forage (it's winter, after all). Normally they leave me pretty well alone, even when I'm taking out comb after comb, poking around. Not today. Today, the bees were also saying 'bah humbug.'

the feisty guard bee, patrolling her landing board

Originally I went out intending to weed, and I got to it eventually. The buckwheat is still coming up like mad everywhere, so each little sprout needs to be pulled. There's less every week, though. And it keeps me in touch with what's going on in the beds. For instance, the potatoes have sprouted. Didn't I just say I thought the potatoes were going to be duds? Seems like all I need to do is say that sentence, and the potatoes sprout. Happens every time.

Other plants are doing well also.

carrots, and some random weed I missed

the garlic bed


I haven't had much experience with turnips, but this is a small salad variety, so I think they'll be great. Also I look forward to eating the greens.

The Mock Orange is setting seed, so that means it'll start its next process of putting out buds. Mock Orange is one of the first things that blooms in my garden in the spring and the bees adore it, so this is a reminder that springs not far away. We've hit the solstice, folks!