Monday, February 04, 2013

The Bees Knees

I know, I know.

Two blog posts on the SAME day. What is the world coming to? I am currently awaiting my third sign-back on my much anticipated, and major source of annoyance to many of my friends (cause me never stops yammerin' on about it), country house. I don't want to jinx it but I have high hopes that I will soon have my own 6 acre slice of heaven in a little out of the way place.

Don't worry, when the zombie apocalypse happens, there will be room for most of you. Well, some of you. The ones that offered to help me hide a body a while back are in for sure. The rest of you, only time will tell.

In anticipation of my purchase, I, as is my usual habit, am counting my eggs before they hatch, putting the cart before the horse and breaking eggs when nobody wants an omelette, and coming up with a list of things that will be done at Lonsdale Manor. So named as the stone cottage was originally built for one Lord's Lonsdale. Although I can't quite Google which one as there certainly were a lot of them. Only two that came to Canada from what I can tell and one, fingers crossed, under something of a cloud. Excellent. 

One thing on my must have list is the sink featured in this picture:

Next is a greenhouse a la:

All to be capped off with a remake of the Gothic Garden Temple at Monticello:

And how do you plan on paying for all this I can hear you ask. Well let me just tell you; honey. And not as in "hey honey, let me tell you what." But as in honey, the sticky kind. 

Wild anticipation coursed through my veins as I prepared to attend the Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative Introduction to, duh, beekeeping. The "101" label set my expectation dial to low but it certainly cranked up my excitement level to 10!

I am now familiar with brood boxes, supers and the other anatomical bits and bobs of the hive. I wish I had discovered the wonders of the Queen excluder much earlier in life. It would have made things so much more palatable. And who knew there was such a thing as a hive cozy to keep your bees warm during the winter? Sounds delightful and makes me want a cuppa.

There were also lessons on planting a bee friendly garden, beekeeping gear (CJ, keep your hands off my smoker!), colony collapse (I hate when that happens) and most deliciously, how to harvest. 

Head to toe stickiness seems to be the outcome for most at this stage but I guess that's part of the fun. Dilly beans, pickled carrots, jams & jellies, awarding winning pies and soon to be famous copper pot honey, those farmer's market mennonites best be watching their backs! Lord Lonsdale is coming for you.


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