One Alaskans greenhouse

catjac1975

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We’re experiencing a week of warmish weather right now with temps in the high 30’s so i strolled out to the bee hives for a look. I raked the usual group of dead guys from the entrance of the “flower hive (standard langstroth). I wont chance a real look for another couple month’s. The “tree hive” surprised me as while i was raking some of them out of the mouth i noticed a couple live ones moving about. This surprises me for a couple reasons, first of all that they’d be hanging at the entrance in pre 40 deg weather and that they are still so low in the column, this late in the year. Both reasons for elation. It’s still way too early to make a viable prediction but im hopeful they’ll make it thru!
I had no idea you could keep bees alive through your winter. I had read that people bought them every year for just the season. How wonderful.
 

flowerbug

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i think having it too warm in the winter would be harder on the bees because they are more active and consuming more honey, but there are no flowers for feeding them available when it gets too warm where they can actually fly about. i guess supplemental feeding would be required then.

not a beekeeper here, but always interested in them and hope they survive.
 

catjac1975

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Due to rampant pesticide use (roundup) in our area, my bees only function as pollinators and i leave them everything they produce during the year, hoping it get’s them thru the winter’s.
During a big study period last year i stumbled onto some articles from folks who manage bees for the bees betterment, not the beekeeper! The more geeky of that group modify large standing trees to accommodate bees as they have no intention of taking honey either. They don’t go in for all the hive inspections and common management practices that come along with Langstroth equipment.
Made me think, we may be kindred spirits cept im far lazzzy’er than these studious souls.
to that end i edge sawed some dimensional lumber and glued it all together into a “tree lookalike hive”. 2 suppers, both double the size of a deep super and no foundation on frames. Each super has top bars with a starter row of foundation that they drew out during the summer. With that much comb to build, i fed them all summer and by fall they were pretty strong. These are Carnolian’s. That whole rocket looking top provides abundant ventilation and when the insulation is peeled away the hive is a pleasant yellow color.
While on the ranch in N.Dakota i kept roughly 20 hives and usually 50% would make it thru the winter, Alaskan winters are a bit longer so mortality can be a bit higher. 30 years ago a 3lb package W/queen was $32.00.
i about croaked when purchasing my first package up here for $215.00 ea.
Time will tell. I keep two hives and if by chance both die some winter, i’ll be out of the bee business, it’s just too cost prohibitive, especially since there are enough wild bees to meet my needs.
Rampant use of roundup in Alaska? oooooohhhhhh
 

Alasgun

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Yea, not much agriculture right around me but plenty of homeowners who have to have perfectly manicured lawns with no weeds. After the years we spent in West Texas, im happy if “its green and dont have sticker burrs”. To me a fine lawn contains plenty of dandelions and white clover. My neighbors shudder😊

Today i knocked a couple enclosures together before spring. The 12ftr will contain some new raspberries and the 8 is for some anise hyssop and who knows what else?
i use this type of “bed” for perennials and have found stuff overwinters better in them. I set them on the ground and level them up then dig straight down the inside roughly 18 inches to a flat bottom, line the sides all around with ag fabric and add the soil mix i want before planting.
 

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Alasgun

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Following up on a request from @baymule and @AMKuska im entering some links on using salicylic acid (aspirin) to treat plant pathogens. There’s two links, but a google search will yield more than you care to read. I’ve used it on tomatoes, cukes and beans in the green house and have nothing but praise for keeping the tomatoe’s clean all year. It was helpful on pole beans as well and im still working out dosing for cukes but believe there’s promise there as well. One article is pretty technical, read between the lines and you’ll get the jist. The other is written in Layman’s terms and easy to follow. Let us know if you try this and how it works for you.


 

Alasgun

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Another tidbit on the lacto subject.
My first exposure to the role milk could play in the garden came about during a super soil experiment. This involved combining two base soils with a large group of amendments and after mixing everything together on the garage floor the mix was shoveled into 32 Gallon brute containers to- - - -

sorry folks, this one got away from me. I got busy and didnt make it back. Then after some serious chastisement from the peanut gallery, finished it below!
 
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Alasgun

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Avalanche season has arrived, in my bathroom! Each year it begins with a small slide then turns into a full on load moving down the hill.
im referring to the upstairs propagation area. Today i moved the celery from starter cubes into the #35’s. This completes the lower level in the tub enclosure. Then i re-hung the upper lights and will install the shelf tomorrow and this layer will be ready for tomatoes kale and comfrey in another week or so.

For anyone interested in my transfer method, i indluded a couple photos. Make sure the started cubes were watered that morning so the dirt stays together, using the modified teaspoon create an impression in the soil then gently lift them over from one to the other. You’ll get pretty good at making a square’ish indent that the seedlings fill perfectly. A little tamping and they're good for another month!

p.s it’s really hard for me to kill the orphans and i usually uppot far too many each year hoping someone will want them.
 

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