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In the middle of shoveling mulch in the back garden,

 my crowded hive swarmed. Fortunately, I was there to see it and fortunately they started landing in a low plum tree. Also fortunate? I had a deep with enough ready frames to tempt them in. Finally fortunately, my dear son was willing and able to shoot video of the coaxing them into the box.

You might need antinausea medication to watch the first video. Unfortunately, my cameraman sees the world faster than most people, so jerky edits don't phase him. Be grateful that I didn't post the six minutes of the whole swarm process, because that one almost made me fall off my chair.

Never before have I experienced a mid-swarm hiving -- it was a matter of plopping the queen into the prepared hive box before they had really established a midway point on the plum branch. The bees really want a safe, dark home, and are easily persuaded once given one. I have questions about the status of the original hive. Will it swarm again? There were lots of queen cells the last time I went through it.

I'm clearly going to spend some time next week assembling some more frames and waxing in starter strips on them. There are too many old wax frames in my storage area, and I'm in need of fresh equipment so I can rotate out the old stuff. How do beekeepers keep up? I don't know.

We're almost done mulching, which means the back yard is closer to completion. I wrote an "I will know I'm done when. . . " list, and have been drawing lines through items. As is the nature of lists, however, a few items have been added at the bottom.

Transplanted peppers today, tiny, tiny peppers, and I may have to redraw the garden plan for more. There aren't enough bells for my taste, although there are many hot varieties. Then, I'll need to figure out where to put the cucumbers (and what kind of trellis/stake system to use to lift 'em up with) and get on that. I had hoped that some things would be bigger by now, but I assume the tour folk will know that gardens are a process.

Finally, I managed to get a quickish overview of the garden here. If you listen carefully, you can hear our youngest sprout talking about her plans. And you can see the various stages of growing/going by/just starting in the beds.


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