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Managing the Bananas

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I learn by mistakes, usually after the second or third one! A year and a half ago my banana plant produced a stalk of bananas and I had no clue why. 

I also learn via research. The internet said, if I take care of the plants they may produce by design rather than by accident. It is 10-15 month cycle for the plant to bear, they won’t produce well if crowded and they like to be fed.  I am using fish emulsion and regular doses of my compost. 

The results for this season, have been two full stalks of the Burro banana and three of the Manzano. The dead or damaged leaves are now used for a layer of mulch/weed barrier. In some parts of Mexico the leaves are used to wrap tamales rather than using corn husks. 

Just change the topic and slide into more about bananas….,,

I recieved a call about some “free” bees in a TALL pine tree and my Goo friend John and I checked them out. They are 30 plus feet up in a the tree with multiple openings in a long split in the trunk. It will be a real challenge. Not sure I am the man for the job. 

 While looking over the yard I noticed a banana plant, a Burro banana plant, with a very nice stalk of nature bananas. Located behind that plant is what looks like a Manzano plant with a stalk developing. Wow!

So, I gave a lesson and cut a nice big hand of bananas for the home owners. I will definitely have to follow up. Here is a photo of a recently cut hand from my plant that is identical to the one I cut at the homeowner’s house.

From the photo you can definitely see where the term “chunky banana” comes from. 

Earlier in the day we went by one of my hives in the backyard of a friend. This is an 8 frame garden hive, two deeps and two medium supers, started from a package during the second week of April. This colony just exploded. Must be a great Queen and on top of that, a great location. The plan for the visit was the remove excess  frames, consolidate and ready the hive for the remainder of the summer. Well, the hive was over flowing and chock full. The result was 40 pounds of honey and we still left them with plenty. Added some hive beetle traps and closed them up. 


One of my garden hives pictured above from earlier in the spring. Just two deep boxes and no supers. Top bar hive in the background. 

Now, a day later, FYI, this is taking me three days to jot down, I need to visit my top bar hives and another set of garden hives before I run off on my Californua adventure. I was just reminded that I need to organize and clean up my hive work site – yes dear

TTFN

Bishop

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From my Yard to Yours

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Unpacked the 16 box shipment today  that arrived at the front door on Monday…..while I was traveling. In hindsight, I should have given my bride a heads up but…… Lumps look good on my head! UPS was very helpful.

16 boxes of what you are probably wondering! Even if you aren’t, I am going to tell you!!!!! Once opened they represent four,  8-frame garden hives. I will be adding two supers to each once the nectar flow starts.

I am building a couple more top bar hives and several more Langstroth hives over the winter. I will see how I handle that level of activity before stepping out and adding any more for the 2017 season.


Assembled and ready to finish. I am considering a natural finish but also like the idea of some soft pastel colors that blend with the backyard. I have one and possibly two more spoken for and looking for a home for the fourth. Wish my neighbor was not such a Grinch!


One of my top bar hives I set up to receive bees from a downed tree. The rescue was successful! The cone shaped wire screen outlet was pointed toward the hive opening off the open end of the log. Last inspection showed capped brood and eggs being layed. This one and my other top bar were built with “junk” wood lying about my yard. Will build two more full size top bar hives and two half hives for swarm capture or rescue operations.


A 16 inch wide slab of honeycomb from my top bar hive. So yummy!

TTFN

Bishop

Cool Weather and Bananas 

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The weather has finally cooled enough that I had to cut the stalk. When I inspected the bananas this morning I noticed that the ripening process has sped up. Our friends and neighbors will receive some treats.  

  

 The bunch includes a cluster that never matured. I hope next year I will manage to get both varieties to produce. 

I hope to finish up the bee rescue today. I have developed a more simple option that could have been completed on the original rescue day. Rookie mistake and hindsight is always 20/20! 

Breaking news- part two of the bee rescue has been postponed until tomorrow. Details following the fishing report. 

TTFN

Bishop

 

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