Friday, March 6, 2015

Spring Flowers; Beekeeping Class

Everything is budding out almost as you are looking at it.  The fruit orchards are amass of whites and pinks with some trees already having small leaves.  The pomegranate trees have red tips.  Those trees are a little different, they get their leaves first and then they get their orange/red blooms that turn into the most amazing miniature pomegranates.

The hydrangeas are leaving out; the roses already have buds; the Cecile Brunner rose is starting to bloom;
the lavendar has purple blossoms;
the canna-lillys are pure white; and the Russian Sage has pops of purple on the most beautiful silver stems and leaves.
On the corner of our house I have a tall white Camilla that is blooming.
I think the combination is so perfect because our house is a sage green with pure white window frames and jet black gloss window sash.  The leaves on the Camilla's are a dark green and the flowers are almost rose like in shape but pure white.
On one of the other windows, I have a dark pink Camilla and a light pink and even one with stripes of white.  They are a beautiful shrub to have, just on their own without flowers, they are striking but when they bloom, it starts out slow and then one day you realize it is covered with flowers.  Did you know that as the flowers drop, you need to clean them up right away.  The longer they lie under the bush, it contaminates the other flowers that haven't bloomed yet.  Keep the Camellia beds neat and tidy and the bush will stay healthy.
Even the rosemary bushes have purple blooms on their tips enticing those bees to move from one beautiful bud to the next.

Speaking of bees, we have finalized our bee class.  And what a fantastic class it is going to be thanks to Mr. Valadez from Orchard & Field Pollination and Honey.  The date is March 28, 2015 from 1-3pm.  Mr. Valadez is going to bring his big truck that he uses to transport all the hives.  He has storage boxes on the side of the truck where he keeps the tools and special clothing to work with the bees and he will be explaining all their uses.  In addition, he told me he is going to bring a plastic covered encased hive showing the little bees at work so you can see the honeycombs.  He is a professional beekeeper and we are so fortunate that he is willing to tell us all about the lives of bees; how the hives are built; what it is like to be a beekeeper during this busy time of the year for him.
Then we will hopefully have several types of honey to taste so we can imagine the different orchards the bees have visited.  I am told that the most coveted honey is made from orange blossoms.  The cost of the class is $25 and children under 8 years old are free, over 8 will cost $10.  We will have light refreshments, drinks and handouts.  Space will be limited so people will need to register and pay soon.  

Frank helps me out on all my classes, but when it comes time for the class to begin, he is MIA.  He is a pretty shy guy but for the beekeeping class, he said he wants to be there.  He has always been interested in bees and with our vegetable and fruit trees, we really have needed to get a few hives.  Frank is hoping he learns enough and with Mr. Valaez's help, he will build some hives himself.  He wants to build a couple that are antique looking or possibly European looking with some fancy detail.

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