Friday, June 29, 2012

Farm Camp at Everdale Farm

 Here's a new twist on summer camp! Kids spend the week at a working farm, doing all the awesome crafty camp stuff, but with an opportunity to be engaged with daily farm chores, vegetable garden work, livestock care and  harvesting tasks. 
If your family values the outdoors, good food and a healthy lifestyle and are looking for something special this summer Everdale Farm Camp might be worth looking into.  The camp’s goal is to connect your child to the story of their food, from seed to plate.

Everdale is the farm I did my internship at 5 years ago - they have a tonne of experience doing fantastic, fun educational work with kids.


Sunday, June 10, 2012


2 days ago 1 of the hives swarmed. Trina - our beekeeper - was expecting it. The bees had capped new queen cells and she didn't feel comfortable squishing any more of them. Armed with a bee box, we'd been left with the instructions to call her if they swarmed, and put out the baited box.

2 days ago, it happened. My intern Erik heard a remarkably loud buzzing sound & saw a lot of activity at the hive. They gathered on a branch like this:
But as time passed, the swarm got really heavy and one of the branches they'd gathered on collapsed. Then the bee ball looked like this:
Maybe this was a disconcerting progression of events for them...maybe they just re-thought their exit strategy, but either way the oddest thing happened. 1 ball disappeared, and the other one shrunk slowly as all the bees flew back to the very hive from whence they came. This was an unexpected turn of events. By the time Trina arrived to take a look at the hive, it was like the swarm never happened. Except...she couldn't find the queen. Mysterious. It would seem incredible if an entire swarm had managed to slip away without us noticing. And besides, we'd seen many of them fly back!

Today, it happened again. Erik saw the activity just as he was heading into town on an errand. I ran for the bee box, only to discover it was in the van that had just driven away! Fortunately, the van returned in time & I was able to set up a bait box in a tree a ways away:
This time the bees made a picture-perfect strawberry-shaped swarm tucked under the shelter of a spruce bough.
And best of all, Trina & her husband Chris made it to the farm before they flew off and were able to successfully capture them!! They sawed off the branch & shook the bees into a waiting box.
(You can't see them, but the bees are under that branch!)

Here she is placing the lid on their (temporary) new home.  Now we have 4 hives at the farm - hooray!