In the garden…thousands of bees, DIY stone birdhouses, and the grapes are starting to come out.

“Gardens say slow down, Look around you, believe, hope.”

Zoraida Rivera Morales

What a month it has been in our garden. May was a good month for us. Remember when I wrote about my husband not being able to order anymore honey bees from our supplier in the south? The supplier said it was getting too dangerous and too expensive to travel all the way from one side of the country to the other side. Food trucks were getting robbed on their travels as well. Those bees were so gentle and such nice bees. My husband was very disappointed he couldn’t order the supplier’s gentle little bees, so we moved forward onto plan B.

Plan B was my husband teaching our son how to build a bait box using scrap wood we had collected over the year, to see if we could draw in some wild bees. We didn’t know if it would work but it was worth a try and a learning opportunity for our son and daughter. Real world experience in being a beekeeper.

The bait boxes were built and then the prayers were made. And one day, when we weren’t really paying much attention to the bait boxes in our trees…thousands of bees came flying in. We believe the bees were either a split from our old hive that had left, or there was a very large hive somewhere around the area and those bees were looking for a new area to build in. Because the bees that flew into our garden that morning were those gentle southern bees my husband usually orders. We still have our original hive and it isn’t full, so he doesn’t believe these are our old bees that could have left and split off…these are just bees, the bees we had hoped for, and they just showed up one day

So who knows where these new bees came from. The surprising thing was, was that they weren’t Arizona bees, but southern bees. I forget the name. I’m no beekeeper, so sorry about the correct details in this post. I may be repeating things a lot too. I tend to do that when it is a subject I am not familiar with and I am trying to explain something. My husband has some bee keeping experiance from his childhood with his father.

I was out watering the plants when one of my regular little doves that lives in our garden started hanging out by my feet looking up at me, wondering I suppose as to why I hadn’t fed them yet. I keep wild bird seed in the back room for them. That’s around the time the bees came

See all the tiny black dots everywhere in this photo? Those are bees visiting our garden, headed to the bait box.

So, there I was watering plants and a little dove came up to me with it’s little sad dove eyes to remind me that it was hungry. I went inside to get some food and while I was out there filling the bird bath and putting out bird seed everywhere, all of a sudden I heard buzzing in my ears and it was loud.

I leave seeds for the doves under the pool tree. This is a family of doves with two babies that have been hanging out in my garden for awhile.

When I stood up I was surrounded by thousands of bees circling all around the area I was standing in, which was under the tree by the pool. I looked up above me and saw that there were even more bees above my head still flying in. None were landing on me, and none were bothering me. They were flying high above my head but right in the area I was standing, right under the bait box.

I slowly backed up out of this huge swarm of bees that were coming out of nowhere and walked into our Arizona room with the huge glass window that overlooks the tree and closed the door softly behind me. Then I called my husband in and said…

“Something weird is going on in the garden, I was just surrounded by a ton of bees ..but they didn’t bother me, they just flew around me” I stood across the window and watched as outside the window it became surrounded by little black dots everywhere.

My husband got really excited and went to the backyard to see the bait box closer and that was when he said…

“It worked, it actually worked.”

He ran back into the house to get the kids to have them watch. Then he went to get the camera to shoot some video of it. It was such a sight to see. They were very gentle bees too. My husband looked at them later and said they weren’t Arizona bees. They were the bees he wanted to order. We felt really blessed and thankful that we got more bees. It was so fun to watch the whole process too. Like a live nature documentary.

This month in our garden I also did some Mother’s Day activities. Early in the mornings the temps are still nice and breezy. That’s the best time to be out in the garden.

Lavender, Jasmine and Rosemary oils.

We all finished a wooden pallet together, that was fun. It feels good being able to check another project off the list. I loved how it turned out. Imagine this just sitting in a trash pile to be taken to the dump and all it really needed was a little tlc.

We are still getting some flower blooms but they are starting to struggle. Our temps are a lot warmer this year then the year before. I hope this isn’t a sign that this summer will be a brutal one. If that is the case, we will get through it…this isn’t our first rodeo as they say.

I’m still keeping my succulents alive, remember how terrible I am at keeping succulents alive. We are just too dry of a state I suppose. I have brought them inside to help with the heat situation. The air conditioning is brutal to plants too. I seem to do okay with the aloe succulents but the flowery ones don’t last long with me. If you move here to Arizona, remember that. It is not easy to grow things in desert environments.

I discovered that Bamboo is a really easy plant to take care of. Maybe I will concentrate on them and not so much on the succulents. My husband came home the other day with three little stalks to add to my inside house plant garden.

The grapes are taking over everywhere. But again, the temps are getting hot so they are already showing the signs of that. Crispy leaves are starting to show up. I waited too long to harvest them it seems, the grape leaves that is. I have not given up completely. Maybe there are still a few good sized and fresh leaves that I can harvest or at least make some of my pretty clay leaf bowls with.

All that hard work of me using elephant food plant clippings to create pots of green to cool our garden area has paid off it looks like. I have all kinds of pretty elephant food plants growing nicely everywhere. This plant doesn’t need a lot of water and they are so easy to propagate. I save a lot of money doing this myself instead of buying new plants.

Our fruit trees are still alive, that’s a good sign. I look around and think about our future move (which I don’t want to do, but we can’t leave our kids here in this city) and see all our potted trees wondering how that will play out with packing…because I would love to take our potted trees with us. There are rules though. Some plants are not allowed to pass state lines.

I decided to finish another craft project that was in my box of projects to finish. Actually I had my husband and son help with this one. You know those little wooden craft kits you used to be able to buy from the hobby stores and dollar stores for $1? I haven’t seen them on the shelves lately. I had three packages of them that needed finishing.

After my husband and son glued the wooden birdhouse kits together (they looked to be having fun doing that too) I took over and turned them into stone bird houses. I may keep them in my garden as displays or decorate them up even more with a felted bird to give out to friends and neighbors. Or even donate to one of those animal thrift stores or senior center thrift stores

Pretty easy to do if you want to try your hand at it. First find a wooden birdhouse, any size. Then get some E600 glue, tile grout, rocks, glue gun/glue, pine cones and wire cutters.

Pull pine cones apart and use the tiny cone clippings for your house roof pieces. Glue assorted stones onto your wooden houses. Use E600 glue and glue gun glue together to hold in place until it dries completely. Glue rocks onto houses the same way. The E600 glue will hold everything in place once

Mix grout according to directions and cover your house with grout, filling in all those areas between the stones. Make sure you wipe away excess grout before it dries completely. You know, like tiling your floor. This is a really messy craft project. May be a fun outside summer project to do with the kids.

And another really big thing to be very thankful for this month in our garden…those baby chicks we were able to save last month are still thriving and doing well. They’re growing every day.

That’s it for our garden this month. Remember to grow something, even if just a tiny pot of herbs in your city windows. Happy gardening everyone. Stay safe and God bless you all.

Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Genesis 9:3

I believe this may very well be the last batch of flowers to bloom in my garden. Summer is here. Temps today were 105F.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. nces13 says:

    Great shot of all those bees. Really cool to see.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, my son took that photo. He was in his bee suit when he did that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nces13 says:

        🙂 nice 🙂

        Like

  2. That story of those bees is pretty awesome! We’ve had to have some removed from our local cemetery because they were swarming visitors and my dad said the guy came and found the queen and the bees just flew to him and swarmed him but didn’t hurt him. They relocated the bees to a new location but apparently some more came back or something because my dad said they were relocating more yesterday.

    I loved all the photos of your garden. We don’t even know if we are doing one this year. It was a lot of work and didn’t yield much results. I just don’t think I am the garden type.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to get the live footage of the bees going into the bait box, your kids might like watching that. I guess the trick to making sure the bees don’t bother you is having the queen out and vulnerable, the bees protect the queen and concentrate on that the most. I don’t know, but the bees didn’t bother any of us. The honey is so good. With our dry heat here, we also struggle with growing things. I wonder what it’s like to live somewhere where there is a lot of moisture in the air for plants. In the past couple of weeks, our local news has been reporting about water problems. I had been worrying about that issue and even wrote about it last month in my updates. Lots of big corporate farmers took advantage of our relaxed laws here in Arizona concerning our ground water and all of a sudden a few weeks ago reports started popping on that showed families complaining that their wells are all dry. Really scary stuff with that too because the areas they are in are large underground water areas…huge. California farmers set up wells, hundreds I think and started pumping out Arizona water to grow here in Arizona. Now people who live outside the city are trying to figure out what to do for water.

      Like

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