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My wife got out second batch of corn day before yesterday. Chickens get very excited when I shuck corn. So does the dog. I cut the ends off even when there is no worm in the corn so they can all get a bit. My wife stager plants. So far, I think we have one more raised box that is just forming ears. Perhaps this is why I run three refrigerators a one large box freezer and was going to buy a smaller upright freezer but it was not in stock when I replaced a fridge that went bad. Probably still have to buy it eventually. Too bad all of them are not more full of meat. Oh well, deer season is not that far away.

We also got rain yesterday along with tons of thunder.
Cheers
gww
 

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Discussion Starter · #382 ·
I took two frames of honey from the freezer yesterday and strained them. Put the wet frames outside in the evening. By AM the yellow jackets and bumbles were all over them. By midmorning the honeybees had chased the others away and cleaned up the frames. At evening the honeys were gone and the wasps back in force. Had fun with the fly swatter, counted 12 and there were a few more that fell off the deck.

However...I also saw yellow jackets buzzing my beehive after that. I think it is a mistake to put wet frames anywhere near a beehive. Once the YJs get a taste of honey they really go after it. I had not noticed YJs pestering the bees before I put those frames out.

So I got three jugs and made traps. One has honey and wax scraps and vinegar. One has just vinegar. One has Coca-cola. I put the honey trap out a few hours before the others, and it had caught a few, plus one bumble. Very interested to see which works better, and if any work well. Will also try meat on the next trial.

Got the first cantaloupes of the season yesterday. Very happy, and it's good. The sweetcorn has been a bit of a bust this year. It survived the drought surprisingly well and pollinated well, but the quality is poor. Not very sweet and pretty tough. That is genetics. My corn is descended from a variety of types including common field corn, indian (flint type) corn and several different commercial sweet corn varieties, crossbred multiple times over the last 15 years. In past years I have had very good luck, with only the occasional tough ear. This spring I had misplaced my saved seed and had to scrounge seed from various ears hanging in the basement. The 'sweetness' gene is easily identified by the wrinkled seed shape, so all these seeds had at least one sweetness gene. But this set me back to year two in my crossbreeding program. Fortunately I did find the new seed, so next year I will have good seed again and expect much sweeter corn, if I don't misplace them again...
 

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We grow a corn that turns a purple-ish/black when it is actually old enough to make seed with. It has some white in it prior to darkening. It is plenty sweet but chewier then the yellow sweet corns that you buy at most stores. The ears are not quite as big and most plants really only give one good ear but we plant close to each other. I will eat the bread pudding peach cobbler and such for desert but my wife kinda uses corn for snacks or desert. She tries to stay healthy and I try to stay right at the edge of heart burn.
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gww
 

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Discussion Starter · #384 ·
We grow a corn that turns a purple-ish/black when it is actually old enough to make seed with. It has some white in it prior to darkening. It is plenty sweet but chewier then the yellow sweet corns that you buy at most stores. The ears are not quite as big and most plants really only give one good ear but we plant close to each other. I will eat the bread pudding peach cobbler and such for desert but my wife kinda uses corn for snacks or desert. She tries to stay healthy and I try to stay right at the edge of heart burn.
Cheers
gww
My sweet corn varies from white to yellow to purple. Many of the leaves, stems, cobs and ears are purple. This comes from my original seed indian corn which I bought from a local feed store back in about 1996. I liked the color of a few of the stalks and selected for it. Later, in about 2006 I started crossing it with sweet corn when I noticed that some of the normally yellow sweet corn seeds had been pollinated by the indian corn. I planted that back and encouraged more cross pollination with different stocks. It's purely for my own amusement, as I can rarely convince anyone else to eat it.
 

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Before someone returns this thread back to bees;) AR1, look up "land race". Basically, you cross a bunch of different varieties of something, then select for what grows best in your area. Looks like you were almost there without knowing. It is recommended to keep like kinds together and not mix sweet corn with dent.

Some very informative threads about land race on Permies. Not going to link without a mods permission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #386 ·
Back to bees huh? Good day for me. I got into the 'queenless' swarm hive and found a very large, fat queen, very light colored abdomen. No signs of eggs yet, but I have high hopes. Of note, all signs of young drone broodrearing are gone. There are still some capped drone cells but no new brood. This suggests to me that the bees have confidence, so to speak, in this queen and have kicked out the drone laying workers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #387 ·
Before someone returns this thread back to bees;) AR1, look up "land race". Basically, you cross a bunch of different varieties of something, then select for what grows best in your area. Looks like you were almost there without knowing. It is recommended to keep like kinds together and not mix sweet corn with dent.
The crossing was deliberate, in an attempt to add some genetic variety. I took field (dent) corn cobs and selected those seeds that indicated they had been wind pollinated from my neighboring sweet corn. Then added those seeds with the following year's sweet corn seeds. First year crosses are at best semi-sweet, but subsequent years greatly improved. I don't really like the newer 'triple-sweet' corns and prefer the older varieties, so it works out for me. I suppose at some point I should stop adding in new crosses and try for a stable sweet corn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #389 ·
Saw pollen going into the swarm hive. Cracked it open and full of eggs and young grubs! Happy. Fat yellow queen is doing good.
 

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Regarding Covid. The news is full of panic and recriminations, but the numbers really are not there. Yes, cases are up, but looking at daily deaths, it's hardly a bump. My hospital has a steady, low number of cases. Very different from the situation last year. Don't let the news media and DC politicians scare you.
So AR,
What is your say now?
About a month passed from your past assessment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #391 ·
It's bad, but I'm still hopeful we will not have the number of cases we saw last year. The number of vaccinations and recovered people leaves the virus considerable less room to spread.
 

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It's bad, but I'm still hopeful we will not have the number of cases we saw last year. The number of vaccinations and recovered people leaves the virus considerable less room to spread.
So it is bad.
Are you agreeing with the media and the admin now? :)
 

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I looked yesterday on a hot dry day with little wind. Usually there is too much wind. What I saw was bees cramming honey into their brood chambers and very little brood and even less eggs and new larvae. It was like winter is almost here, except we do not have winter here. And yes there was pollen in the hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #395 ·
I looked yesterday on a hot dry day with little wind. Usually there is too much wind. What I saw was bees cramming honey into their brood chambers and very little brood and even less eggs and new larvae. It was like winter is almost here, except we do not have winter here. And yes there was pollen in the hives.
I see the same. Lots of pollen going in, but little honey stored. It's a nectar dearth but not pollen I suppose. All the hives have some honey and nectar so I am letting it go without feeding. I have OA paper towels in the hives so at this point I want brooding low so most of the mites are on the bees not in the brood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #396 ·
Bee plan for tomorrow, open my hives and check for stores. Check the swarm hive for capped brood. Place OA strips in the swarm hive.

Peach season is here! I have picked up a few windfalls the last week, but today I got half a dozen. Not really windfalls, more like bird and squirrel-falls. The varmints nibble them and knock them down. I gave the limbs a light shake and got a couple more. Cantaloupes are excellent now too, but I am restraining myself from picking the watermelons. I tried a couple and still green.

On a different topic, did you know that large agricultural corporations will fib to you? Not lying, exactly, but stretching the truth to the point it isn't exactly true anymore. One example is antibiotic dosing. If you look up the standard table for dosing livestock, it gives you a wide range. If you read the dosing advised on the bottle from a company, it advises a dose at the top of that range, encouraging you to use double the amount of drug actually needed to kill the disease (laundry detergent is the same, use half the recommended amount).

This year I did a small trial that I have wanted to do for years. I saved ears of corn from a field, so-called 'hybrid' corn. According to seed corn companies, you cannot plant this back, as the corn will 'revert' to it's parental types in the second generation and not produce a good crop. Farmers generally believe this tale. A major cost for corn farmers is the seed.

This year I planted back seed from some ears I scavenged from a neighboring field. I planted them in the worst soil available, a very hard-packed dry clay. They got a small amount of balanced fertilizer. If the seed corn companies were telling the truth, they should produce a poor crop. In spite of extremely poor growing conditions this year, poor soil and very dry conditions, no insecticide, I am getting nice, large ears that look identical to the parent crop. This is what I expected from replanting from various hybrid garden crops, which generally do fine.

I hope next year to expand the trial, use several ears from different corn varieties and plant a much larger area into better soil. I expect good results. At nearly $100/acre cost for seed corn, the companies have a strong vested interest in encouraging farmers to buy seed every year and not plant back. I expect good results, but I suspect I'll have difficulty getting any of my farmer friends to try it on an acre or two out of sight somewhere.
 

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Peach season is here! I have picked up a few windfalls the last week, but today I got half a dozen.
It never ceases to amaze me how the beautiful and delicate blooms that show up when we are still under a threat of frost are able to get pollinated and subsequently dodge all the myriad challenges presented by weather, wildlife, insects and a litany of pathogens to finally emerge as a colorful and delicious fruit in the latter part of the summer, seemingly despite all odds. Glad you are enjoying the literal fruits of your labors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #398 ·
 

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Discussion Starter · #399 ·
It never ceases to amaze me how the beautiful and delicate blooms that show up when we are still under a threat of frost are able to get pollinated and subsequently dodge all the myriad challenges presented by weather, wildlife, insects and a litany of pathogens to finally emerge as a colorful and delicious fruit in the latter part of the summer, seemingly despite all odds. Glad you are enjoying the literal fruits of your labors.
I am literally tired of peaches. Never happened to me before! Got a couple dozen picked and ready to eat. Gave a few of the nicer-looking ones away. My diet today consisted of coffee with cream, tea, peaches, and one windfall apple. My wife finally made me eat a normal dinner.

Bees looked great today. My new swarm hive has large amounts of capped worker brood, so in a week or so they will start replenishing their declining worker stock. Other hive is finally adding a little honey. The last two weeks have given us enough rain to reboot the flower season.
 

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I am literally tired of peaches.
It is too bad, but our vacation landed right into the middle of the peach season.
Lost a lot of crop since we were away (house-sitting neighbors picked some, but not nearly enough).
At least I was smart enough to pick a box full of the most ready peaches and we took it with us - we had fresh peaches every day while vacationing.
(NOT the same as the ripe peaches FROM the tree - oh well).
 
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