Say hello to our little friends

bee with face in raspberry blossom

bee with face in raspberry blossom

Some of the most helpful residents of our yard are too plentiful to name or even number: the bees who keep our raspberry patch humming.

We rarely see honeybees. We sometimes see a tiny bee we have yet to identify. Most of our friends are bumblebees, but they are quite docile. Sometimes early in the morning we catch them sleeping on the leaves, which we find quite cute.

raspberry patch

This is the raspberry patch we share. We moved here four Februarys ago and brought a few dozen mature plants with us. Despite pruning and periodically giving plants away, we still have little to no space between bushes, and must carefully lift branches to move through and pick berries. This isn’t so bad, though, because we have to lift branches to check underneath for berries anyway; we just have to be careful of breakage as we walk between. As we do this, the bees ignore us or simply fly to one of the many other bushes.

bags of berries in the freezerThis is what happens to the berries right now: straight into the freezer.

First they get spread out on a plate (or a baking sheet if there are a lot that day), so they freeze separately. If you dump them into a container without doing this, you will get one giant clump of berry.

When the individual berries have frozen, they go into Ziploc gallon freezer bags. Sometime this winter they  probably will become another batch of wine, but this fall we are doing hard apple cider first.

Next summer I hope to begin beekeeping. In the meantime, we are happy to share our raspberries with our bee friends.

bee flying in raspberry bush

 

Advertisements

Pet Pic, 042116 edition

Pecking order in squirrel world. One sits on the balcony rail, eating and guarding the food below, while another waits in a tree for its turn. [April 10]

Outdoor photos today, although more than half of them were taken through windows.

Yes, I spoil the squirrels. This one knows life is good, and is watching me watching her. Yes, that is snow. [April 10]
Yes, I spoil the squirrels. This one knows life is good, and is watching me watching her. Yes, that is snow. [April 10]
Pecking order in squirrel world. One sits on the balcony rail, eating and guarding the food below, while another waits in a tree for its turn. [April 10]
Pecking order in squirrel world. One sits on the balcony rail, eating and guarding the food below, while another waits in a tree for its turn. [April 10]
Birthday girl Abbey was happy for weather approaching the 70s, FINALLY. She celebrated turning 2 by expanding her favorite hole under the front bushes. [April 17]
Birthday girl Abbey was happy for weather approaching the 70s, FINALLY. She celebrated turning 2 by expanding her favorite hole under the front bushes. [April 17]
I hope to get a better shot of these mourning doves, sometimes, but they’re a skittish pair. I don’t usually see them until early evening, when the other birds and squirrels have pretty well cleared out. [April 17]
I hope to get a better shot of these mourning doves, sometimes, but they’re a skittish pair. I don’t usually see them until early evening, when the other birds and squirrels have pretty well cleared out. [April 17]
041816DarylBalcony
Daryl crept outside while I was refilling the suet cage so I allowed him about a minute to prowl the site he spends so much time studying from the other side of the sliding glass door. A rescue who spent the first 10 months of his life outside, he has ventured out only a handful of times in the year-plus we have had him. [April 18]
One of my favorite signs of warm weather: our bee friends! Clover is about all they have for now, but they will be very busy on our raspberry patch this summer. [April 19]
One of my favorite signs of warm weather: our bee friends! Clover is about all they have for now, but they will be very busy on our raspberry patch this summer. [April 19]
There were only a few kernels left on this cob, but this squirrel was determined to get every one. [April 21]
There were only a few kernels left on this cob, but this squirrel was determined to get every one. [April 21]