Thursday, 21 May 2009

I'm having problems with a few of the seeds I saved last year. All the pumpkin seed is empty. It looks OK, apart from being a bit thin compared with the old seed. But it's not viable at all. The flower must have been pollinated, or there would never have been a pumpkin. But something, very likely to do with the weather, went wring, and it didn't form viable seed. I've heard of the problem before. I've got very poor germination from two peas, Magnum Bonum and Alderman. I harvested the seed in the worst of the weather last year, and I can only imagine I didn't get it dried fast enough. Once planted, it just rotted. I've re-ordered both; fortunately, I managed to find a site in Ireland that does Magnum Bonum, and takes Paypal. . It's not an easy one to find.

I've split Hive 5. leaving the queen at the bottom. and the brood, apart from one frame, at the top. All the flying bees will have returned to the bottom, leaving only the young nurse bees at the top. This is now effectively queenless, and should raise queen cells. Then I break them down, and give them eggs from Hive 4; I've already put an extra frame in the middle of the broodnest, with only an inch of comb on it, for this. the frame will then go into Hive 5, and since they won't have any other eggs or young larvae by that time, they'll raise the queens I want from it. I can then requeen hives 3 and 5. The queens won't mate truly, but since the drones come from unfertilised eggs, they'll be of my strain. A second batch of queens should then mate within strain.

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