Crt Jakhel

pollinator
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since Sep 23, 2012
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bee books dog forest garden homestead cooking
NE Slovenia, zone 6b
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Recent posts by Crt Jakhel

Are there any cats or dogs living with you? Hostas are presumably poisonous for them, so that could get you off the hook for at least one of the plants you mentioned :)
5 days ago
Hi Dennis,

it has been my impression that no matter what kind of help I supply in the form of shading, mulching and watering, when daily temps are consistently over about 30 C = 86 F, the haskaps will go dormant, look dead and wake up next spring. Sadly this means that they only have a very short growing season inside each year so they develop slowly. This is happening at a location which - looking at Alabama via Google - is at least one USDA climate zone colder than you.

Let's at least liven up that sad story with a happy photo.


1 week ago
Hi Uroš,

greetings from another part of Slovenia

What are your goals for your land?

How large is it?

Do you live there (or very close to it)?

Is this something you do to enrich your life or should it evolve as a business?

Will it be only you working the land or are there other people?

Do you have a local water source?

1 month ago

Eric Hanson wrote:
It’s not impossible that what is being called black locust around here is in fact a different species, but whatever we have has a dark bark and 3 inch long wicked sharp and incredibly strong thorns.



This really does not sound like black locust (robinia pseudoacacia).

Honey locust (gleditsia triacanthos) wood is similar to black locust with regard to burning and durability for posts etc.
2 months ago
Chris, some things about plants in your area...

- Bees collect nectar and pollen in a very wide area. If your land is under, say, 10 acres, what's outside it will be more important most of the time than what's inside it. What you plant is not meaningless; it's just that in most situations, it's more of a dessert rather than a main course.

(Okay, if you have a field of a very attractive plant, say buckwheat or crimson clover or oilseed rape or sunflowers or..., and the time is such that there's not much else in flower, it will for sure be the main dish. But you get my point.)

- Don't plant 1 of everything. Bees like large targets, large groups of interesting plants.

- It may take a while for your bees to get used to something you've introduced. Our evodias (tetradium danielli) have flowered in 2018 for the first time and the bees were very timid about visiting this famously bee-attractive tree. But we've seen the same thing with koelreuteria and heptacodium - it can take 2-3 years for the bees to "take" to the new food source. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere but it seems to matter.
2 months ago
When I was starting out I attended an official course for beginners organized by the central beekeepers' association of our country.

We'd have very experienced people come in and share their guidelines, ideas, recommendations.

It turned out that the things they were teaching us were - not so rarely - not only out of sync with each other but actually pointing in opposite directions.

For me the net result of this experience was: since all these guys work with bees in their own ways which often contradict each other - obviously bees must be quite resilient to the various approaches people take. Not so fragile. One doesn't screw up bees so easily.

It may not sound like much but this was actually a very good insight because it helped me get rid of some of the "newbie block" that I had - worrying about too many things including what to worry about.

When you start from zero (and there is probably nothing that can prepare you in the sense of "oh I did X and that's similar to bees so it's a good start") it is very hard to absorb all the information that you get because you don't have a frame of reference.

You understand the words but they don't convey meaning so well. They don't relate to anything. Then, as you progress, you flash back to everything that you've read or seen and intepret it in a new light and with much improved efficiency.

For this reason it's a good idea to keep going back and revisiting the sources you've already used - chances are you will keep learning new stuff from them even though for an outside observer you're just rereading the same things over and over again.

If I had to choose just a few favorite sources it would probably be Michael Bush's website http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm and this one: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/ .


2 months ago
This season, peanut butter on heavy rye bread (pumpernickel) with our own chokeberry / lemon jam. A little bit of every kind of taste.
2 months ago
Hey - just wanted to let you know that Malwarebytes, one of the many anti-bad-stuff programs available, is blocking the site where you uploaded your photo, presumably because it harbors spyware.
2 months ago

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:I got Enterprise, Liberty and Freedom but they have not borne fruit yet. Their reputation is they are relatively trouble free.



Enterprise is gloriously free of leaf problems but is much appreciated by the coddling moth. Good reliable cropper but not an amazing experience.
2 months ago
It is possible that you could get a hint from how the peaches and apricots are doing -- because their problem is usually that they wake up early in the spring and then get clobbered by ongoing frost waves.

If the microclimates you create are consistent enough for your apricots and peaches to do well, then it could be worth a try with the more adventurous moves you're planning. (At first glance though it all sounds very adventurous indeed, -25 is a lot of negative F's.)

At our place we have a suntrap / windbreak in the form of a very dense hornbeam-hazel grove (you know how hornbeam usually keeps its leaves throughout the winter), with an extra row of willows on the northern side, which has been created to shelter our beehives. The bees are doing well, but... I've planted two grafted peach trees inside the protection zone (so deemed by the direction the northern winds usually take) and they both died inside of 3 years. And that's just Zone 6, some people might even laugh and call it 7.

Hazel, walnut, sour cherries, saskatoons (amelanchier) and seabuckthorn (hippophae) would be my first thought for zone 4, also some apple and plum cultivars. Berries in the ribes family (currants, gooseberries and various crosses) but only some cultivars of rubus (raspberry, blackberry).

And oh, haskap! Definitely that.
2 months ago