Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Current Work.

Thank you all for your comments and good wishes. So far we have not got the Psa bacteria, but must continue to watch and inspect.
    Today it is wet. We had some heavy showers overnight. Hopefully during the fine spells the bees will be able to get to work. Yesterday was lovely till 4.45 when we had to rush in to beat the rain. Earlier in the day I took some photos. We have 21 bee hives in the kiwifruit blocks for pollination.( the bees arrived by truck at 2.30 on Sunday night- from over the Kaimais )
Here a bee is systematically working it's way around a female flower.

 The same is happening  in the  male flowers.
To make it easier for you to see the difference this photo was taken where a male and a female vine are growing side by side and the canes intertwine to some extent. The bee is on the male flower. The male flowers on the left in the photo are a more yellow colour ( especially as they age. )  The female flowers and buds on the right are whiter and fatter in the middle of the flower ( ovary )- this part will swell to become the fruit.  When the vines are close like this it is not far for the bee hopefully to carry male pollen to the female flowers right next to it.( the male vines are 1-8 females or 1-4 in some places )
 Yesterday while it was sunny the good wee bees worked tirelessly around me as I worked. The air Hummmmmmms with their presence. The air is heavy with smell of kiwifruit flowers.
Currently this is my work station. The old radio is sitting on the tractor mudguard; my seat (a cushion on a beer crate ) and plastic cube with thermos; cold water; snacks; new gloves etc are in the bucket / tray behind the tractor. My gear ( secateurs; clips; stocking ties and deoderant ) are worn in a carpenters apron around my waist. The deoderant  is just in case a bee stings me. (it's the  best immediate cure I have used! ) I wear a cap while working as I do not like bees in my hair!     Wal the Beekeeper has just now driven in to go and feed his bees some sugar syrup. ( for energy - makes them work hard - they fly a long way on a fine day  ) He is by far the best beekeeper we have used over the last 30 years.
While I was eating my breakfast today I wrote myself a list of all the things I could do if it stayed wet today. Some will get done but the sun is breaking through so if the leaves and grass dry out it may be back to the orchard later.

*****Progress seems agonisingly slow at the Pike River mine. I sense something will happen today.The coverage is constant and every Kiwi  in NZ is talking about it and of course hoping for a good outcome.********
These dark blue Love-in-the Mist are growing under the yellow Graham Thomas rose fence. (Some of the kiwfruit bees are visiting them too!) But, since there are supposed to be 35,000 bees per hive it won't matter!  ( 735000 + 35000in the avocados. )


Janice said...

Oh, Ali - I think about you every time the psa is mentioned on the news - I've had my fingers crossed for you all that time as well! We will all hold if off from you by force of will i think!

Deb said...

Oh send some of that rain over here. We haven't had rain for days and our fields are so dry. the sheep will be eating dirt soon. Will keep fingers crossed you continue to avoid psa.

Interesting to see the kiwifruit life cycle!!

Jennifer said...

Your yellow roses are scrumptious! The info on how kiwifruit is grown is really interesting, all too often we take our food for granted and never think of where it comes from. We are praying for the miners too.

julieQ said...

We just love to hear about your farm...your pictures make it come alive for us. Thank you for sharing!