Well day 3 of the heat wave is almost over. It should cool down at about 2am with the way things are going 🙂
Garden has done ok. A few sections have taken a hiding but the one thing that surprisingly so far has taken a real beating was the banana tree I had been gifted. I am surprised as this I though in a good container of water would have loved the heat. Clearly wrong on this one. It will recover but it interesting to see how things operate in these conditions. In many ways we are in uncharted territory with so many once in a life time heat waves in in 5 years.
I covered the bees with some shade in the form of a trellis but after A. got an email from the Victorian apiarist association we did a bit more work. They suggested a sheet or box of polystyrene on top of the hive to help insulate. Seems to have worked as the last two days the back hive had none and there where bees outside cooling it but yesterday and today in even warmer temperatures they seemed fine.
We really need to get quilt boxes for them all and some Warre style tops as well. Warre hives maybe not in our plans at present in what we are doing but parts of the design I can see working with our langstroth hives.
The water bowls are checked each morning and it is nice to see the stone carving I did 18 months ago working so well as a reservoir for our bees 🙂 It is really important that you have stones or gravel in the bowl. Bees drown easily and this or floating rafts in the water supply help them to stay out of the water.
Ducks and chickens are really feeling it the shaded pond seems to be helping and they are just staying in the shade.
The water from them is keeping some of the trees happy and it is being swapped out regularly for them.
Shade and water is all they really need.
The kiddie pool idea worked out well even my wasabi so far has stood up well (touch wood) the other plants seem fine and the wicking beds are doing their thing and the fruit trees are ripening well and even that mint seems to standing up to the heat. If a small section of food forest works like this interested in seeing how half the backyard will work.
One area we are struggling with is the house. We really need the insulation in the house. Being uninsulated it is just not staying cool and locking it up has had minimal effect. The shade sail is working well though and the back half of the house really makes a huge difference to the heat in that section it has been cooler than the back half. This sort of passive design is a winner.
When the kids come home they ask for a cool bath and this seems to make a huge difference along with a couple of small fans.
Other than we are just ensuring we keep our fluids up.
It is interesting but I think people have forgotten how to deal with this in their lives. Lots of people have lost pets by not setting them up correctly (not even enough water) and people look broken limping between air conditioned buildings and onto the train.
If this is the future people are going to need to adapt to it in regards to them and their properties. I was discussing with A. with the way that power grid is simply not standing up to the load I am wary of relying on this technology. Our house is better than most and we have the capacity to improve it to be less reliant on systems that can fail so we will.
Two days to go so hope all the Melbourne people are doing as well as me. Interesting times ahead and we will see more of these heat waves I believe.
On the upside it is not to bad to come home and go out into the backyard and be hit by the smell of warm honey and fennel 🙂 not to bad at all.