March 3, 2017
Beekeeping, berrries, Berry Preserves, Gardening, Healthy Lifestyle, jam and jelly, Strawberries, Vegetables
bee sting, bees, chickens, eggs, lemons, peas
Nearly started off with an interesting typo! “Good Thongs From the Yard” – that could have raised some eyebrows! Spring is here and good things are showing up.
One of the yards that hosts a couple of hives also has chickens. For my garden I receive some chicken fertilizer…. nice way to say it! Almost as good are the excess eggs I receive. Yum!
Little ones, medium ones and big ones! He has about 20 chickens and they are laying very well now!
Carrots, I grow short ones because of my clay soil. They may be short but they are very sweet.
Unwashed but yummy. I put them on the grill the other night with some asparagus and chicken. Very yummy. When the sugars carmelize they are so yummy.
Snow peas and sugar snaps are blooming and producing. The early pods never make it to the house. Insert smiley face and tongue licking lips here!
And yes…..strawberries. I have made two batches of preserves so far. One plain and the other with vanilla. I am hoping for so much more.
And bees too. The Meyer Lemons are blooming and the bees are working. Mine and many others. Such remarkable creatures!
Ok, enough for now! Just one sting today out of 6 hives inspected today! I can always attribute a sting to a faux pas on my part! Yes, I have made a mistake or two! Most of the time I have no swelling but this one……hit my left hand and sure enough – a little ballooning on the back of my hand. Ok Hun- please kiss it and make it better.
July 4, 2016
Beekeeping, Gardening, Healthy Lifestyle, honey, Humor, Top Bar Hive
bee sting, bees, cut comb, honey
Yesterday morning, yes too early for the bees (mistake one), I went to check on and maybe harvest some honey from my original top bar hive. It has been intolerably hot lately, hot enough to make the wax comb very soft. This topbar hive is my gentle hive. See photo below;
I normally just smoke them a little and wear my veil as seen in the photo! Today I decided to gear up and wear my white overalls, gloves and the above veil.
Mistake two; The bees were agitated from the “git go!” No problem, I had smoke and protective gear. It was 8:45 in the morning and the top bar hive was still in the shade. Probably a thousand or more clustered on the outside and little evidence of foraging…..
The veil has long strings and the trick is to make sure that my collar is flipped up and the veil secured without gaps. Mistake number three, I failed to check the collar and the fit. All of a sudden I feel air from beating wings on my face.
“John, are the bees inside my veil?” I ask.
“Yes, quite a few”, he responds.
I start heading out of the area and I have company both inside and out. They seem to be pissed at me and ignoring John. I took 6-7 or more in the back of my head and a few more on my forehead.
I wander back to my Suburban, licking my wounds and suit up. John is putting the bars back in place and the top back on. I return to take a peek at the other topbar hive and the two Langstroth hives.
The 8 frame is healthy but growing slower than my other three 8-frame hives. The 10 frame hive is doing nicely with a queen hatched from my original top bar hive. FYI, my top bars sized to fit in my Langstroth hives. The second top bar hive was also cloned from a queen cell and a few bars of brood, pollen and honey from the original hive.
Ok, I have orders from the sales manager (my wife for some cut comb and I know where to go. I have two 8 frame hives nearby and I have been anxious to harvest them. I pulled 11 frames, 3 beautiful ones for cut comb and we extracted the others.
I wound up with 12 – eight ounce squares and I also boxed up all the trimmings. I let them drain a bit on the rack before boxing them up. I love cut comb! I also wound up with over 30 pounds of liquid honey. Two more hives to visit in the next day or two to on the honey production.
August 6, 2014
Beekeeping, Gardening, Healthy Lifestyle
bee sting, boardman feeder, feeding bees, honey
If you are going to be a bee keeper you are going to get stung! I am still using a Boardman feeder holding a quart sized jar of sugar water. The hive is healthy and growing. They will consume a quart in about 10 hours!
Therefore, I, or my daughter Lisa, have to refill it daily. We don’t put our gear on or use the smoker. We just calmly approach the hive, remove the jar, shoo away the few that hang on and refill the jar. Once topped off calmly replace the jar.
A few days ago I was apparently too abrupt on my approach. As I removed the empty jar, four or five bees came at me. Most were just bumping me, trying to discourage my presence. Apparently one Lone Ranger bee saw me as a bigger threat and popped a stinger through my shirt on my left pec. Fortunately I don’t react to stings, just itched a bit for a day or two. Lesson learned, be gentle and the bees will respond in kind!
Lisa and I added a super and the queen excluder over the past weekend. We were appropriately attired in our beekeeping gear. The bees are busy making honey and more workers! I hope to have my first harvest/extraction by the end of summer.
I will leave them alone for the next three weeks or so before doing a more thorough inspection of the hive and the queen. Who knows, I may get lucky and be able to split a hive! I do have an empty NUC hive box. Maybe I should try and capture a swarm. I do have some extra full sized frames! Waste not, want not.
Boardman feeder similar to the one I use.