Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Friday, May 20, 2005
Our Bee Inspector will make the final decision. He's also burdened with the job as State entomologist so I am grateful to him for coming. I didn't treat with the symptom suppressing Terramycin this spring so this tells me that I have had the disease all along, but kept it from doing serious damage. I'll probably destroy the bees, brood especially, treat the boxes with a torch and toss the sterilized frames. After cleaning my hive handling stuff I need to go through all the hives and look for other signs of EFB. I hope to do that on Sunday pending clear weather.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
I'm hoping that my Dau, in the Caribbean had a good party on the boat yesterday. It's a tough life, but with some benefits!
Yesterday I took a 7 year old girl into some small nucs with me. She was in the children's bee-suit and well duct taped up, but nervous. I showed her how to take deep breathes and purse her lips to defuse the tension and she relaxed, enjoying poking the workers who had their heads in the cells. The girl bees act surprised and run off. We saw a big queen and I showed her the big bumbling drones who don't sting. Afterward she helped pick lettuce and played with a drone. A real delight!
Then I went to Bee Buddy's bee meeting covered dish party. Told them the news about bees from the Internet and ate too much. Brought two groups back and then went back to help clean up. Took Macks who evoked whistles from all who saw him. He was so well behaved that most folks asked 'Where did you get him?'. Got home too late and realized I hadn't told Poor Hubby where we were. Bad Girl, Susi!! Whine....
Friday, May 13, 2005
We had a huge thunderstorm at almost dark yesterday. I took the opportunity to work in the greenhouse until the rain let up. It was a gully-washer. Of course it put water in the basement again, too. We really need to tear out the wood part of that wall and stop those leaks. I have that to tend to this AM, before the bees.
I aim to spend most of the day in the bees, since it will be a reasonable 69F. I need to release the queens and use push in cages for the ones that haven't been in them yet. I haven't fed yet, since there is a nectar flow, but there are some small hives that may need help(either a pollen patty or syrup), either to thrive, or to draw comb. I have 75# of sugar that should be made into syrup just in case. Rather than using the kitchen I'll use that outdoor grill with a burner to boil the water and make 2 parts sugar to One part water syrup. I can dilute it later, or use it for winter feed. It won't sugar out in the summer heat, but won't sour of go 'off' like thinner syrup will. Basically I just need to look at the bees. Some might (hope!) need more room.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Sam may want to spread it over his corn and squash growing areas. It kills me to use it that way, but it will really boost those areas, which are orange clay now.
I've started planting the tomatoes and CC showed me how to make big cages out of the large-hole welded wire fencing. He makes it look easy. I'll try my hand at it when I finish the planting and look in on the bees again. The tomatoes look so tiny spaced out for their full growth. I'll have four beds of tomatoes... almost 50 plants. I guess I'll can tomatoes this year! And give them away. And give them to my bee buddy who sells produce. If we have good weather. Last year was so wet everybody's tomatoes rotted.
I need to test and then lime the tomatoes and put down a sprinkler hose and heavy newspaper mulch to eliminate weeds. Lots more work, but then I can sit back and enjoy.
The greenhouse seedlings are about half sprouted. I had to put the shades on because of the heat buildup, but it still gets warm. I'm hoping the lettuce won't be too late for the cool weather, but...
Monday, May 09, 2005
The Day The Dog Came was a terrible day for the cat population who reside in the house. They retreated upstairs to our daughter Susan's room and sat at the top of the stairs waiting for THAT BEAST to leave. He didn't. He not only stayed, but he stayed in their sitting room with their people.
Time went on.
Only Amelia came down. Gradually she has acclimated Macks to her presence, hiding under furniture and putting her soft paws on his nose when he gets too close. He's a very smart, calm dog. She's a very smart, persistent cat. I watch her train him daily.
Right now he will lick her and she will roll over on her back and get him to snuffle her tummy. They seem to be comfortable together. Amazing.
There's at least two Tandem Dump loads full of it waiting to be hauled over. RB has promised to bring it all. I called Lori and raved over it thanking her for her generosity.
I think with RB and helper's labor hauling the dirt and all the other costs that these raised beds will end up costing the same amount that my Sis-in-Law paid for her sheared mink coat. I'd rather have the dirt! It's just as black and lush.
I found two huge worms as big around as my little finger and longer than my palm. Sweetie will have all the fishing bait he needs.
The plants already growing in the two beds are huge. Much bigger than I'm used to. The cabbage is heading up and I had to cut one head of broccoli because it was almost flowering. Peas are coming in now and I picked some more tender collard leaves. It's hard to keep up with the leaf lettuce. I wish some of those folks who want it would come pick.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Later: Well, I looked at all the queens in the Nucs and none are workers. I have to suppose that I got an extra, probably unmated, queen mixed in with the workers accompanying the queens. If I did, and I hardly credit that I did, I should be glad.
Also, I found a queen that I missed, or that was out mating when I moved around the hives and opened them to make these ten Nucs. Who knows. Anyway I now end the day with three queens. I need to make up two more Nucs and replace the "Found" queen in the nuc she was found in. My notes this year consist of penciling on the side of the hive. Not sophisticated, but I won't lose them.
I made up these nucs on the 5th of May and so when I find any eggs I suspect a queen. Finding Queen cells with larvae along with no eggs mean the nuc (small hive) is queenless. I'll keep these queens overnight, with some workers to feed them and go into the nucs that I had doubts about tomorrow and even Tuesday, if necessary. If they aren't queenless they won't accept a new queen.
If the queen I got by mistake was unmated she may be past the mating phase by the time she is released. If she was unmated they should not react to her like a mated queen because she doesn't smell strongly enough. All the queens I found in the nucs were drawing very strong responses from the workers, i.e. the workers were flying to the queen cage and crawling all over it, licking the queen, etc. I was supposed to get marked queens, but only half were marked. If they were all marked I could sort it out! Oh well, back to the Bee yard to make up two nucs so they will settle down overnight and I'll put these two queens in them in the early AM. And then to give the hive back their queen I stole. They know within minutes when the queen is gone... No queen smell. So I'd better do that first
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Most of the small stockholders didn't know about the sale and the fact that they would soon have money. I wish I could see their reactions.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Migraine. Woke up at 3:30 hurting and took tylenol. Asleep it doesn't hurt. Up at 6:30 to sit in recliner and sleep. It hurts less sitting up. Can't focus very well. Weepy eye on the left, aching side. Classic migraine. Whole left side aches, neck too. Centered behind my eye and temple. Nausea comes in waves. I ate two buttered toast and kept it down, then took 800mg Ibuprophen. Usually that does the trick. Not this time. Slept upright until 10AM and ate a beef sandwich. Kept it down and took two more acetaminophen. Pain is more tolerable, but still there. Any movement intensifies the pain.
Can't concentrate well, or follow a story in the paper. Eyes keep closing, and mind skitters away from complexity or light. Listening to NPR is OK, but more like background chatter.
It's a beautiful day outside. I have to get organized for the splits to start the new queens. I have to get ready for the trip to DC. We're out of almost everything. A Walmart trip is needed.
Everything will have to wait until I am able.