Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wellsir, today was certainly a good day. We went to the country chalet to spend the night so we could retrieve our registered half dachshund and half skinny dog and half shelter faithful companion. Nothing to do with bees or books.
But-- we were reminded of the summer band concert at Oakdale elementary school. The band director there is doing an excellent job and proved it once again today. He had several beginners who had only three weeks of instruction, some of them not even that much. They played 4 (?) little songs which were, of course, on their level. He did a thing which showed each section and let each section be featured. My almost third grader started band this summer as he was able to play and really wanted top. His sister was in the 6/7/8 grade band anyway so it was not an imposition to take him. Anyone who likes kids should have seen his face after their concert was over. It was almost worth the trip over just to see that beam coming from his small countenance.
The 6/7/8 grade band sounded worlds apart - as it should have. It is amazing in this day of kids staying home inside and playing video games for hours that kids would come out during the summer and actually learn things.
The band director has a special star in heaven.
Then, when I got home I started fixing my smoker as the fuel I invented was finally dry. It has been over a month, as I remember, since I started this experiment. It worked! I now have enough smoker fuel to last me for a long time. It is cool, as is recommended, and blows lots and lots of smoke.
UHOH--- my little treasure just came in so I gotta go.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It has been almost three weeks since I did any blogging.  There has been too much happening to catch up all-the-way so I shall hit the highlights. Maybe
I now have three hives, I lost two swarms because they got mad and left and I may buy another whole starter hive and take it to a friend near Seminole.
I spent four days in Phoenix and was glad to leave before the heat really settled in. It was a most pleasant visit and, as I mentioned, the weather cooperated. More than once I sat on the patio and read or drank coffee -- or both. My niece and I sat out there and had the nicest visit. I have not seen her enough and all that made me realize how good it would have been to have seen her much more often. Her grandchildren are almost as cute and intelligent as mine.
Speaking of heat, I must go buy a sun screen for our patio as the wind from our gentle summer breeze has completly ripped, shredded and torn away our east screen. It makes morning newspaper/coffee a little hard so I think I am headed out.
I think tomorrow we will go get the dog.
I better run as the afternoon has been -0- nada.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Almost a Beelionaire

There has been so much going on I haven't been able to get to this unless it was late at night when I was too tired. I do have some bee stories that may be of interest. They were certainly hard to come by and I never want to go through the actions again.
I was waiting until June 3 to take my main hive apart to see if the new queen was laying egs. It takes two weeks or so before a queen develops enough to do that. Then she is good for life unless she, and her groupies, decide to leave and start their own country.
Remember that has already happened twice.
So on Thursday it rained and onewho has made the misake of 'doing' bees on a rainy day will seldom make that mistake again. I didn't.
So, the next day looked as thought it would be good. That is, until a hive started to swarm. Now I have about had it with this swarminbg crap and I told them so.  I also sprayed a great deal of sugar water on the little maple tree where another swarm landed. I don't know if it was pure luck, sugar spray aor a combination but they settled on the tree.
I did not have all the things ready that are necessary to start a new hive so i got as much done as possible and started trying to finish the rest.
Then another hive started swarming. A recently swarmed swarm started swarming. I sprayed the beejeebers out of the red bud tree next to their hive, but NO, they went to the honeysuckle bush.
 I got another box about half ready and by this time i was out of breath, strength and almost out of patience. I did not give them permission to do this.
After a very long time of coaxing and cutting limbs and honey suckle vines and rushing around the garage trying to get foundation ready, I relaxed somewhat and went to check to see how things were going. Hmm, I said intelligently, there doesn't seem to be much activity from the Maple Tree Gang. I lifted the lid and there was nothing to see but empty frames. EMPTY. After all I had been through to make them a new home they just left again.
OK, that wasn't good but at least I had the other swarm. That would make a total of four and I could take two, instead of one, to my friend who wants his clover pollinated. I waited about an hour and then sneaked over to that hive, slowly I lifted the lid so as not to disturb them excessively.
They were gone. I had spent the afternoon, gave up my stopping at Sand Bur Ranch later on my way to a meeting and the bloody fools were gone.
Yes, they took a bunch of their cohorts with them. Now I have three small hives instead of three large functioning hives.
dadgummit. But, here is a picture of the Maple Tree gang who left home and is now somewhere with someone who does not appreciate them as I would have.  I hope they know they missed a large field of clover.,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

flowers and more flowers

I do not know whether or not bees like sunflowers, but I am about to find out. The results of the sunflower crop from last year is now popping up all over place. I keep digging up plants and giving them away but more keep appearing. This morning I even mowed some before I ran out of gasoline and was forced to come inside and get at my computer as God intended man to do.
My friends (workers) at the Salvation Army store liked receiving the sunflowers so I hope somebody over there wants some more. I have about 20 I could not bear to mow.
You may remove your head gear, bow your head and read this next sentence slower as if mourning: my tulip tree died. It was sickly from the start and did not take well to the (so called) soil of my back yard and it perished quietly over the weekend. I had so looked forward to see what the hell a tulip tree was after it got bigger. Now I will never know. Maybe I can visit a tulip tree farm if I am ever in Holland.
I found out this morning that bees do not like electric weed whackers any more than they do gasoline powered weed whackers. The little darlings were not even started on their day's activities when I rushed out to trim the grass for them. The grass had grown almost tall enough to cover their entrance.
To show their appreciation, they sent out several warrior Amazon girls and drove me off in a buzz attack. Being extremely brilliant, I thought I could rush in, zap the grass and be gone before they had their meeting and made a decision as to how to approach this new noise maker.
Little did I know they had already had that meeting and sent out some representatives to negotiate my immediate withdrawal. They were very persuasive so I went back to doing something else somewhere else.
Maybe we need some of these to go to Iraq or Afghan and negotiate something.
I am thinking of taking one hive to a new home where they will have fields of clover to pollinate. I bet they do not appreciate that either and will probably let me know unless I do it extremely well and cautiously. The last time I moved bees turned out O K but there were two or three near disasters and I do not want to repeat that.
Did you know that skunks like to eat honey bees?  ......... Now if you are ever on a quiz show you can be smarter than a fifth grader.
I am outa town for the rest of the afternoon. In case you have something to say, leave it under comments and I'll read it about 5 or 6 PM.