Monday, March 25, 2013

Getting ready for bees!

Hello everyone.  I've been a busy little bee (hee hee) getting ready for my ladies to show up.  Dad has been a great help, as his wood working skills are WAY better than mine!  Here are some pictures of my progress thus far.

 Dad and I put together two medium honey supers.  These go on top of the deep boxes that the bees lay eggs in and store food for themselves.
 This is the screened bottom board.  The hive bodies sit on this, and it is screened for ventilation, and also for mite control, though I'm hoping my girls don't even have to worry about them.
 I painted the bottom board (soon the whole hive will be painted) a very soft green (though it doesn't translate very well in the picture).
 I've been practicing with the smoker (fuel types and different smoke temperatures) and I think I finally found a winning combination.  I'll have to try it again this week to make sure.  Those bellows sure pump up the flames.
 There's the nice cool smoke that will calm the ladies down.
 Just a goofy little aside.  I absolutely love my dad's plow truck.  It barely runs, and has no brakes, but it does its job.  However, for the rest of the year, if just sits next to my dad's workshop, and somehow, a maple tree seed landed in the back...and it's GROWING!  Last year it had a good little crop of leaves on it, and they all turned color in the fall.  I'm curious to see how big it will get. Hahaha.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Holy Crap on a Cracker it's COLD outside!

Hey everyone...I hope it's warm where you are...cause it's NOT here!  I went out to check on the bee tree and just walking out there and back got me frozen.  Those poor bees in there...I hope they're warm enough.  I put a small pollen patty out there today.  It might not help, but it makes me feel like I'm doing something to help them.

So here's what all has been going on here this weekend...

 Dad cut up all of the lumber that we bought.  These will soon be the brood chambers and honey supers.  Can't WAIT!
 The chickpeas are growing fast.  Even our little runt of the litter is growing...
 Lots more hive pieces waiting to be glued and nailed!
 Dad's the way he re-purposes things.  If you need any tool or any nicknack...he's got it!
 Finger joints will soon be a reality!
Can't wait for dad to get the bike out again!  Can't wait for it to warm up!!

Thanks for checking in.  I hope it's warm where you are.  I plan on doing some reading and relaxing, checking on the chickpeas now and again, and getting my snuggle on with Cosmo.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Building Beehives

Hey everyone!  Sorry it's been a while since I posted.  I had a nasty stomach bug last weekend that kind of wiped me out for the week.  I was laying on the couch with no energy, and dad was going nuts cutting pieces of wood for frames.  I checked on him a couple times, but when it comes to wood working...he's the man.  He got all of the pieces cut, and I drilled holes in them yesterday.

Cosmo helped supervise, to make sure I did everything right!

Here are all of the pieces...I think these are for the deep hive bodies.  I plan to use two deep and two medium (hopefully) per hive...that means I hope to have LOTS of honey at the end of the summer.

Dad and I went lumber shopping today to get wood for the hive bodies and covers.  We also got some paint for the hives...the color I picked is called 'Garden Fresh'. I tried to take a picture of the card, but it really doesn't translate well in a picture.  I hope that once it's on the hives and outside in the sun, it looks better.  We shall see!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Babies of the bird variety...

 Hello all.  I thought I'd share some bird pictures for you today. 

First off, the most important baby bird in my life.  This is my almost 4 year old cockatiel, Cosmo!  I love this little guy to pieces.  He is so funny!  He whistles the Andy Griffith theme, gives kisses all the time, and LOVES to snuggle.  He's my little baby!

Here is a funny little shot of him right after a bath.  He will only take a bath on his terms, but when he does, it's hysterical!  He looks like a little drowned rat when he's done, and smells just like a wet dog. LOVE him!

Though none of these little cuties are mine...yet...I thought I'd show you the type of chickens we are going to get.  These are Rhode Island Reds, and are one of the best breeds of chicken.  They are friendly, and lay REALLY good eggs!  My dad and I are going back to the feed store, probably Wednesday, to put in our order!  I can't wait to have these little fuzzballs!
Also, I couldn't finish this post without SOMETHING bee related.  Went to check on the girls today, since it was sunny again.  I saw a few flying, and some tucked up back by a piece of comb.  It looked like they had been doing some house cleaning, because on the opposite side of the tree, where I assume the drain in their hive is, was all kinds of pieces of leaves, lots of dead bee body parts (crime scene?) and this LITTLE piece of comb.  It was just really neat to see.

Not much else going on here, just chomping at the bit for spring to get here.  We're going to visit some family in Missouri at the end of the month, and then it's going to be busy busy busy around here!  YAY!!!

Hugs and love from my almost springtime wonderland!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunshine, Bees and Bird Feathers

 Hello friends!  I hope you are all enjoying your weekends.  I have been busy researching more about bees, as well as some vegetables and herbs that I plan on adding to my garden this year!  It has been mostly sunny today (though not exceptionally warm) but I thought my girls might be out and about, and I was not disappointed.  When i got out to the tree there were several flying around, and another one or two walking around the entrance.  I was lucky enough to snap this picture of one of them heading back in.
There were several more in the snow, dead or dying, but I'm thinking that's just normal.  Food stores are starting to run out, and some of them, I imagine, just can't make it through the winter.  Since they typically overwinter with numbers in the thousands, I suppose losing fifty to one hundred isn't too bad.

I spent most of my morning on facebook chatting with a new friend from Canada about his bees.  I'm excited to learn more from him and learn even more about beekeeping.  I also found a new friend in Kimberling City (near my family in Branson) that keep bees, as well as building beautiful Red Cedar hives.  I'll attach a link to his page as well.

On a side note, look at the lovely feather that Cosmo lost today.  I also realize that I haven't posted a picture of my little guy yet, but don't worry...he's very photogenic, so I'm sure you'll be seeing him soon!

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday, and take care.

Hugs from cold but sunny Michigan!


Red Cedar Beehives