Friday, April 26, 2013

Maple blossoms!

I was so excited to see the bees bringing in pollen today...and it was green! I've heard that means its from Maple blossoms...well it is! I saw them flying around some open buds! Yay for spring!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Busy in Paradise

Hi friends.  I hope you've had a great week so far and your weekend was nice.  Mine was BUSY.  I got some planting done (some of my 'start inside stuff')

-Cayenne Pepper
-Lemon balm
-Bell pepper
-Yellow Onion

Once it starts sprouting, I'll be sure to snap a few pics.  (I'm smiling really big right now...Cosmo is behind the entertainment center chatting up a storm)

I did a hive inspection on Sunday, and was mostly satisfied with what I saw...the bees are taking the sugar water, which is awesome!  They are still clumped a bit (it hasn't been really warm yet) but they are starting to draw out comb, but I didn't see any eggs or the queen.  I'm sure things are fine, because yesterday they were bringing in pollen...but I can't wait to see eggs and capped brood.  You'll be seeing it as soon as I do.

I have gotten some other seeds in the mail and at the local feed store, and can't wait to plan them too.

-Shasta Daisy
-Four O'Clocks
-Lemon Mint
-Mountain Phlox
-Crimson Clover

The chickens are doing GREAT in their new home, and they love it.  They are so cute scratching around and snuggled up on their perches.  See the video included for a snip of them.

The weather is slowly but surely getting warmer, and I can't wait for that to continue.  The fresh air feels amazing, and I feel truly blessed to be able to do the things that I do.  I have great support from my friends and family, and I can't wait to see what this summer/year brings.

Hugs from my little slice of paradise to yours!


Great place for ordering seeds!

Have a great day!

Friday, April 12, 2013

a ball of bee keeping emotions

Hi everyone.  Boy have I been on a roller coaster of emotions since Wednesday (holy cow, that was only the day before yesterday).

Wednesday, I got my bees.

Well, let me go back one day.  I was at work Tuesday, and got a call from the post office at 6:05 that the bees were there!  But, the post office closed at 6:30, and I had to work until 10pm.  I tried to arrange for someone else to pick them up, but it didn't work, so...I resigned myself to the fact that I had to wait until Wednesday morning to pick them up.  I was okay with that, but I must admit that I didn't sleep well Tuesday night.

I woke up Wednesday early and excited.  I got ready, and my dad and I headed to the post office to pick up my ladies.  I was told I had to come get them, because the carrier wouldn't deliver them...which I totally get, because I wouldn't want to deliver them either if I didn't know about them.  So dad and I waited in line, and I finally got up to the counter.  I told the man that I was there to pick up a crate of bees.  Obviously, I didn't have to give my name, because no one else in my little town was getting a package of bees in the mail that we waited...and waited...and then they told me that the carrier DID take them.

GRRRRRRRRRRR.  So we got back in the car and drove home.  Luckily we caught the mail lady near our house and she drove there and dropped them off...YAY, I FINALLY HAD MY BEES!!!!!

I brought them in the basement, sprayed them with sugar water and let them sit for an hour or so.  Here is a picture of my lovely ladies.  It's not the best quality, but it's the only one I have so far.

In the middle of that wad of bees in a can of sugar water and a queen cage.  The bees on the bottom didn't make it, but that happens.

So finally the rain and wind stopped, and it was the perfect time to put the bees in their new home.

Everything went really smoothly.  The queen (Brittany) was alive and moving and she had several attendants in her cage with her.  I installed her and poured the bees in around her.  It was magical.  It was so great listening to the humming inside the hive.

However, my elation quickly turned to fretting and worry, as yesterday the weather was awful.  I don't think it got above 35 degrees, and it was windy and rainy ALL day.  The wind was so strong it blew the antenna off our roof (it was still up there from when you had to have one for TV).  I worried about my girls all day.  I went out to the hive to talk to them a couple times.  I felt so bad that they had to be in the cold.

I had my mom help me put a solid piece of plywood under the base, because it was screened and I was afraid it was too cold.

Today my dad and I rigged up a feeder to try to feed the girls closer to the cluster and the queen.  I'm really hoping that they will be okay.  I think about them all day, every day.  I am a nervous bee mama.

If any of you have had experience with this, I'd really love to hear about it, good or bad outcomes...

Tomorrow is supposed to be cold and rainy, and Sunday is supposed to rain, but be in the fifties, so I'm hoping to go in then to make sure the queen was let out of her cage.  Other than that, I'm leaving it up to God and mother nature.  I know they know best, but I just really want my girls to be okay.

Until next time...

Jamie...newbee nervous mama.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

SO much is going on!

Hi everyone.  I hope this past week went by smoothly and wonderfully for you all.  I have been busy, but still relaxing at the same time.  My mom and I just got back from a week trip to Missouri to visit my great grandma (Mima), my grandma (Granny) and my aunt.  I absolutely love going down's just magical.  We relaxed, I got some crocheting done, and we hit up some flea markets.  And guess what I found?!?
 Here's an old bee smoker.  It's totally rusty and the leather is super dried out, but I LOVE it.

 Here's a shot of Betty sitting in Granny's driveway.  I love her stone steps!
 Our last night in the Ozarks was blessed with this amazing sunset.  My Uncle Ed (who has passed away) used to take beautiful pictures of the sunsets, and I like to think that he was giving us a lovely gift on our last night on vacation.

However, we got back Friday night, and this weekend was WORK WORK WORK.  Dad and I worked on the chicken coop, putting in nest boxes and starting painting it.
 My beehives are totally done - all they need are BEES (that should be coming in this week!!)
 The chickpeas are getting BIG.  I couldn't believe how big they got during the week we were gone.  It's starting to be really easy to tell roosters from hens.  Check out this handsome little man.

 Their coop will be done in the next few weeks, so they will have a permanent home!

This is one of the things my dad worked on while we were on vacation.  He built a little fenced in area for my hives.  They will be protected from ANY annoying critters that come along.
 One of the last things I had to finish was making sugar water...gallons of it!  The bees need something to eat until the flowers actually bloom.

Well, things have been busy busy busy in my little slice of paradise.  I hope you all had a great week and I hope the weather is better where you are than it is here.  Still 40s and raining or cloudy.  Hopefully the bees don't have to wear their long underwear when they get here.  Don't worry, I'll have LOTS of pictures of them for you.

Until next time, have a great week!