Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Friday, August 29, 2014

It's all in the feeders!

I truly believe a teacher can always learn from a student, your mind should always be open to everything. This is true for me as well, this year I have had the pleasure of mentoring Kisha who I have mentioned. She actually turned me on and gifted me with one of these amazing top feeders.

They actually have a floating system that disallows bees to drown in them. I have always shied away from top feeders for this very reason. This system is sold by Brushy Mountain Bee and is amazing!

A close up of just how safe these really are!

They fit snuggly on top and have space in the center for them to come up through to get the sugar water safely. We then place the screen top over it. This also allows for refilling with out the bees being able to react.

This is a picture of the first one that Kisha gifted me with, notice the center opening, that is where the bees come up through. These feeders have made a tremendous difference in the management and the success of our bees this year!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Honeybees...The honeybees

The honeybees are underway! Busy to and fro, flying in, flying out. Visiting all the wild flowers. Neighbors are reporting seeing them at their flowers.

This weekend we did mite treatments on the girls. We use organic means to treat the "girls". In this case powdered sugar! The bees looked like little ghost. The powdered sugar coats the bees. The varroa mites have suction cup like feet and when they go to move they slip off and fall to their deaths.

Honey and beeswax were also harvested. The beeswax will be put outside to allow the girls to pick it clean. It is by far the best way to clean it up!

Frames were put into the extractor and we got quite a few pounds! The big harvest will be in a few weeks. They haven't quite capped it all yet. These girls are keeping me busy busy!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Using the time proven Hand Carder

These are Hand Carders, a tool that was used in the Colonial times and probably even earlier to brush wool and fibers to prepare for spinning into yarn. These Tim bought me some time ago and carved our farm name into them.

Here I am using some lavender dyed suri alpaca locks from our boy, Garth. Laying the fiber length wise across the teeth of the comb.

Here is a closer look at the teeth of the comb.

Of course I was taking the pictures so both my hands aren't in place. Turning the combs in the opposite direction, holding one up and one down, begin to comb the fiber until the strands are all aligned in the same direction.

Brush and brush and brush...

and brush and brush and brush...

until the fibers are aligned like little soldiers! Now placing your carders together like little book ends with some of the fibers running off...

bring the carders together and begin to brush one in the upward direction.

until all the fibers are transferred off onto one carder...

taking both your fingers like little scissors on each side, begin to roll the fiber back and off the carder until...

you have your rolag, or as we call it at the historical home, "A wooly caterpillar"!

And here you are, a rolag ready to be spun. I am actually going to use this for and over casting onto some wool I have spun to give a brushy look and texture. Nothing like time proven tools that our fore mothers used!