Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Apiary Surprises!

A few post back we tried an experiment using a cast off Queen from another hive. Sadly she died in the Queen cage. I prepared for inspections today totally expecting Hive 4 to be drone filled and no Queen. However, to my surprise it was quite the opposite. I first took out this frame and low and behold, two baby bees were emerging from their cells! Above in the picture you can see them emerging and in the top right, bee larvae in the cells!

The next frame was loaded with all different stages of honeybees! I was positively shocked!

And then, I found her! The Queen, unmarked that I quickly trapped in my new Queen cage! I love this new style. It's so easy to get her in there and even easier to mark her. You put it over her, a small door slides under her and the a small lever brings her upward. So much easier than the old conventional markers.

She of course was marked green for 2019 and was not too happy about it! Once she was dried off I released her back into the hive. Mind you I am still in shock by this point...

but what surprised me the most they had all the frames filled with brood, pollen and stored honey, capped! So they got a new box that they were quickly exploring. This hive is extremely docile and calm. Good genetics there!

I inspected the other hives and found that they too are filled to the gills and were in deep need of new boxes. So once again the Apiary leaves me speechless as it was quite the opposite of what I expected. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Making Herbal Iced Tea the easy way!

Do you grow those herbs and just don't know what to do with them? There are so many things and exploring the possibilities is all the fun! You can make a simple herbal iced tea the easy way with just a few steps. In the picture above I have chosen some herbs. Top to bottom are: Apple Mint, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Spearmint and Kentucky Mint. 

You can use a store bought tea, make a store bought iced tea mix, make sun tea by placing water in a jar with tea bags in the sun, or whatever you choose. In this case I have selected a store bought tea.

Place your washed herbs in the container whole, place the lid back on and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This will allow the herbs to seep their wonderful flavors into your tea.

Simply pour into a glass, add a sprig of mint for garnish and your friends will be so impressed by this flavorful tea! Enjoy!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2019

But Mom!!!

"But Mom, he started it" is the look I got from Norman after coming to Winchester's aid after he was being picked on by Norman! I tried very hard to be stern and tell him under no circumstances is it nice to pick on his brother with a straight face!

It's usually Norman who gets picked on by Teddy or Awan so he can't understand why he is in trouble here!

He even moved closer to me as if to say "but mom, no fair"!!! Did I approach this situation with a straight face, of course not! These guys are hysterical and cause me great joy with their antics!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Making soil is easy!

A few months ago we built a new compost bin out of simple pallets. It was free wood and is a great sustainable way to make your own compost and soil! We used 4 pallets, joined them together and the front was lowered to be able to get in and turn the compost. It really is easy, making the commitment to put your kitchen scraps in the compost and not in the garbage, that's future soil you're throwing away!

With all the rabbit poop, hay, food scraps and what have you, it's filling up quickly!

In our old compost that we are now utilizing, we saw an experiment about putting a pair of jeans in the compost to see how fast the worms will eat them. I came across this waist band and noticed the worms had eaten the rest! 

This is the soil from our older compost! Just amazing black gold! I have repotted many pots, replenished my garden beds and every flower got some when it was planted. So much money was saved and it was so easy!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A Queen Experiment

As I was strolling through my Facebook feed, I noticed my friend Susan had posted that she found this Queen in her bee yard surrounded by about 10 workers. It's suspected as a cast off swarm but it could very well be a mated Queen. Our Hive 4 has been struggling. I noticed they had lost their Queen, I made an attempt to add two frames of eggs and brood but to no avail, they are just a dumb bunch of girls in there! 
I quickly answered my friend that I was looking for a queen and she said I could have her! She offered to rush her over and she did. I gave her a couple of drops of honey which she promptly devoured. She looks healthy, her abdomen is swollen, so she may have just mated.

My friend plugged the hole with a marshmallow so I taped the end and placed a rubber band over it to keep her in there for a few days. In no time the workers came up to see what was going on. This one is cleaning up some of the leftover honey.

Soon many of the bees where coming up to investigate and I am sure they are detecting her pheromones as well.

As I watched, more arrived! We will leave her in the queen cage for a few days. At this point if we were to introduce her, they would kill her. I will revisit in a day or so to see if they are tending to her, fingers crossed!