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Friday, August 15, 2014


It's been blazing hot this summer & the girls little pond has gone dry. Fortunately we made a trip out to fill it back up & we have neighbors with live stock to water.
Our poor hive of naughty girls seems to be surviving despite the set back of having to cut out a large chunk of brood.
They have a ways to go still to fill out the rest of their deep box home, but the queen is still laying & the girls are keeping it clean.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Back at home in the city, I found this fellow while watering the garden.
He was all tangled up in the bird netting. When I pulled the lemon balm back to find his head, it looked very triangular to me. Not a good thing. So went & grabbed my snake boots & Opa's machete that I inherited, & proceeded to chop his head off. Then I gave him Jon's prayer to help him cross over in peace. (Jon gives a prayer over each animal he kills on a hunt) Once the head was off, I proceeded to cut around the bird netting to get him out of the garden. 
When I got to a point where I could inspect...he was indeed a rat snake. I feel bad for killing a good snake, but I don't think I could have safely cut him out of that netting anyway where I didn't either hurt him or myself in the process. When I got him laid out on the table, he had jammed himself all up in that netting. I'm pretty sure he'd been there a while too because I thought I heard something hiss at me last night when I was messing around in the garden in the dark.

I tried to stretch him out, but he kept curling on me when I'd go to grab my phone for a pic. Fully stretched & unheaded he was just over 48", so with a head he was easily 50" long & about 1.5" girth. A healthy boy. (figure of speech... don't know how you actually tell the difference).
(The right tool gets the job done!)

Earlier in the year (around February I think), I released what I thought was a baby garden snake into the garden... guess that wasn't a garden snake!

Note #1: Baby rat snakes are light tan with no markings
Note #2: They move opposite of the head direction, so if he's moving one way - look for the head on the opposite end!
Note #3: Touching them on the rear end will make them wiggle & move more! I learned that one when I was trying to stretch the headless body out for a measurement

Saturday, May 24, 2014


In case you missed it... I totally have the world's cutest bee box. I guess fashion may not be important to the world's beekeepers, but I just can't properly show the girls love them without making them feel fancy. So out came the outdoor paint and some stencils & with some effort - a fabulous purple bee box.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Well those busy busy bees. Every time we check on them, they are building comb up into their feeder. Well, that means time for an expansion. Now they have 2 deeps to fill out & a bigger space (using an empty super) to get to the feed. The last bit of feed should be gone in a week, & maybe those ladies will stop building honey comb up the feeder.

So after a month of getting them cozy & fed in their new homes, it's time to start weening them off the feed for some spring/summer flowers. All that extra honey comb and honey just tastes like sugar water for now, but we have rain in the forecast & there should be flowers out soon, so we are going to force them to leave the hive & forage more for food.

Even though they are still growing and multiplying, & the hives are 1/2 empty... they totally look like professional bee hives

Thursday, May 1, 2014


via May 2014 article:
Biodynamic beekeepers use:
  • smoke to calm the bees
  • cinnamon to discourage ants
  • olive oil traps to kill beetles
  • coat bees with powdered sugar, prompting them to clean each other & reduce mites

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


We picked up our first 2 nukes of bees on Friday – loaded them in the back of the truck and drove to 2 hours to get them to their new home.
Before we picked up our new babies, we prepped the nursery by filling up the pond & tossing in some corks so the bees would have a landing pad.

Next it was time to get our bees out of their traveling nukes & into their new home. We opened the nukes & carefully pulled out each frame & then inserted it into the new nuke.
You can see the white queen cage – she’s in there. Gotta go back next week and make sure she’s out & laying baby bee eggs. They should have plenty of food and water to last them the week until we can get back out there.

Jon & I are proud parents of 2 new hives. Go Bees!!


It was the theme of our wedding of course!

We had these super cute little birds as our wedding logo because … well … “if you’re a bird, then I’m a bird” (name that movie)