Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rusty Patched Bumblebee - Endangered Species

The Rusty Patched Bumblebee on Tuesday became the first officially endangered bee species in the continental U.S. overcoming objections from some business interests and a last-minute delay ordered by the Trump administration. The bees have an enormous range of 13 states including Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.  Rusty patched bumblebees nest in underground colonies, sometimes in fields, causing worry for farmers.   
Over the past two decades, the bee has declined in nearly 90 percent of its range.  The list of suspected causes for the disappearance, according to the agency, reads like an environmental most-wanted list: farm pesticides, household herbicides, human development over bee habitat, disease and climate change.
So now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will devise a plan for returning the Rusty Patched Bumblebee to a "healthy and secure condition". 
A couple of years ago, I happened upon a nest in the ground in my garden - I didn't know what type of bumblebee it was but probably the Rusty Patched Bumblebee. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring - Hallelujah!

Hopefully we're past the freezing weather we've been having - whatever you do, don't cut your shrubs back - they will be okay.  Well, that's my tip for the day.

Planted onions today and moved some Bachelor Buttons to a little bed in the garden.  They are such sweet flowers.  The Triplets were a big help in the garden as usual - thank goodness they are laying eggs now.  And I checked the bees too.  My one and only hive is doing well.
Sunday I went to Isabelle Bowen Henderson's House and Gardens on Oberlin Road in Raleigh. It's always interesting to see other gardens and inside the house too.  Then I went to a couple of Open Houses - one on St. Mary's St ($899,000) and the other in Cameron Park (only $800,000).  This is just for fun - definitely not in my price range - maybe in my next life!  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Blustery Day and Bee Check

I think I started this post Wednesday or a couple of days ago (of course I can't remember).  Anyhow read on and I added an update for today.
I hope I spelled that right - what I might say is WINDY as in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.  The weather has been a roller coaster ride lately. The last time I checked the bees (or I should say my one and only hive) was in December.  I really try not to disturb them - just makes more work when they have to put their house back together.  But with this warm and crazy weather we're having I will check them in the next day or so.   
Daffodils are blooming, daylilies are coming up, hydrangeas are budding - it's early times but you can't do much about the weather.  Yesterday I started cleaning my flower beds  - not only are they full of weeds already but they're over full of plants.  I need to do a little thinning and pass along some plants. 
I have a mouse in the house!  Yes, you would think with a dog and a cat in and out it wouldn't happen but that little mouse is smarter than me.  I have sticky strips and I'll catch that little fella soon.  Lily did take care of a possum night before last - I know that possum wasn't dead when I threw it over the fence but I couldn't kill it - yikes.  She was gone the next morning - just lucky I went out and saved her life.
I have been quilting and trying to "tidy up" around the house and yard.  It's a lot of work getting rid of stuff you have accumulated for years and years.
Take care my friends and enjoy every day. 
So it's Saturday - the weather is wonderful.  Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70's.  I did check the bees today.  They're doing fine, have plenty of food and working hard, lots of bees in the hive.  I didn't change anything. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

It takes a while

Since it's gonna be below freezing temps for the next couple of days and nights, I finally decided taking hot water to the chickens twice a day would be stupid not be the best idea in the world.  So I went back to Tractor Supply on Friday (the day before the blizzard) to get some kind of heated water
bowl for those girls.  They had a chicken heater apparatus which cost almost $50 (yowee) or a heated dog bowl for $19.99.  Well, you know which one came home with me - yep, the dog bowl. 
Farm Innovators Round Heated Pet Bowl, 6 qt.
It works great - does not heat the water but keeps it from freezing.  I checked on the girls this morning and they were in their house and said "no thanks, we're not coming out right now" but their water was not frozen!  Yippee! And I went out late afternoon (they were still in their house) and one of the little girls had laid an egg.  Yep, even in this cold and their water was fine. 

They have plenty of food and water that's not frozen - what more can a chicken ask for?
Yes, the ultimate in gift giving - a chicken swing and it's only $29.99.

The Chicken Swing

No, this is not a joke!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Have you heard . . . .

"As we are getting closer to our event Friday night and into Saturday we are getting a better idea of what we will see. It is looking more likely(not 100%) that we will see some snow during the period mentioned above. There are many model solutions suggesting a decent amount of snow for us and it's looking like this event should be primarily snow."  WRAL Weather Forecast 1/4/2017

Yikes !!!!!!!!!!
If you haven't heard then you must be out of the country- there's a chance we will get snow late Friday night and Saturday morning. 
So since I'm trying to be ahead of the game this year, I stopped by the grocery store late this afternoon - are you kidding!  Everybody in town was there - well, I didn't need milk or bread but I did need a couple of other things to make some soup and eggs since those chickens of mine are on vacation. 
Whew, glad I don't need anything else because by tomorrow evening the shelves will be empty.  You better get going now if you want anything.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Carol Burnett Show and Scarlett

I was getting my hair "done" the other afternoon and was reading an old magazine (they have the worst), anyhow a little trivia for you folks out there and particularly the ones that LOVE Miss Scarlett.  I should point out I tore the page out of the magazine (something I would not do when I was younger but now I do it all the time).  If I like it (say a recipe), I just tear it out and put in my purse.  But on to the real story here . . . . .
Bob Mackie created approximately 17,940 costumes for The Carol Burnett Show which I did watch and now watch and it just cracks me up.  Among the most famous designs was the "curtain-rod dress" made for a parody of Gone With the Wind.  Like Scarlett O'Hara in the 1939 movie, Burnett's character "Starlett" donned a dress made from green velvet drapes - only in this case the gold rod was still attached. You can watch it on YouTube - so funny!
"Starlett" in the Green Velvet Dress
Wishing you the best for the new year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quick Bee Check

Last Thursday (the 22nd), I checked Hive #1 (the only hive I have now).  The weather was around 60 degrees so a quick check was in order.  I moved the deep to the bottom of the hive and put the supers on top - still have two supers full of honey.  Mr. Ellis said the bees might have moved to the top to keep warm - I really have no idea what they're doing.  I just hope they make it thru the winter. 
So I have opened the top cover this past week just to make sure there are bees in the hive and they're at the top again.  I will leave well enough alone. 
A belated Merry Christmas 2016
Mr. Ellis and I have discussed our bee situation and neither of us have any idea what is going on - he is a very experienced beekeeper and he's at a loss as to what has happened.  He has one hive - we're not sure what will come in the spring and we're hoping for the best.  I have discussed with him moving my hives so they will be in more sun - since they're empty, it's not a problem.