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

Thursday, May 29, 2008

No More Free Meals

Wednesday morning I took both jars of sugar syrup (or what was left) off both nucs. I think we've been having dinner guests at Nuc #2 when they weren't invited (to non bee folk that means robbing). So no more free meals. They'll have to work a little harder.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Martha Stewart Magazine June 08

If you haven't seen the June issue of Martha Stewart Living, try to get a look. On the cover is a photo of a honey-glazed beehive cake with marzipan bees.

Inside are articles about bees and collectibles. Just wonderful bee related items - skeps, vases, plates, bowls, honeypots. Just beautiful. And the recipe for the cake.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Memorial Day, originally called Declaration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died in our nation's service.

Let us not forget.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We Have a Queen - Nuc #1

Yippee - I checked the nucs Sat afternoon and I saw a queen in Nuc #1 - this is the nuc that we put frames that had a couple of queen cells on them. Whatever we did, we did it right!

Nuc #2 - no sign of a queen or queen cells. But they're taking sugar syrup. I had to put a new jar of sugar syrup on Friday. So they're really working hard.
Neither nuc had filled out all the frames.

This is what bees look like when you drop a frame and they want to get back home - didn't seem to bother them a bit. They were a little rattled but went on about their business. No - I didn't get stung. My other hives are good natured - this one seems to be the same.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lily's Birthday

Today is Lily's Birthday - she is two years old.

I love this dog!

Friday, May 23, 2008


A lady in our beekeepers group brought poppy seeds to one of the meetings. This is the result - awesome! These are poppies like my Mom had in her garden when we were growing up. My brother and sister want seeds from mine - I'll gladly share.

The bees love these particularly early in the morning.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Feeding Nucs

This morning I put new quart jars of sugar syrup on both nucs. They were both empty - I put the first syrup on 5/8/08. Even though there's lots of flowers in the field, they sure are taking the easy road for right now. But that means they're working and that's what I want to happen. They look so pretty (maybe not the right word to use, but I'm liking what I'm seeing).

These girls were sitting on the porch ready to go this morning - just waiting for it to warm up a couple of degrees. It's been in the low 50's for a couple of mornings. This is hive #4.
I'm ready for warm weather too!

P.S. - In looking back at my other posts, these nuc photos all look the same - trust me, they're not. Sometimes all the bees look the same - trust me, they're not.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Higher Learning

Check out this story about bees at Wake Tech Community College.

Don't know why they're hanging around over there - they're already pretty doggone smart.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Checking on the Nucs

Today I looked in the nucs - just to see what's going on. This is Nuc #1 - they're working hard - no queen, it's to early. They have taken almost all their sugar syrup.

I did change out two of the frames in Nuc #2 - the outside ones - put in two that I had from last year. They were only working on the three inside frames - I had originally put in two new frames which in hindsight wasn't such a good idea.

All important ventilation - drilled two holes in the inner cover and the stick to give even more ventilation when the top is put on. Do not have screened bottom boards on the nucs - sure wish they did.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chicken Tour ITB

Hen-Side The Beltline Tour D'Coop

A fun time - I want some chickens and this was the perfect opportunity to look and see how other folks take care of their feathered friends - family pets (I should say). Some of these fowl live the life - eat, drink, dig around in the dirt and lay an egg - you don't even have to do that every day - every other would be okay. There were 20 coops to visit - it's usually the Sat after Mother's Day.

When your coop matches your house - well, what can I say! These folks were so nice. And they had banana trees which overwinter - it's always interesting to see what's planted in the neighborhood.

This was quite a set up too. They have children, dogs and a cat (maybe more than one) and chickens. They said the chickens act just like dogs. They were very user friendly. And they want bees too! So hopefully I'll see them again.

This was made from salvaged materials. Right up my alley.

Okay so another project - do I need chickens? Are you kidding? Do I want some - yes!

Oh, almost forgot, the first house had Krispy Kreme doughnuts - YUM!

Friday, May 16, 2008


This is Roxy.
Early Friday morning - sitting on the deck railing waiting for me to get my act together.
The sweet peas are stunning this year.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Monthly Bee Meeting

Tuesday night we had our monthly beekeepers association meeting. First things first - one of the members brought fresh strawberry shortcake made by his wife - it was awesome!

We had two speakers - the first, a father/son team gave a talk and demonstration on putting together equipment (hive bodies and frames). They did a great job!

The second speaker was our area state bee inspector, Will Hicks, to talk about those nasty diseases and pests. I've heard this talk many, many times and it's frightening to new beekeepers and it's still frightening to me. I do have some varroa mites and hive beetles. The colony collapse disorder (ccd) that is the latest threat - so far, I've missed that. I do have screened bottom boards on all my hives and leave them on all year and I do not use chemicals in my hives.

I'm not sticking my head in the sand -every hive is different, every beeyard is different and every beekeeper is different. This is my fourth year - we'll see how it goes.

If you're interested in bees or a "wannabee", please find a group and attend the meetings. They are a wealth of information for new and old beekeepers.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bye Bye Bluebirds

The little bluebirds have left the nest. Friday afternoon when we were in the garden all the birds were going nuts so I figured they were out of the nest but still nearby.

I checked the box on Saturday - they're gone.

Now I have to clean out the box but first I have to clean up the flowerbed.

It just looks like a patch of tall grass. I've got to get busy.

Cold Weather

It's been rainy and cold the past couple of days - I'm glad I've got food for the nucs. They may not be using much but every little bit helps in making them into strong hives.

I'll open them this weekend. I want to see what's happening inside.
You can see a bee on the front of the Nuc #2 - it was late afternoon when I took this photo.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

One of Many

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Plants Delights Nursery

Today I went to the Open House and Plant Sale at Plants Delights Nursery on Sauls Road in Wake County. If you have the opportunity to visit their gardens, it is a "delight". The gardens are beautiful and you can see the plants in the ground in a real yard/garden setting.
The visual is so much better than looking in the catalog. Lots of great ideas and new plants to see.
Tony Avent is a gracious host and the staff are most helpful.
I wanted agave plants - the common term is century plants. Found more than one!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


On Saturday with Steve's help, I made two nucs from the three hives. We took frames from all three hives, making sure the queen was not on any of the frames.

From Hive #6, we took 3 brood frames and 2 frames from a super - the bees will probably make a mess with the frames from the supers but they had several queen cells on them. I'll deal with that situation later.

From Hive #4, we took 2 brood frames and 2 brood frames from Hive #1 and used a frame I had from last year.

Shook bees from super frames in both nucs - want to give them all the help I can. Also, I'm feeding both nucs - it's not necessary at this time of year but it makes me feel better. And in checking today, they have taken some sugar syrup.

They're working and I see activity in and out. I'll look over the weekend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I was Voter #49 in my small town this morning.

Please VOTE today - this is your right and privilege.

Every vote counts!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Swarm or A Hive

My next door neighbor thought she had a swarm of bees. She said they always came back about the same time each year and always went to the same place. She's seen them for several years. And she has seen one swarm and had taken a photo - last year I think.

Well, it could be a swarm except after looking and checking - it seems she has a hive of bees inside her house. Now she has checked in the attic several times and no bees so they're somewhere between the bricks and the attic wall.

This is a large hive of bees, lots and lots of bees. In checking in the late afternoon and early morning, you can see where they're going in and out. There's a small crack between the brickwork and it looks like they have a route all set up. They seem pretty happy up there. Even had Steve, the neighbor beekeeper, come over and take a look. We really thought it was a swarm and he'd get a free hive - that's what you want - free. But this one isn't free and wouldn't be easy - whew! Don't know what she'll do - getting bees out of a house can be really, really expensive.

So, if you see this on the side of your house - it could be a swarm (that's what you'd hope for) and a beekeeper would come right over to pick those girls up or it could be a hive and now you have a dilemma. I'll keep you posted.

Oh and if they swarm, you can believe I'll be right over.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Kids on the Block

This photo was taken several weeks ago - there are babies now - fuzzy little things - about four I think. The Mother Bluebird is very protective of her chicks . I have only looked once since seeing the eggs and they now have fuzzy feathers.

Check out the website