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

Thursday, July 31, 2008


My neighbor has a huge fig bush in their yard and it's so big it has grown over my fence - way over my fence. I have lots and lots of figs.

But even though I like Fig Newtons, I'm not a raw fig eater.

The birds, bugs, wasps, bees, etc. eat theirselves silly for weeks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We have a landscaping service where I work that comes every week and blows the dirt out of the parking lot ,the paint off our cars and any birds that have thought about nesting out of sight BUT they have done a superb job with the plantings for the summer.

The combination of the pink caladiums and begonias are so pretty.

And I have some caladiums in my yard too - I waited till they went on sale (I know, how cheap) and they really look great with no effort on my part.

Maybe next year, I'll do a combo.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Undercover Quilters

Our meeting on Saturday included some great "Show and Tell" quilts. When quilters are together, there's always something to talk about.

Julia's quilt

this quilt, when finished, will be auctioned at the Fall Harvest sale

a baby quilt made by Carole

this quilt is a work in progress by Pat

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jokes of the Day for July

Who is the bees favorite singer?


Of course . . . looks pretty good, doesn't he?
I'm familiar with some of his music but have to admit I'm not a big fan.

Why do bees hum?

Bee-cause they don't know the words!

Which would be the case if I heard something by Sting!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nuc Feedings

Nuc #1 - empty Sat afternoon - filled them up again.

Nuc #2 - they had about a third of a jar so they're okay for now.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Beeyard mid-July

Hive #6 - all hives have different personalities and this is the least busiest looking hive but it's full of bees and honey.

Hive #4 - I'm sure they're busting at the seams inside - lots and lots of bees.

Hive #1 Front - there seems to be a lot of bees hanging out in this hive - all times of the day and night.

Hive #1 - Back - there's a gap back there - lots of busy bees trying to fill up that crack. Last winter, I put duct tape on it and I'll probably do the same this year. This brood box is 4 years old and was used and a little abused when I got it but it still works and the bees love their little house.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Putting Honey in Jars

Putting that honey in the jars - I am so far behind this year. It's been sitting on the table for a while in the 5-gallon buckets.

I'm just getting started - another time consuming part of having bees.

I got 14 pints and it's not a drop in the bucket (or should I say out of the bucket).

I'll have more honey than I know what to do with - but friends, relatives and other folks will be happy.

I don't put my honey in plastic bee jars - just not my thing. My Mom gave me a lot of pint jars this year so I have plenty and lots of folks pass theirs along.

Looks right tasty . . . .

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rain and Rainbows

In the past two days, we've had over 3" of rain.

In Sampson County late yesterday afternoon, we saw a double rainbow. Don't know when I've ever seen one and it was just stunning.

Unfortunately, the best shot shows the road sign - trying to take pictures out of a car window driving down I40 is not easy so we pulled over and the sign was right there. But it was beautiful. You can really see the double in the road sign shot.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Still Feeding and Hot

Tuesday morning I checked the nucs and gave Nuc #2 another jar of sugar syrup.

Nuc #1 still had a little left - I'll give them some more tomorrow or Thurs.

It is very, very hot today - heat index will be over 100! The bees are using a lot of water. This water bowl will be filled twice today - once in the morning and by late afternoon it'll all be gone.

They have other places to get water but this sure has been their favorite this summer. These photos were taken early this morning - before it really got hot - it was about 80 or so.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Four O'Clocks

Four o'clocks (mirabilis Jalapa) are an old fashioned flower that bloom late in the afternoon. They have a wonderful fragrance. The ones in my yard are yellow, a dark pink color (fushia) and then I have bicolor with both colors on the same plant. They are tubers and I have dug up some as big as my arm. If you ever get some, be prepared to have them forever.

But they're pretty and easy - my kind of plants.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Going to the Dogs - Bee Dogs That Is!

They're cuties but don't expect to see Lily dressed up - she's pretty enough, thank you! But check out this website for more "bee dogs"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Children



The Little Black Kitty

Some of the Girls - Hive #1

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bluebirds - 3rd setting

"Third times a charm" they say and for the bluebirds at my house it continues to be a charm.

The bluebirds are gone from the front yard but I did see a baby bluebird that was fully feathered the last time I looked in the nest a couple of weeks ago. I don't ever see them leave.

They moved to the front yard for the second setting and now are back in the garden. I can't be sure it's the same set of bluebirds but it makes me feel better to think it's them. And they already have eggs in the nest - they are so fast.

I did get to clean out the flower bed before they started nesting this time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Caterpillars - Butterflys

Taken on Monday - the 14th.

Look at them - this was Wednesday afternoon.

They're eating machines - just since Monday, I have probably 8 or more. They were tiny - barely an inch long.

Now look - it's like something from one of those old scary science fiction movies - the caterpillar that ate new york

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"honey moon"

The term "honey moon" originated with the Norse practice of consuming large quanities of Mead during the first month of a marriage. Mead is fermented honey, the most ancient fermented beverage.

Mead is a honey-based drink thought to be the first alcoholic drink made by man - some 5,000 years ago. Even after grapes began to be cultivated by early civilizations for the making of wine, mead was still considered a superior drink because it was made from honey - a treasured commodity because it was the only known sweetener in ancient times and it had supposed medicinal qualities.

Thousands of years ago mead was also thought to be an aphrodisiac, making this belief the basis for the term "honeymoon". At weddings in ancient Babylon, the father of the bride would provide mead to the new couple for a month (which at that time, was lunar-based and went from full moon to full moon) to assure fertility and the birth of a son.

Bill Baily, the owner of Desi's Dew Meadery in Rougemont, makes mead commercially. A couple of years ago, he gave a presentation for our beekeeping group.

Try some if you ever have the opportunity - honey in any form is good for you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

You've Got Mail!

Not only did I love that movie but I've got mail
. . . . . in the garden!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Goldfish Pond

This is the goldfish pond with lots of fish, frogs and water plants. The plants at the end are yellow flag iris - they are indestructible.
Lily doesn't bother the fish - the kitties look but that's about it. The fish overwinter and it has frozen solid many times - they make it thru and they continue to multiply every year.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nuc Checkup

This morning I checked on the nucs. I've been feeding them sugar syrup for a couple of weeks. This is a frame from Nuc #2 - they have lots of bees and brood. There's another frame behind this one and it's full too.

Nuc #1 is not as far along - they've got brood but not as much.

Did not see a queen in either nuc - I'll check them again in a week or so and I'll keep feeding.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feral Bee Project

Dr. David Tarpy, NCSU Entomology Dept., and some local beekeepers have gotten together to map, track, and monitor feral bees nests across the state. The site is still being developed but if you know of any reports of honey bees living outside of beehives, please complete the online form.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lily - I'm busy!

Trying to get those pesky squirrels!

Good Heavens - what a big turtle!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bee Meeting

Last night was our monthly bee meeting. Our speakers were Will Hicks and Danny Jaynes and their topic was winning ribbons at the NC State Fair for honey and honey related products. This is serious business folks - Danny and his wife Mary won lots of blue ribbons last year. There is a method to the madness - not sure I could do it but I think we'll have lots of entries this year from Wake County.
Also the goodies for the meeting were all made with honey - yummy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008