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

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bayer Response

( Poncho®, Poncho®Beta, Prosper® )

Bayer's response from John Boyne "no data exist linking clothianidin or related pesticides to colony collapse disorder.

The concerns about clothianidin gained urgency when more than 11,000 German honeybee hives in May were poisoned by clothianidin. German regulators banned some uses of the pesticides.

"We're supremely confident that when used according to directions, they will not harm bees," spokesman Greg Coffey added.

Bayer Cropscience denies any wrongdoing, isn't hiding any information and has never altered data related to honeybee health.

I sure hope they get this straightened out - here's a link to the article in the N&O today

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring

It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed with a cold in his head,
And couldn't get up in the morning.

Remnants of Fay - I'm sure the folks in Florida are glad this is gone.

And we're glad to see much needed rain in our part of the country.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Big Business (Bayer Cropscience) vs - Bees

I know - I'm supposed to be taking a break but this is important - not only to beekeepers but to everyone. Bayer has been selling a pesticide "clothianidin" sold under the brand name "Poncho" - it is used to coat corn, sugar beet and sorghum seeds and protect them from pests. A nerve toxin that has the potential to be toxic for bees, it gets into all parts of the plant that grows from the coated seed.
In 1999, French regulators banned an older relative of Poncho and subsequently declined approval for clothianidin.
The investigation/compliant wants to know how much Bayer actually knows about the part that clothianidin may have played in the loss of millions of U.S./ honeybee colonies.

The coalition wants clothianidin banned and Bayer to withdraw all of the pesticides.

Link on the site below to read the article

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Taking a Break

Lily and I are gonna take a little break - we'll be back after Labor Day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hive #1

This is Hive #1 - I added an empty super.

They were a little grumpy - I think they just needed some more space.

Now they're all set until I check them before cold weather.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Honey-toting Gymnasts

At the Olympic Games, the gymnasts have a honey bottle in or around the chalk bucket. The honey is used like Stick-um; to provide a better grip on certain elements in "hanging" events. Gymnasts always chalk up both their apparatus (to make it easier to swing on) and hands (to prevent cracks in the skin). By placing a little honey on either their fingertips or palms (or both) gymnasts can get an even better grip on the rings or bars while swinging.

The Olympic Games are great - I'm in awe of all of the athletics. But my favorite this year has to be the Beach Volleyball - those girls are awesome.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Froggie Went A Courtin'

There's a big old frog sitting on the lily pad pot - I think we could have some nice frog legs for dinner with this old boy!
He seems pretty happy and makes the usual frog noises - I sure hope he's eating some mosquitos.
There's a song - "Froggie Went A Courtin' ". It's an English language folk song - the story being Frog asks Miss Mouse to marry him. She is willing but must ask permission of Uncle Rat. Rat's permission is received and the two work out details of the wedding. Some versions end with a cat or other creature devouring the participants. Sometimes the frog gets away from the cat but is later swallowed by a duck. YUK!
You might have heard the version arranged and performed by Shug Fisher, in character as Uncle Pecos, in the 1953 "Tom and Jerry" cartoon "Pecos Pest". This is still shown on Cartoon Network's Boomerang channel.
Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan have also recorded this song.
Froggy went a courting, he did ride, uh-hu
Froggy went a courting, he did ride
Sword and a pistol by his side, uh-hu

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adding supers

Sunday I added empty supers to Hive #6 and Hive #4 - my original plan was to take the top super off and put on the Nucs but my beekeeper friends didn't think that was such a good idea. The main reason being - it's too early. I need to keep feeding the nucs so they will continue to raise young bees. There's still plenty of time to add the supers before cold weather.

This is Hive #4 - lots of bees on the inner cover when I opened the hive.

This is the inner cover for Hive #4 - you can actually see the lines where they had glued the top to the super.

Hive #6 has 4 supers and the brood box.

Hive #4 had 3 supers and a double brood box.

And I fed the nucs - a super will be added to Hive #1 later in the week. And I could have put the empty supers (well, I should have) in the middle of the hive but that would mean taking off the top two supers - couldn't do it - way to heavy. I'll wait for my helper friend. The bees can travel up to the top floor - none of this honey will be harvested so more bee tracks will not hurt a thing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Red Bird Candy

At work, we have a candy jar which our receptionist fills with lots of stuff none of us need to eat - but, believe me, we eat everything she puts in there.

This is the latest - Red Bird Brand peppermints. Look at that packaging - MADE IN THE USA - right here in North Carolina.

I really like the peppermint stick candy too. Growing up, we always had some at Christmas and you always wanted to get the sticks that weren't broken.
Try some - make sure you get the Red Bird Brand. It's good!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nuc Feeding

Nuc #1 - there's always a lot more bees hanging around in this hive - guess it's cooler upstairs.

I knew their jars would be empty.

Nuc #2 - this won't last long.

Hive #1 - there's always lots of bees in the front of this hive - doesn't matter what time of day or night.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rose Mallow

Another great old fashioned plant - Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) has the largest flower of any perennial (didn't know this). It can reach a height of 8 feet and have a spread of 3-6 feet. Mine are really tall and so, so pretty. Cut the stems back in early spring and that's all the maintenance they need.

They're show stoppers in the garden! I did read they're deer resistant (for those of you that have those critters hanging around eating everything in sight).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Moisture in Honey - The Refractometer

This is a refractometer - it's an optical instrument that is used to determine the refractive index of a substance. They are used for measuring fluid concentrations such as the sugar content in honey.

Honey is hygroscopic; that is, it has excellent water absorbing properties.

Beekeepers as well as honey buyers know that the water content of honey varies greatly - it can range between 13 and 25 percent. According to the US Standards for Grades of Extracted Honey, honey may not contain more than 18.6 percent moisture to qualify for U.S. grade A (U.S. Fancy) and U.S. grade B (U.S. Choice).

The point in all this - at the meeting Tues night, our president had a refractometer and I had taken a jar of my honey - the moisture content was 16.9! That means if I entered my honey in the State Fair, I would be okay for the moisture content.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bee Meeting - Covered Dish Supper

Last night we had our monthly beekeeping meeting - a covered dish supper with bbq chicken cooked by one of our members. We had quite a spread - lots of veggies, baked beans, fresh tomatoes, and desserts - yummy!

We also had door prizes contributed by members - watermelons and fresh eggs.

Unfortunately, I did not win a door prize.

But maybe next month!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Honey Report - Update

I noticed on my photo I had some smaller jars of honey and didn't list how many of each. There were about a dozen of the smallest - they'll be gifts at Christmas or at some special time for someone.
The other small jar - I have right many of those too - they will be gifts.
And you have to remember - Lily and I were eating as we were putting the honey in the jars.
And I left full supers on all three hives for their winter food - so, all in all, I got a tremendous amount of honey this year.
Thank goodness I won't starve this winter . . . . . . .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Opening the Nucs

Nuc #1

Sunday afternoon I opened both nucs and looked inside to see how they were really doing.

Nuc #2

Both still had frames to fill out - lots of bees, brood, and pollen in both nucs.

This frame is from Nuc #2

Nuc #2 - this is looking down inside the hive - you can see the screened bottom board - helps keep them cool and I think really helps in the disease control.

I didn't take the frames out of Nuc #1 - I could see enough from just looking in the top after taking the inner cover off - no need to get them all out of wack.

I had to get the sugar syrup in a jar and put on top of the brood box - then close it up.
I also fed Nuc #2 - need to keep feeding them - I've been a little slack lately - hot weather and all.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Report

Honey for 2008

44 regular pints

11 wide mouth pints

18 quilted jelly jars - 8 oz.

12 4 oz. gift jars

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Compost Bin

My compost bins are looking okay - they'll even look better when the morning glorys start blooming.

This side has just twigs, sticks, and some leaves.

This is the messy one with scraps from the kitchen and other stuff.

It's coming along - maybe next year, I'll have some compost.

The morning glorys (like everything else) could use a little rain.

It's gonna be another hot week.

Now is it "morning glorys", "morning glories" or "morning glory's"?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hot Week

Even the little girls are hanging out front - it's been HOT this week!

Nuc #1

Nuc #2

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The End Result

I've got little caterpillars again - I never saw the process or whatever happened to the first ones - one day they were there, the next they were gone.

I really thought the birds had eaten them - what a tasty little treat that would be!

But maybe these butterflys are from an earlier post the first caterpillar in July -

or maybe from my post in July the caterpillar that ate new york
or, who knows, maybe the flowers just caught their attention when they were flying around!

Aren't they just lovely . . . and the zinnas and orange cosmos . . . . makes me so glad I garden!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Swimming at the River

More fun at the river with Lily - she loves the water!

Perfect weather - hot, hot and more hot.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Heart Swarms

I didn't even see a swarm
this year, much less one that's
shaped like a heart!

Flickr - Taken by Ro512 England

Friday, August 1, 2008

State Insect

Honey Bee - The General Assembly of 1973 designated the Honey Bee as the official State Insect. (Session Laws, 1973, c.55).
The Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) is responsible for the annual production of more than $1 million worth of honey in the state, according to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. However, the greatest value of Honey Bees is their role in the growing cycle as a major contributor to the pollination of North Carolina crops. According to a 2005 estimate, honey bees account for approximately $154 million in annual crop productivity in North Carolina.

A great after dinner trivia contest - name the state symbols. We did this several weeks ago and I knew way to many - nerd alert! But I was in the fourth grade three times - I should know everything (if you don't understand, my fourth grade and the girls in fourth grade - don't want you to think I'm that dumb).