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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

March Beekeeper Class - Wake County

Wake County (Knightdale)
Title: Beginning Beekeepers Workshop
Begins: March 14, 2009 (for 1 day)
When: Saturday March 14 @ 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Raleigh Police Club, 3500 Leonard Rd, Knightdale, NC (map)
Cost: $30 includes book, handouts, and hotdog lunch
Wake County Beekeepers Association
Additional Information:
Beginners are encouraged to attend one half hour prior to regular Wake County Beekeepers meeting January, February and March. Date for Working in the Hive TBA. Door Prizes (New Hives & Bees) for lucky winners
Danny Jaynes, President (919) 567-9568or Vivian Joyner, Treasurer (919 387-0164)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The New York Times and Honeybees

The Wild Side
Guest Column: A Low-Tech Treatment for Bee Plague

This is a column written by Aaron E. Hirsh about his bees in Colorado last spring. Two of his hives were active - no sign of life in the third. He writes about CCD, the mobile fleet of honeybees-for-rent and the transformation of our landscapes and how all of the above have affected our honeybees.
At the end, he puts his ear beside the wooden box on the third hive: Nothing. But by placing his hand on the box, he received an answer: a gentle hum. And then a bee emerged -not dead - just sleeping in.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hive #1 Update

I'm very sad to report Hive #1 has starved to death. The entire hive is gone - not gone as in CCD but starved from lack of food in the hive. I can see the bees clustered together in between the supers - I will take them out later and hope to get some photos.
I did start feeding them but sadly to late. Another hard lesson learned.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pricey Chickens in Chapel Hill

"Town Ponders Chicken Rules"

Now if any of you are familiar with Chapel Hill, "ponder" is not a word I associate with the folks living there. But, needless to say, the N&O used that word.

Pricey living for those chickens in Chapel Hill - a permit fee of $230.00 for having a coop that is 12 x 12 or permanently attached to your house - zowie! And you can't have chickens in your front yard, changes ownership limits from 20 to 10 chickens and extends ownership rights to all residents.

This stuff just boggles my mind and would definitely boggle my pocketbook. You know those eggs would be "EGG-Pensive".

The Girls on 1/17/09

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chickens and Snow

After all that snow and cold, I still got 4 eggs on Tuesday - amazing. The only problem is their water - it freezes - I've been adding a little sugar to the water (Joe, my neighbor, said his Grandmother did that to keep the water from freezing).
I've been giving them cracked corn - they love it and they're pretty fat and sassy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lily and Roxy

Tuesday was a "snow day" so Roxy helped me do a little quilting.

Lily helped outside - digging!
The Little Black Kitty - well, he stayed inside - nice and dry and warm.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow - 5"

It's pretty amazing - we got 5" of snow yesterday. What was even more amazing - the weatherman was right.
The bees were nice and snug in their little houses - it was pretty cold and on Sat it was in the single digits. Hope they still have plenty of food.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fruitless Fall

In Sunday's N&O, John Murawsi, wrote a book review for "Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honeybee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis" by Rowan Jacobsen. Jacobsen is a food and environmental writer who takes up the plight of the honeybee by merging science with suspense to serve up an epidemiologic detective story.

I'm not familiar with either of these folks but the book review was well written and made me want to read the book. I've put my name on the list at the library (#3).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Looking forward . . .

With all this cold weather we're having, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of what's to come . . . . . I can't wait for warm weather!

This photo was taken by Debbie Roos, Chatham County Agricultural Extension Agent. Check out this website - beautiful photos.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Poplar Creek Farm

My neighbor, Joe of Poplar Creek Farm, 5300 Grasshopper Road, Knightdale, NC, has some CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) memberships still available for this year. He offers organically grown produce, free range brown eggs and chickens, and pork will be available in the fall. If you're interested, please contact Joe. They also sell at the farm so you don't have to buy a membership - just drop by once the season starts.

He will also be getting honey bees this year!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Be a Bee

Q: How many honeybees normally live in a colony?

A: In winter, there might be from 5,000 to 10,000 bees living in a colony. In early summer, there could be 60,000 or more. The population depends on the colony's health, queen's age, availability of resources, and air temperature.
To Be a Bee from The Old Farmer's Almanac 2009 Gardening Calendar January

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thought for the Day

Always ride the horse in the direction it's going.

I read this on another blog and thought - well, that makes sense. Just put this down to the weather . . . .

Monday, January 12, 2009

Durham Turkeys

I'm always buying or looking at old cookbooks. This weekend I bought "The Southern Heritage Plain and Fancy Poultry Cookbook" for $1. It has some great photos and illustrations.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this photo - Bargaining for the "perfect" turkey, Durham, North Carolina 1939. The book was published by Southern Living in 1983.

Well, they have had some turkeys in Durham (I'm sure they still have some) - sure hope they can get that chicken stuff straightened out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

E G G - citing

Now isn't this egg-citing! I've averaging 1-2 eggs per day now. I've gotten the "bakers dozen" and have eaten several too.

They are delicious!

Those girls - they might have been slow but now they're doing the job.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Full Wolf Moon

Some Sioux tribes call this the Moon of Frost in the Teepee. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Rainbows in Winter

On Wednesday and Thursday of this past week, we've had some of the weirdest weather. Rain, cold, strong winds - just about everything except snow.

But on both afternoons we had rainbows. This was taken at the office. Isn't that just weird?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Beehives in Durham (no chickens)

"Beekeeping is OK in Durham backyards, but city leaders aren't yet comfortable with the idea of allowing chicken coops inside city limits."
If you're not familiar with Durham, it's called the City of Medicine and rightly so. And it could be called "crime central" too - it seems to have more than it's fair share.

Durham remains the only city in the state, aside from Cary, that bans hens within its city limits. Maybe the chickens could help with Durham's image - certainly couldn't hurt. And thank goodness they can have bees.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rose Parade Floats

Isn't this a beautiful float?

Bayer Pharmaceutical in RTP won an award for their float in the Rose Parade this year and has won awards in years past. I posted on my blog in August and October, 2008, about Bayer Cropscience and the pesticide Clothianidin and the disastrous effect it has on honeybees.

I hope Bayer has stopped manufacturing Clothianidin or at best, the US has banned the sale and Bayer Cropscience is not selling it under another name.

Photo by Brent Fultz

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Red Maple Pollen

Steve, my beekeeper/photographer neighbor, sent these photos he took of his bees working the red maples after my post yesterday.

We're still having weird weather - cloudy yesterday and lots of rain expected today. He's feeding his bees too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Update on Bees

The weather has been rainy and cold for quite some time. I haven't been able to check on the bees but Saturday I looked in Hive #6 to check on the baggie feeding. I replaced one bag and the other had some syrup so I left it there.

I tried to lift each hive - that's an easy way to tell if they're down to nothing foodwise in the hive. Hive #1 - well, I could just about pick it up - so light. I didn't have any syrup so my plan was to put on baggie feeders today. The weather report was wrong again - it was raining when I got up and has been overcast and cold (below 50) all day. So I took the entrance reducer off and put a jar feeder on the front of the hive. They were going in and out later in the afternoon.

My plan now is to put feeders on all the hives. It sure can't hurt anything even though they are bringing in pollen - red maples ??

Thursday, January 1, 2009


In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnants in modern culture are his namesakes: the month of January, which begins the new year, and the janitor, who is a caretaker of doors and halls.

Also, according to A.C. Snow (my favorite N&O writer), January is squirrel mating season. FYI -more babies are born in October than any other month!

And my daffodils are up - about 3". They'll be blooming soon.