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

Monday, April 27, 2009


I have been busy working on my little greenhouse. This was originally a chicken house that was beyond repair - torn down years and years ago - the floor is concrete and the outside base was intact. Perfect for making a small greenhouse - it can be doubled in size later but right now this is all I could handle.

It's about 10' x 12' (give or take a little). It'll be plenty big for me to piddle around in and maybe start some seedlings or just another place to put stuff.

I have a window for the back and of course, I have to get a storm door of some kind for the front - maybe another window.
I'm trying to get all my materials "free" - some of the cinderblocks I had, some I got from my Mom, the pipe from my sister. The most expensive part so far has been the Quikrite (that cement stuff) to fill in the cinderblocks. But I put old broken bricks in the holes so that helped.

This is a work in progress so it'll be awhile before it's finished.
More to come . . . . .

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Steve's Nucs

These are Steve's nucs and a regular hive that was empty. With the nuc from me yesterday, he has 8. We opened all of them and saw queens in two - one of the nucs he moved into the empty hive.
He made the nuc boxes (his design) - two holes in each at the front with a screen over each hole. He just pulls one of the screens back for the bees to have an entrance.

These nucs are at a farm not far from town and he has several regular hives on the farm in different locations.
It's always interesting to see how someone else does things.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swarm in a Brood Box

Thursday Steve came back to help me again. We put empty supers on Hive #6, #4 and on Nuc #2 between the full super and the top brood box. And I put the swarm in a brood box with 5 regular sized frames and the 5 swallow frames that were in the nuc box. I'll change this out a little at the time but I didn't want to make them start over completely and the frames were just covered with bees.

I need another bottom board - this one is not quite right. I have a huge gap between the bottom board and the top of the brood box. Using different equipment from different sources can sometimes be an issue. By the middle of the afternoon, all the sugar syrup was gone so I think there might have been a little robbing from the other hives. I'll put more sugar syrup on late today and I'm going to close up that entrance some and see what happens.
Steve made a nuc off Hive #6 - there were so many queen cells.
You can see a queen cell on this frame. It's fascinating how they know what to do - I'm always amazed when I open a hive.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brood and Bees

These are some of the frames when we were checking the hives after the swarm on Tuesday.
Exactly what you want to see when you open a hive. Lots of brood, honey, and bees!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Swarm - Hive #7

My first and hopefully only swarm for this year - it's only been a month (3/19/09) since Mr. Ellis and I put empty brood boxes on all the hives. This is what I saw about lunchtime today. Thank goodness I saw the swarm and I could get some help putting these girls in a box. It was a large swarm - lots of bees but very calm and settled.

I called Steve (my neighbor beekeeper) and he came over to help me out. I cut the limb while Steve was holding each end - then he took it over to the nuc box (this is all I had available and I only had shallow supers) and put the limb on top of the box and gave it a little shake and that was that!

This is near the end of the process. Everybody was in the house or trying to get in. It didn't take long for them to get inside with the queen.
My guess was Hive #6 and I was right. After we got the swarm settled, we opened all the hives to see what was happening. In only a month, all the hives had filled their brood boxes with the exception of Nuc #1. It looks fine just not as full as the others - no super will be added.
Nuc #2 was full. Hive #4 was full and we saw the queen. Hive #6 had lots of queen cells - the only hive with queen cells so I know this is where the swarm originated. But you would never know any bees had left - there were lots of bees, brood, honey and queen cells all over the place.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cleaning Up

As you can tell from this picture, it's way past time to clean up around the beehives. It's a wonder the girls can find their way in and out. Mowing and pulling up grass around the hives is not one of my favorite jobs but on Friday (the first nice day in a long time), I suited up and pulled the weeds and grass and mowed around the hives.

It looks so much better and I took off the entrance reducers.

As you can see, they're bringing in pollen - now is their busy time. I'll be checking them in a couple of weeks to see how they're filling up the brood boxes and if they need another super.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

To Be a Bee

Q: How many eyes does a honeybee have?

A: Five: two compound eyes, whose thousands of hexagonal facets, or lenses, make them excellent for detecting motion, and three simple eyes, or "ocelli," which are located above the compound eyes. Ocelli can detect changes in light intensity.

To Be a Bee from The Old Farmer's Almanac 2009 Gardening Calendar April

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Quilting Helpers

Sometimes I have a lot of help quilting.
Lily usually sits at my feet but
Roxy really likes to be close.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring - the color purple

In my garden . . . .

Friday, April 10, 2009

When You Gotta Go ! ! ! !

Sometimes things get busy in the henhouse!
Ellie Mae, Dumpling and the Little Black Hen.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Full Pink Moon

This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1st Bluebird Egg

When I first saw the bluebirds building their nest, it was in the garden.
But they abandoned that nest and moved to the front yard and here's the first egg of the year. They should lay 3-4 - I don't want to bother them to much but I'll keep checking.
Bluebirds are so pretty - "the bluebird of happiness".

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Ate the Whopper!

Yep, I ate the whopper. A double yolk as I thought and an extra large breakfast for me - my thanks to Dumpling.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Bumble Bee, Arizona

A post office was established in February, 1879, taking its name from nearby Bumble Bee Creek, so named because early travelers said that the Indians were as “thick as bumblebees.” Of course, Bumble Bee is a ghost town now.

Bumble Bee Creek

Thursday, April 2, 2009