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

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bee Facts - January

Surprising as it may seem, bees are able to hear. They don't hear sounds in the same way as mammals however. Instead they are sensitive to a few specific frequencies of vibrations which are transmitted through the air or the physical structure of the hive. They have three sets of organs for detecting these vibrations. One set is located in the legs. These organs listen for messages transmitted through the honeycomb by the Queen. The other two sets of hearing organs are in the antennae. These function like tuning forks and are only sensitive to certain frequencies. The lower part of the antennae are sensitive to about 20 beats per second. This is the frequency associated with the waggle dance which bees use to communicate the location of food. The higher parts are sensitive to between 250 to 300 beats a second. This is the frequency at which that the wing muscles vibrate when the wings are folded. The Queens use this method of communication to "speak" to the hive and control swarming.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowy Beehives

Well we got some snow last night 2-1/2 to 3 inches and this morning we're getting snow and sleet mix - more sleet than snow.

The beeyard this morning . . . .

Friday, January 29, 2010

Winter Weather

Okay - you'd better go get that milk and bread and quickly!

The weather reports are calling for some SNOW AND ICE - OH MY!

Truthfully, I got my bread today and already had some milk.
I'm good to go . . . . this is supposed to start late Friday afternoon. We'll see - natives (and I am a true native) know to stay at home when it snows and sleets. Some crazies go out and folks from other places try to drive around. Not me honey - I'm staying put!

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Neighbor

If you look in the upper right corner, you'll see our new neighbor. Can you tell - Lily doesn't think much of this neighbor stuff!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quilting Bee - January

Our Quilting Bee was on Saturday - these are just a few of the quilts for Show and Tell.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It's January so the daffodils are coming up. It'll be SPRING before we know it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chickens and Winter Eggs

Not getting many eggs these days - sometimes 1 or 2 - a big day is three. The chickens are certainly eating their fair share - they like to check under the bird feeders - make sure they're not missing anything.

There's an extra chicken in this bunch - it doesn't have a name yet but it's a tough old bird.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seed Scoop - January

Black-oil sunflower seeds are the best loved of all bird feed. They have a higher meat-to-shell ratio and fat content than the striped types and birds can crack them open more easily.

The softer outer shell makes it easy for smaller birds like chickadees, titmice and finches. The seed also boats a high concentration of oil which is especially important in the Winter.

Tufted Titmouse

From The Old Farmer's Almanac

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Bees

The bees are flying today. This is the first day in a long, long time that we've had some warm weather.
There was lots of activity in all four hives and the hives are still heavy so I'm hoping they'll have food the remainder of the winter.
Dandelions are blooming in the garden (even with all this freezing cold).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Cold Spell

I can't say enough or I don't need to say anything other than it's been colder than heck around here. We've been having a spell and it's been "a cold spell". The next couple of days will thaw us out a little but even today it's CHILLY WILLY!

CHILLY WILLY is a cartoon character, a diminutive anthropomorphic penguin living in Fairbanks, Alaska, although the species is native only to the southern hemisphere. He was created by Paul J. Smith for the Walter Lantz studio in 1953. The character soon became the second most popular Lantz/Universal character, behind Woody Woodpecker.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day Traditions and Superstitions

The traditions for New Year’s Day run the gamut, impacted by region and cultures. Many of the superstitions or traditions associated with the event bear the common theme that activities engaged in on that day set the pattern for the year to come. Others have to do with warding off evil spirits or attracting luck.

Kissing at midnight: We kiss those dearest to us at midnight not only to share a moment of celebration with our favorite people, but also to ensure those affections and ties will continue throughout the next 12 months. To fail to smooch our significant others at the stroke of 12 would be to set the stage for a year of coldness.
Stocking up: The new year must not be seen in with bare cupboards, lest that be the way of things for the year. Larders must be topped up and plenty of money must be placed in every wallet in the home to guarantee prosperity.
Paying bills: The new year should not be begun with the household in debt, so checks should be written and mailed off prior to Jan. 1. Likewise, personal debts should be settled before the New Year arrives.
First footing: The first person to enter your home after the stroke of midnight will influence the year you’re about to have. Ideally, he should be dark-haired, tall, and good-looking, and it would be even better if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen, and some salt. Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the household.
The first footer (sometimes called the “Lucky Bird”) should knock and be let in rather than unceremoniously use a key, even if he is one of the householders. After greeting those in the house and dropping off whatever small tokens of luck he has brought with him, he should make his way through the house and leave by a different door than the one through which he entered. No one should leave the premises before the first footer arrives — the first traffic across the threshold must be headed in rather than striking out. First footers must not be cross-eyed or have flat feet or eyebrows that meet in the middle.
Nothing goes out: Absolutely nothing, not even garbage — is to leave the house on the first day of the year. If you’ve presents to deliver on New Year’s Day, leave them in the car overnight. Don’t so much as shake out a rug or take the empties to the recycle bin.
Some people soften this rule by saying it’s okay to remove things from the home on New Year’s Day provided something else has been brought in first. This is similar to the caution regarding first footers; the year must begin with something’s being added to the home before anything subtracts from it.
Work: Make sure to do — and be successful at — something related to your work on the first day of the year, even if you don’t go near your place of employment that day. Limit your activity to a token amount, though, because to engage in a serious work project on that day is very unlucky.
Also, do not do the laundry on New Year’s Day, lest a member of the family be ‘washed away’ (die) in the upcoming months. The more cautious eschew even washing dishes.
New clothes: Wear something new on Jan. 1 to increase the likelihood of your receiving more new garments during the year to follow.
Money: Do not pay back loans or lend money or other precious items on New Year’s Day. To do so is to guarantee you’ll be paying out all year.
Breakage: Avoid breaking things on that first day lest wreckage be part of your year. Also, avoid crying on the first day of the year lest that activity set the tone for the next 12 months.
Let the old year out: At midnight, all the doors of a house must be opened to let the old year escape unimpeded. He must leave before the New Year can come in, says popular wisdom, so doors are flung open to assist him in finding his way out.

And for goodness sake, don't forget to eat some blackeye peas and collard greens!