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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A New Queen

On April 7, I made two nucs - well, I saw a queen in Nuc #3 today. Lots of bees in this nuc and seeing the queen was awesome. Nuc #4 - didn't see a queen or any sign of a queen cell in this nuc.

I added empty supers on Hive #4, Nuc #1 and the Swarm Hive.
Hive #5 - Saw a queen cell and brood.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Recycling contributes to our planets health on a daily basis. It's a habit we can all do to contribute to the bigger picture. In the United States we recycle only about 31% of our waste - we are the largest producers of trash.

Make this year the year you'll do your part. Recycling is a habit that we can all develop to make a positive impact on our environment every day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quilt for Kids Donation

Quilts for Kids is one of several charitable services in the community that my quilt guild provides quilts made by the members. The quilts are given to the Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Wake Medical Center and Rex Hospital.

This is my donation quilt for this year.

Still trying to use up some of the fabric I've had for years.

Simple pattern and I did the machine quilting on my Bernina 910.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Garden

I planted some tomatoes, basil and yellow squash today. I got a couple of plants from the Wake County Junior Master Gardeners 4-H Sale at the Fairgrounds this weekend but the majority came from one of my fellow Master Gardeners, Jesse. Several Brandywine, Roma, German Johnson, Yellow Pear, Sungold, a small red cherry tomato and a Black Krim so I have a good mix. This is an annual event with The Gardeners of Wake County having their annual Azalea Sale with over 4,000 plants for sale. The Wake County Junior Master Gardeners 4-H Program also sells camillas, Knockout Roses, and vegetable plants and the Pilot Club has geraniums for sale, the Herb Society and the Raleigh Garden Club have plants too. Mark your calendars for next year - the third weekend in April at the NC State Fairgrounds, Gate 6. And the birds and I will have a few strawberries.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Swarm, Two Queens and Three Nucs

Thursday morning I had another swarm (look at the very top in the center of the tree) - this one was far out of reach and after I spotted them in the tree, they only stayed about another hour and they were on their way. Now I thought this might be a swarm from one of my hives or it could have been the swarm was just looking around but it was time to check the hives again. So I called Steve and we opened all the hives again. This time looking for queen cells and if we were lucky, make a couple of nucs and give those girls some room. Hive #5 - queenless - no brood, still lots of bees and they were bringing in pollen but definitely no sign of a queen. So we took several frames from Hive #4 that had lots of brood and will hope for the best. Hive #4 - Saw the QUEEN! Lots of brood and bees. Added an empty super and the super from Nuc #2 that still had a little honey. Also moved the four frames to Hive #5. You can see from the bottom of this super that there have been some queen cells made. Nuc #1 - made two nucs from this hive. One for Steve and one for me. They should do fine - lots of brood. One frame had three uopened queen cells. The Swarm Hive - Saw the QUEEN! This hive as well as Hive #4 was full of bees and lots of brood. Saw lots of drones too. We made another nuc for me from this hive - did not have a queen cell but we'll see what happens.
Now with all that said - I did get STUNG! If you know beekeepers (especially the men folk), they always want to tell you about the one up their pants leg and they just go on and on and on . . . . well, that's exactly what happened to me and I won't go on and on but I will tell you it was no fun and I didn't get to squash her before she stung me. And Steve has probably told everybody in the county by now and I will admit it was pretty funny and I haven't dropped my drawers that quick in a long time (thank goodness I listened to my Mother and had on good undies) cause I had to get that stinger out. And thank goodness we were out of sight of traffic - whew, hate to imagine what that would have been like.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Swarms - Easy Come, Easy Go

Today I had my first swarm of the season. What a surprise but the queen said "let's go" and they went. A really nice swarm and I called my neighbor and beekeeper friend Steve to help me out. They were in a crabapple tree, not to far up and it could be done easily enough.

So a ladder, a nuc box with only two frames inside and a broom - easy enough. Bees (lots of bees) a little irriated at being swept around but it worked. The queen was in the box. So lots of bees were left and we decided to sweep again - this wasn't such a good idea. The queen went back to the tree (we didn't know this at the time) and all the bees eventually left the nuc box and they decided to move along.

Steve had got a swarm this morning too and in talking to him later, they also left after being put in a brood box - it wasn't the best of days for swarm catching.

Bye, bye bees!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bird Nest

I have bluebirds nesting in the bluebird house in the front yard. They build their nests so quickly.

And I had a titmouse (I think) start building a nest in the bluebird house in the garden but I worked in that flower bed for a day or two and I think they gave up on the nest site. But they had covered the bottom of the house with moss - if they don't continue, I'll clean it out and maybe some birds will come along. I still have some weeds to pull out but the weather has been cold and rainy this past week. Hoping for sunshine now that it's April.