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

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Quilt for Marsha

Marsha is my animal sitter.  She lives nearby and passes my house on her way to and from work so it's not so inconvenient for her to stop off and feed Lily, Roxy, Little Kitty and the chickens.  She's honest and dependable and I never worry about my four legged children (well, two for the chickens).
So I made Marsha a quilt as a special thank you.

This quilt is based loosely on a pattern I saw on the internet - lots of scraps with all kinds of animals but mainly cats and dogs.  Marsha's favorite color blue for the border.  The backing are those silly chickens with a fence on each side of what should be green grass. It's a bright and happy quilt - makes me smile when I look at it.  I made one for me too!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Favorite Company

My special company today - the best gift a Grandparent can get at any time! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

She's Here

She's here and adorable!
Born December 5, 2012 and weighing 8 lbs and 1 ounce.

Mom and Baby are doing fine and so are Baby Boy, Dad and Cody (the dog).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Check

Today Mr. Ellis and Jess came over to do a winter check up and socialize a little.  The bottom brood box was removed from Hive #6, Nuc #3, Nuc #1 and Swarm Hive.  There was very little if any honey in the bottom brood boxes.  So top brood box was put on the bottom and the super was put back on the hive.  Lots of honey in brood boxes and supers.  Hive #4 - left everything like it was - will check all hives again in Dec. weather permitting.
On the swarm hive, the bees made rows/columns not sure what to call them (it looks like worms) in the space between the brood boxes.  I don't remember where I got this brood box from but it's not quite right.  Mr. Ellis will cut off some of the bottom to make it the right height.  Took an empty brood box and just moved everybody over for a good fit.

Good day to check bees - we're having warm weather right now.
I'll leave the brood boxes out for a day or two then stack them for the winter.     

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Egg . . . . citing

Little bitty eggs!  They are about the size of a bantam egg.  There was another one today and it was a little bigger. 
I'm thinking it's Elly Mae.  The girls are happy and eating like a house on fire but not producing.
I'm not eating these little things - I'll wait for regular size. 
Lily loves these little eggs - it's a great treat for her.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Saving Seeds

I'm determined this year I will save more seeds.  These are just a few of the ones I have ready to go in the refrigerator.  That's right - put the seeds in ziploc bags and put in the fridge where the temperature is cool and relatively constant (unless the power goes out for a long time) and they'll be good for a year or two.  I've always left mine out somewhere with no temperature control - it could be freezing or hot as blazes but this year, I'm doing it right!  Don't forget to label - the seeds all look the same next year.

I should have enough zinnas, sunflowers, marigolds, and other assorted plants to furnish the county with seeds.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage is such a great plant.  The bees just love it!  Yesterday they were out and about - today was a little cold so I didn't check but it's the first of November - good gracious, it's time for a cold spell and some frost.

I was #98 at our polling place today.  Yes, I like to VOTE on ELECTION DAY. 

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. granulated sugar (I use half Splenda)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 can crushed pineapple packed in its own juice, undrained*
2 Tbs finely snipped young pineapple sage leaves* (or sub lemon verbena)

Note: This is such an easy cake to make, even with a spoon, as I prefer not to use an electric mixer as it tends to emulsify the pineapple. It is even moister the second day. There’s no oil or shortening in it because the pineapple provides the moistness.
In a large bowl, put all of the ingredients in at once. Mix well with a wooden spoon; pour batter into a well-greased 9×13-inch pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. (In my oven 25 minutes is enough, but someone told me they used a glass pan @ 325 for 40 minutes.) While still slightly warm, frost with your favorite cream cheese icing and decorate with fresh pineapple sage leaves and its flowers.
* It is important to use young leaves (those at the top of the plant) - older leaves do not have much flavor.  This is an old recipe that published (without the herbs) as Pineapple Perfection Cake, Mexican Wedding Cake, and even Chop Suey Cake. 

NOTE:  I have not tried this recipe - sounds good but you know how that goes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The River

Well, this isn't the River - it's just rising water. Nothing compared to stuff the folks up North have had to deal with - I think we got the EASY button on this one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy at the River

It rained Friday, Saturday and was still raining on Sunday.

The winds were pushing the water from the sound into the rivers.

When I left on Sunday afternoon the pier was about 6" or so under water.  The river was still rising.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NC State Fair

New Clothes 2012
Tree Man 2012 NC State Fair
Tree Man 2012 NC State Fair

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Taking Care of the Honey

This summer after I finished getting the honey, I just left it in 5-gal buckets.  Finally, I'm getting the honey in jars.  The buckets are about half full - that's all I can pick up - honey is heavy.

The process is the same as I've done in years past.  Sterilize the jars, put out newspaper on the floor for drips and get busy.  Less bubbles in the honey if the jars are filled slowly.  Then I let it sit in the jars for a day or two.

So far AND I'M NOT DONE YET, I have 24 - 6.42 oz jars (they're the small ones in the photo and make excellent gifts), 18 half pints, 6 - 12 oz jars, and 33 pints.  Another good year!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

I've been busy with Baby Boy.
Now I know all Grandparents say this but "isn't he the cutest thing".  
Wrightsville Beach 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Checking Hive #4

Seems I've done a lot of checking on Hive #4.  Not sure about having a queen, what was going on in the hive, did they have wax moths - just lots of questions this summer.  But I checked on Sunday and lots of brood and bees.  Did see three wax moth worms on the top super but took them out and didn't see any signs of moths anywhere else.  Did see a few hive beetles but not as many as last time.  So, all in all, I'm thinking this hive will be fine.  I'll need to check later before cold weather sets in to make sure they have enough food.  But I'll do that for all the hives.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hive #4 Queen

Check up day for Hive #4.  I was concerned about the queen situation and not much activity compared to the other hives.  I had checked last week and reversed the deeps, saw a couple of empty queen cells but not a clear picture of what was going on.  I'm happy to report there is a queen.  Didn't see her but saw brood, eggs and new emerging bees.  And the bees are bringing in pollen.  Did see lots of hive beetles but they were at the top of the hive.  Nasty little devils.
I'll check again in 2-3 weeks.  Even though it was about ten thousand degrees, the bees were okay.  No stings.  We've had thunderstorms and hot, humid weather - it's that time of year.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Some of the Girls

Dumpling, Elly May, Miss Minnie

It's been so hot but the girls have been fine.  This week has been rainy so everybody is a little happier - bees included.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Morning Glory Tepee

May 21 - transplanted - July 2 - they're still growing!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Honey Help

Denton came over today and we took off 7 supers.  Then we went back to his house and did the actual extracting.  He has all the equipment and a great set up to make a big job easier.  

He uses a leaf blower and blows the bees out of the supers -
prop the super in the chair and blow away.  He always blows the bees back toward the hive - I guess it's like a hurricane for those girls.

Then put a trash bag over the hive so there's no bees getting in the super again. 

It was an all day job and I never would have taken 7 supers without his help - we figured I got about 100-125 lbs of honey today. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hive #4

Hive #4 is missing a queen.  I knew something was wrong when I look at all the hives and this one has the least activity.  You kinda get a feel for what's happening and how each hive works when you can look at them several times a day - they're at the end of my garden so when I'm outside it's easy to see. 
So I opened the hive yesterday and sure enough, no sign of a queen and no brood.  But lots of open queen cells - maybe 6 or more.  I decided to leave well enough alone and hope they make their own queen.  I'll open the hive in about two weeks.  I can look at the front of the hive and see if they're bringing in pollen - that's a sure sign of a queen in the hive.  There's lots of bees in the hive and drones.  Again, don't know what happened to the queen. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Flowers


Monday, May 28, 2012

Squash and Tomatoes

I've got yellow squash and zucchini.  And I've got some tomatoes on the vine but it'll be awhile before they're ready.  Also onions and radishes (although the radishes will break your teeth) - they're a little tough.
We're having May showers and it's been hotter.  The garden looks good.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


A morning glory tepee in the garden.   I used fishing line and a staple gun to attach the line around the bamboo so the vines will have something to climb as they grow up.
I have left one side open. I moved about 7-8 morning glorys and they're doing great.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Mr. Ellis brought a queen today for Nuc #4.  It was a little late - as you can see the worms have taken over.  In a couple of days, these worms would have become wax moths and then everything would be gone.  So we took apart the hive and left everything for the bees to take what honey was on the frames.  I'll clean everything in a day or so.  Disappointing but these things happen - who knows what happened to the queen - so many scenarios. 

We checked all the other hives and put a super on Hive #6 and on the Swarm Hive.  So now I have 5 very strong hives.  I'll still have plenty of honey and enough for the bees in the winter too.  Mr. Ellis is going to do a split on one of his hives so he'll use the queen. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Geese at the River

Geese will return to the exact site of the previous years nest each year to mate and nest. Nesting season is mid March to May. The average number of eggs in a nest is 5-6 but there can be as many as 10-12.
Incubation time is 28 – 30 days. The goslings will be able to fly in 2-3 months.
Maybe 10 babies in this little family.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today Mr. Ellis and I checked the bees again.  I had picked up some foundation for him so his trip was twofold.  Not much change today - just checking to make sure all the hives have room. 
Added a super to the Swarm Hive. Nuc #1 - switched 4 filled out frames of honey from Nuc #4.  I had added a super on 4/10/12 to Nuc #1 but they had done nothing toward filling the frames.  Was concerned about wax moths with all that space now that it's gonna be so hot.  
Lots of bees in all the hives and the biggest drones I've ever seen.  
Everything looks good.
New Foundation

Swarm Hive

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rainy Weather

Add caption
Well, you kinda have to turn your head a little cause Blogger wouldn't work with me on this - somedays what can you say!  A computer is just a computer.
Anyhow, this is Hive #6 and the girls are hanging around today waiting for some sunshine - think they might have to wait a couple of days.  Almost an inch of rain today and it's chilly out too. A deep was put on this hive 4/10 - if it's full already, I'm in big trouble. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


In My Garden - April, 2012