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

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Random Act of Kindness

I was out and about this week and went to an estate sale out in the country near Bagley (and I mean the country).  It always interesting not only for the stuff for sale but the people you meet - it's a fun event.  So I bought the globe - it's metal and I love them and have several but not one like this - it was a great buy. 
When I got ready to leave I noticed my back tire looked a little low but thought it was because I parked on the side of the road in the grass.  Well I had to stop for a train and got out to check and sure enough it was low.  Well, this nice man stopped and said "M'am is everything okay?".  So he looked and said he knew Mr. Ken at the tire store and he would fix me right up.  Well I followed him to Kenly (I was going that way anyhow) and we stopped at Kenly Servicenter and he introduced me to Mr. Ken and I got my tire patched.  I had a little nail in the tire and I had him check all the tires while I was there.  Seems Mr. Ken and this nice gentleman that stopped to help me sing gospel music and know each other well.  Another lady was in the shop having her tires or something done too and an old man talking politics.  So what could have been a not so good situation turned into a good experience.  If you're ever in Kenly and have tire troubles, stop at Kenly Servicenter - really nice folks.

And I went to the Museum of Art for the "Art in Bloom" exhibit.
A "tire" bouquet!


Saturday, April 9, 2016

My Love Affair with Cardboard

As some of you may have noticed, I use a lot of cardboard.  I like to recycle and cardboard is good for so many things - paths, lasagna gardening and chicken coops.  Early in March, I (without thinking ahead) took the plastic off the front door of the chicken coop - don't know what I was thinking.  I am a native and I know April is always cold, sometimes snow and just plain unpredictable.  Well, April is here and we're having temps that's making everybody's teeth chatter. 
Cardboard and a staple gun - yep, that's the answer to everything. 

Hope this is the last of the cold.  It's been a blustery day to say the least.
And all the bees are nice and warm in their hives.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Same Swarm

So imagine my surprise yesterday afternoon when I saw a small swarm of bees under Hive #3.  I think it might be the original swarm that flew the coop a couple of days ago.  Anyhow I tried to get them but the queen was between the cinderblocks and the bottom board.  It was really cold last night so I was afraid they would freeze but they were okay this morning. Mr. Ellis came to check on Hive #4 and helped me get the swarm in a nuc.  He picked up the hive body and I took the bottom board with the queen and bees and put in the nuc - put another bottom board on Hive #3 and put the hive body back and they were fine.  All the bees were with the queen on the bottom board so we shock them off and closed them tighter than a tick.  So they're inside for a couple of days and then I'll put a queen excluder on the front of the hive.  Don't want to take the chance of her leaving again.

Nuc 0416
Checked Hive #4 and they were fine.  Switched the top and bottom brood boxes - lots of bees in the hive and new bees.

Hive #4 April 2016

Checked all the small hives and took the queen cage out.  Bees are working hard and everything looked good. 

New Beehives April 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Swarm and A Mess

These bees are just weird!  When I went to check on the hives Thursday afternoon I had a swarm on the rose bush fence (the same place I had a swarm before).  Wasn't sure where this swarm came from so I started checking the new bees. 
Swarm March 2016
Hive #3 was fine - queen was still in the cage and the bees had come out of the box and were working. 
Hive #2 - empty - nothing, no queen and no bees.  So I'm thinking (hoping) that might be where the swarm came from. 
Hive #1 - the bees were all still in the package box and were making foundation inside the package box.  The queen was still in her cage and workers were all around the cage so she'll be out in a day or so.  No choice but to dump the bees in the brood box.  So my good intentions of not banging and shaking the bees was shot to hell because that's exactly what I had to do.  Sprayed a little sugar syrup and banged the heck out of the box to get them inside the brood box.

Foundation made by bees inside package box
 Got the swarm using a 5-gallon bucket and sprayed them with sugar water and brushed them into the bucket.  Fortunately, I got the queen in the bucket so all the other bees went in too.  Later put them in the nuc box and shut them up tight.  Will open them tomorrow morning.

Took 3 frames with brood and bees from Hive #4 and put in Hive #2 since it was empty - there was a queen cell on one of the frames.  We'll see how this works out. 
The bees were the most pleasant little girls throughout all this opening, closing, opening again to make sure I saw what I thought I saw, and banging the heck out of the bees, etc.  I did get stung on my foot but no big deal with that.  So hopefully the temperament of these bees will continue to be good.
New Home for Swarm
The saga continues . . . .
UPDATE - evidently these girls didn't like their new home!  By Friday afternoon they were gone.  Didn't see it so no chance of catching them again.  The queen must have been released to soon with the package bees.  They need 4 days or so to get acclimated with the new queen and this didn't happen.  I must have pushed the candy out of the queen bee cage or it fell out - something happened to make them release her so early.  Well - you just live and learn.