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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Holy Batman

After our walk this morning and as I was getting ready for work, Lily got a little excited with something on the floor in front of the refrigerator.  At first I thought it was a small turd but after giving it a better look - Holy Batman - it was a small bat (and alive no less).  So I put a dish towel over the little bat and picked it up and carried it outside.  I did put it across the fence.
Now how you ask could I have a bat in the house . . . . well, the answer would be Little Kitty.  She was in early this morning and all happy with herself.  I should have known.  So I figure she caught that little bat, brought him in the house and just dumped him, he/she scooted under the refrigerator trying to get away and then it came out later. 
Little Kitty is great - I don't have mice, rats, snakes or much of anything in the garden and around the house.  I'm excited about the bat because they eat mosquitos and that means I must have a family around here somewhere.  A single bat can eat more than 600 bugs an hour — making bats a perfect choice for organic pest control.

Not my hand you see there!

Bats just hanging out!

Again life is interesting with all my animals.

Monday, July 18, 2016


I've just finished reading Lee Smith's "Dimestore".  It's funny and charming - little stories about her life growing up in Virginia, helping in the local dimestore which her father owned, crazy and unusual relatives, her writing and life in general. 
One of the stories was about Aunt Gay-Gay.  "She drank a lot of gin and tonics and sometimes she'd start in on them early, winking at my Uncle Bob and saying, "Pour me one, honey, it's already dark underneath the house."  This just cracked me up!  So now I don't have to wait till five o'clock.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Checking Hives

Hive #1
Hive #3

Hive #4
I checked the hives last week when it was so HOT!  They're holding their own but not making honey like I've seen in years past.  They all still have room in the hive which was surprising.  There's plenty of bees, didn't see but one hive beetle, some ants in Hive #1 but not a problem.  I put a super on Hive #3 and removed the brood box which I had put on in April.  They didn't need all that space and had not started working the frames in the brood box.  Hive #1 and #4 still had empty frames so I left well enough alone.
It seems this year is not as productive for my bees.  I know this is not the case for everyone but I won't be taking any honey till the fall and then we'll see.  Hive #1 and #3 are both new hives - plenty of bees in each hive and they look strong and healthy.  Hive #4 is also a strong hive.  I'll say again the weather this year has been different.  Right now we are in the hot, muggy and thunderstorm period and I expect more of the same for the next several weeks.  Then we'll probably hit the hot and dry spells in August and September.  And I have left the jars on the hives - I'll probably be feeding so it just makes more sense - will be one less thing to do later on. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

European Hornets

I noticed some large wasps going in and out of this hollow cavity in the Mimosa tree the other day.  They are European Hornets (sometimes confused with Japanese hornets).  They're about an inch long and lots of them. They will (so I've been told) completely destroy a hive of bees.  So out came the spray and late evening I went out and sprayed the entrance.  I also sprayed the following evening.  Well, I still have these wasps going in and out.  There must be a bunch of them in there.  They're not aggressive (yet) and we've had rain so I'm gonna spray again in a couple more days. 
There's always something going on with insects or varmints of some kind around here.