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

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Carpenter Bees and a Snake

I've been at the farm this afternoon mowing grass and doing a little work in the yard.  My Mom and Dad had a lot of yard (grass) to keep up, not many trees and over the years a haphazard way of planting shrubs.  So what I see is a big mess or I should say "an opportunity".  My Mother had the most wonderful flowers in the yard. I've just got to wait and see where and what everything is and do I keep it, move it or throw it in the compost pile.  And I'm digging from my yard and moving stuff down there too.
Carpenter Bee Trap
The carpenter bees are having a field day with the new wood in the smokehouse/barn.  I bought a carpenter bee trap and it's got about 4-5 bees in it now - they get in and can't get out.  Today was cool so I got to swat a couple.  I did buy one of those battery operated zappers and it will be returned.  I can use a piece of wood and be just as effective.  I keep forgetting to push the button for the zapper to work and by then the bee is gone or buzzing around me and making me crazy.  Nasty little devils!
Then I was in the barn and lo and behold there was a snake looped around the rafters - well, the snake is still there and we will try to get along. I'm not much on trying to kill a snake and not sure what kind this was - it was a snake - what else can I say!

Another fun day at the farm!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

I have bees , , ,

Bee in the Barn
I picked up four packages of bees Friday - two for Mr. Ellis and two for me. 
A 3-pound package contains about 12,000 bees. So all total, I had about 48,000 bees in my car - more or less. I did take a sheet and cover them - nothing worse than riding down the road and having a bee buzzing around your head.  The bees come in a box with four wooden sides and screened material in the front and back. It is 8.5″ high, 16″ wide and 5.5″ deep. An inverted can filled with sugar syrup is placed inside the box to provide feed for the bees during transit. The package contains a young marked queen (green for 2019) that had started laying prior to being caged. The queen is kept in a small wooden cage/box with several worker bees.
It had rained off and on all day so it was between downpours that we installed the packages. I am feeding the bees on top of the hive body inside the top two boxes and I have entrance reducers in the front of the hives.  I have closed all the other holes so hopefully "robber bees" will not be able to take over the hives. 
Beehives - April, 2019
I talked to Mr. Ellis and he had installed one hive this morning (Saturday) and hopes to do the other later between showers.  It has rained off and on (mostly on) again today and they're calling for more tomorrow.  But the bees are out and about getting adjusted to their new home.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Burnt Beans and New Bees

Don't go outside and start working in your yard and think you will check the butter beans before they burn - nope, didn't happen - well, it did happen - they were smoking and not in a good way when I remembered to check on them!  But nothing caught on fire and I have potatoes, baked chicken and I'm going to make hush puppies so all is well.  Late afternoon the sun finally came out but it was a good day to work in the yard.  Spring in finally here with a little pollen too.

Mr. Ellis and I are picking up four bee packages on Friday. Two for him and two for me.  I will set mine up at the house rather than the farm.  I'll be feeding them for awhile and I can't drive to the farm every day.  When I move (and who knows the answer to that), Mr. Ellis and I will move the bees to the farm.  We are both rather anxious about getting bees again and have decided if these don't make it, we'll both stop keeping bees.