Saturday, May 26, 2012
This was the site we chose for our Bee Hive. It is private, shady and has a clear path for the bees to fly out seeking food.
Frames and hive had to be assembled, and the hive painted white. DH did the hive, while I worked on the frames, where the honeycombs will be formed. The frames have a wax faux honeycomb for the bees to work with.
Good thing my fingers are long and thin. I can see why I was assigned to this job. And DH tells me he has completed the assembly work on the hive. Now we're just waiting for the bees arrival.
Really excited, as the bees have arrived. The UPS delivery guy wasn't too excited, but he was perfectly safe.
The bees were aggitated over the long travel time, and rightly so -- they wanted a drink badly; so this is me spraying in some sugar/water. The calmed right down and became "happy bees."
The time has come to put the bees in their new home. George carried the hive up to the site, and I carried the bees.
The only safe way to handle bees is when you are dressed in a bee suit -- so it was time for George to get his on.
Amber wasn't too sure about this new addition to our "family." But she took a timid, closer look anyway.
Under a thin cover on the travel box was the top of a tin which contained the food the bees used during their travel. A red tag stuck out, and the Queen's special travel box was attached to that. She goes in first, still in her own little box. There are 3 or 4 bees in with her, and they will help eat the solidifid honey that covers a small hole so they can leave the box. They are helped by the "worker" bees who are in the main part of the hive. They all want their Queen close to them ASAP.
This is a close-up of the Queen Bee in her travel box. She travels with 3 or 4 companion bees. Just before placement in the Hive.
The Queen, still inside her box, is placed between two of the frames that you saw me assembling. The frames are inserted, upright, into the Hive, and the bees will transform the wax inserted into frames into honeycomb for the Queen to lay her eggs in.
They look like quite a large mass of bees, perhaps 3000 to 6000 (they go by weight).
It takes two or three hard shakes to get all the bees out of the travel case and into the Hive. They are quite aggitated again at this point, and they were swarming all over the place. Amber was only about 2 feet away, but they didn't bother her. I was 6 feet away, taking photo's, and none bothered me either.
Bees are all in, so the first cover on top of their Hive goes into place.
Final cover on Hive is now on, and the container of Sugar/Water is attached. The bees will be busy for a week or two making honeycombs and do not have time to fly out in search of food, therefore we have the container for them to drink. They will consume about 1 quart in 1 to 2 days.
Final photo of bees coming in and out of hive, enjoying their sugar/water. There is a "guard" bee posted at the entrance to make sure bees entering belong to their group, and not some outsider.
You now know more than you ever wanted to learn about Honey Bees.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Party Time! At least that's how I always feel when I have finished and framed another painting. I don't know how "real" artists feel about the canvases as they finish off another, but that's how I feel. It's still a real novelty for me to see something I have created hanging on my wall. And, YES -- I do hang them on my wall, except for the one I gave my daughter. I figure if I don't like them well enough to hang them, then no one else will like them either.
This is a close-up of a tulip, you don't even see the entire flower. It is kind of a copy-cat of the style that Georgia O'Keefe uses, and I'm a big fan of hers. Hope you enjoy!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
It would be so nice if God had a phone and we could call Him whenever we want, but of course -- He does listen even when it is just you talking. But to get an answer would be really special! Hope you enjoy this little poem which is being circulated around on the Internet.
God's Phone Call
Hello God, I called tonight
To talk a little while
I need a friend who'll listen
To my anxiety and trial.
You see, I can't quite make it
Through a day just on my own...
I need your love to guide me,
So I'll never feel alone.
I want to ask you please to keep,
My family & Friends safe and sound.
Come and fill their lives with confidence
For whatever fate they're bound.
Give me faith, dear God, to face
Each hour throughout the day,
And not to worry over things
I can't change in any way.
I thank you God, for being home
And listening to my call,
For giving me such good advice
When I stumble and fall.. !!!!!!!
Your number, God, is the only one
That answers every time.
I never get a busy signal,
Never had to pay a dime.
So thank you, God, for listening
To my troubles and my sorrow.
Good night, God, I love You, too,
And I'll call again tomorrow!
P. S. Please bless all my Friends and Family.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
If we think our lives are hard, believe me -- it is a party compared to the life of a honey bee. If you happen to be a bee, there are three areas you could fall into. QUEEN bee is of course the most important, she rules the hive, basically lays eggs all her life, and her life span is anywhere from two to three years. WORKER bees are next, always female, and they do exactly what their name implies -- WORK! During their short life span they are constantly working. In a new bee hive it is their job to manufacture the honeycomb, so the Queen can begin to lay eggs in each little cell. It is also their job to go out into the world (up to 3 miles) and gather nectar, pollen and sometimes water. They bring these items back to the hive and put them where they are needed. Other worker bees act as guards. They guard the entrance to the hive and make sure no "outside" bees enter. They can determine their own group of bees by their smell. The Queen bee gives off a pheromone that is recognized by her particular group of worker bees. They love this smell and rub against her for the smell. There are also worker bees who go out into the world, away from the hive and look for areas that contain nectar. The life span of a worker bee is approximately only six weeks. Finally there are the DRONE bees. Naturally they are male, and they spend their time buzzing around, just waiting for a Queen bee who is in "heat." When this happens, the Queen flies to a height of about 500 feet, probably mating with approximately 50 of a swarm of 300 or so drones who are buzzing about seeking the chance to mate. Unfortunately the drone bee gives his life for the opportunity of mating. I won't go into the finer details of this act, but it literally pulls the insides out of the drone bee and he dies. Most of the time, in bees that are purchased for the sole purpose of raising honey, the Queen bee is artificially inseminated, one of her wings are clipped so she cannot fly away, and she is marked on her back with a small dot of brightly colored paint. When you order a shipment of bees, the Queen bee with perhaps four or five worker bees come in a separate little box. This is for the safety of the Queen during travel. Upon arrival at their destination, the bees are placed in a hive, and the Queen bee is placed between two of the frames, still in her box. A plug is removed, leaving her still secured in the box by solidified honey. The bees want to get next to the Queen, so they proceed to eat the honey to release her, usually taking four or five hours to complete the task.
We have pictures to show you step by step how this entire procedure is done. I will have them ready for publication in a few days.
During the first week or so the bees need to be fed a very rich mixture of sugar and water, which is made in a 1:1 ratio. To show you how rich this mixture is, compare it to what you mix for hummingbirds, their ratio is 1:4. They need this sugar water to live on until the honeycombs are complete and they are able to go out and forage for food.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Years ago my DH was a beekeeper. And a couple of months ago he was telling me all I never wanted to know about bees. Although I will admit, it was quite interesting to learn about the life of honey bees.
I have never been bothered by bees, hornets and the like, which was good because as I grew up in Minnesota, there were always some of each buzzing around the wild fruit and berries I would pick. And of course I love honey, who doesn't?
Then an acquaintance of ours who has a place a few miles from us here in the mountains, decided he would start raising honey bees. He asked my DH for help and advice having seen him talking about his time as a bee keeper (on our website). I have even made a trip over to his place when we would go to feed them. It was rather fascinating. Without thinking much about it, I made the comment to DH that we could have a hive in our backyard as there were many more flowers in our area than where this man has his bees. But it was just a passing remark, as in my mind I knew it would not be practical -- not at our Glendale home.
So on the eve of Mother's Day, he comes up to me and says next week will be quite a change for me. I laugh and ask if he's going to "turn over a new leaf?" He said NO. But . . . . . . . on Thursday I will be receiving my bee hive, and on Friday the bees will arrive. OMG!
BEES BEES BEES
PS He ordered me my own bee suit today. I'm sure more on this will follow!
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