Monday, April 30, 2012

Buzzzzz-y Busy

I got a phone call the other morning that made my heart sing! A man in town had a bee swarm in his yard and was asking me to come fetch it! Free bees! It is hard to see it well in this picture, but that dark spot is a the swarm!
GEDC7575Luckily my son Tommy was home, so he came and helped me:) And took this picture of me
swarmme  swarm
Swarms are extremely gentle. They keep balled up around their queen, while scout bees fly off looking for a new home. Later, I went back to where I got this swarm and found a cluster of scouts who had returned to where there swarm had been. Imagine if you had told your family you would go off in search of a new home and when you returned, they were gone! So sad to even think about so….
scouts I went and retrieved them and reunited them with their family:) You see the queen’s scent was still there, and they would have just stayed right there until they died! I thought these little sacred lived deserved being cared for and brought to their family:)
I have a friend named Jim, who is in my beekeeping group. He bought a package of bees and I went to help him hive them. Package are one way you can buy bees. They come in a screen box, which has a sugar water can inserted in it to keep the bees fed while in transit. The queen is in a tiny screen box inside this package. One end of her cage is plugged with a candy, that the bees will eat and eventually release her.
GEDC7585GEDC7586  Jim had his beehive all put together and ready. We just removed some of the center frames and then poured the bees in, after removing the sugar feed you can see in the center of the top of the bee cage. It looks like a can of veggies or something..
GEDC7591  This is the queen cell, Jim is holding. He used the hive tool corner to break up the candy plug just a little bit more. We hung this cell between some frames and soon the workers will have ate out the plug and released the queen
GEDC7588 GEDC7592 GEDC7593 GEDC7597 The bees that didn’t pour/shake out were left sitting right outside the entrance. It wasn’t long until they marched out and joined the rest of the hive.
We got the veg garden tilled this weekend
GEDC7601 We garden at my nephew Scott and his wife Dawn’s house. Scott was so patient teaching Grandson’s Evan and Breven how to run the tiller
GEDC7603 GEDC7605 GEDC7606
Gerald and I went to the Civic Center in Peoria to see Red Green this weekend. Visit the link if you are unfamiliar with this comedian. Gerald has been a great fan of his for years so he had a great time:)
GEDC7584 We had one bummer this week though. We found a woodpecker in our yard that had a broken wing. We kind of guess it was probably hit by a hawk. We were going to try and heal and rehabilitate it to re-release it.. but it passed away within an hour of us finding it:( Must have been hurt worse than we could tell, although Gerald didn’t hold out good hopes for a full recovery to its wing to begin with..
On an up note…. Gerald gave Dylan his very first duck call. Dylan is always wanting me to drive Papa’s truck, as Gerald has duck calls hanging from the rearview mirror. Well, now he has his own:)
GEDC7579 Dylan had some sort of tubing that he was forever using to try and holler at the geese in the fields on the way to school in the morning. So cute, he will roll his window down and just start blowing and blowing this homemade thing trying to get their attention. When I told Gerald, he thought it was time he had a real one:) Quite the big little man now!
We went to the river this week, and I got some of the herb gardening done, but I should save those things for another post as this one has got quite long!
Herbal and Honey Hugs to all of you who visit Comfrey Cottages xxx


Rowan said...

You've certainly been busy:) I love bees but I've never actually kept any. I must say I think you're very brave to go and collect a swarm! I'm so glad you went back for the scout bees too. I didn't know that scout bees went searching for a new home so found that very interesting.

De Gulle Aarde said...

Thank you for the sweet honey
hugs ;-).
Your interesting story made me a little wiser today.

Comfrey Cottages said...

Thank you ladies! Rowan swarms are sooo gentle! Seriously! They have no home to defend and their stomachs are full of honey, they take from the parent hive before they leave. I am not that brave! lol! Swarms are very, very safe to be around. They keep clustered around the queen and just wait for scout bees, who are looking for a suitable site to return. xx
Glad you enjoyed the honey hugs, Hanneke xxx I think I should continue and write more bee educational posts! xxx

Anonymous said...

Marvellous! More bees is definitely worth celebrating. I'll look forward to hearing how they are getting on.
Happy Beltaine to you Leslie xx

Karon said...

OK I was on my way to the store when I found your blog and I've been here ever sense lol. So informative and interesting, but even more importantly I feel really connected to you, I think it was the part when you took the lost bee's back to their queen! Just Great a women after my own heart. Keep up the great work I look forward to learning more from you in the future! ♥

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