Monday, April 13, 2009

Maggie's Honeybees are here!

Early this morning I got a phonecall from the clerk at the post office ~ come get your bees! Maggie and Mike were up at Walter Reed, so it was up to me to bring the bees home. This is exactly what I picked up. I was surprised at how calm and quiet the bees were. We weren't supposed to get the bees until tomorrow, so it was a nice surprise to get the phonecall.
The directions said to mix 10# of sugar with 1-1/2 gallons of water, then spray onto the bees. Boy did they come alive then! They must've been hungry. The sugar solution sure woke up their buzzers ~ it was noisy!
Mike called our expert friend, Chris, to let him know about the change in dates, and he came over when he had a break from work. Too bad Chris wasn't able to stay for dinner ~ I had set up a double batch of my sourdough cracked wheat dinner rolls so he could take a batch home. He was long gone by the time they were finished baking, so I sent a batch to my neighbor. This is Maggie, momma to the honeybees.
The smoke calms the bees down. Maggie said Chris barely smoked the bees.
This is one of Maggie's Queen Bees. Chris gave us so many tips that I can't imagine doing bees "by the book." Now when I look off our back porch I feel like a farmer. I sure hope these bees help our orchard.
What was the most surprising thing I learned? That you have to pour water on the bees so they won't fly away!! I felt sorry for the poor little bees when I saw this picture. I hope it was warm's only 54 degrees out!
Today I stopped by an amish produce stand hoping to buy $2 worth of kale. The woman gave me this huge 13-gallon trash bag full! For $2! She said today was her last day of selling kale because her hubby will plow the field tomorrow. We ate some tonight that was delicious. I cooked it with 2 strips of bacon, 2 squirts of brown rice vinegar, 1 large chopped onion, and some garlic salt. Yummy! Even though I used 16 cups of chopped kale, it didn't make a dent in the bagful. Wow!

The good part is that my family loved the kale so much that they've asked me to make it every night. We'll see how long it takes them to eat those words!:-)

This time next year we should be eating our own honey, maybe sooner. It sure has been exciting learning about the whole process. Today I ordered Allen's 25 chickens, so I guess that will be another learning process. I love it!

Two more cold days, then warmer weather. I can hardly wait...I am definitely tired of bringing all my hanging planters in each night. Enjoy this season. Many blessings ~ Kathie

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