Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bee Keeper, Bees, More Bees and Lots of Honey! Monday and Tuesday.....

Monday morning we had Critter Chores.
Surprisingly, the four hours of rain that fell on Sunday had all but dried up so no need for our mud boots that day.

It was fun to see the three baby chicks! 
At night the mama tucks them back under her wings.
Another chick hatched the next day!
Everything is growing down here at the ranch.....

the baby goslings are not babies anymore!
While I fed the ducks, geese, cat, roosters, chickens and horses......

Louis Dean took the three goats out - one at a time - to graze up along the small tank.

I love the color of the rusted red and blues on this old piece of farm equipment.

Louis Dean and I went into town Monday afternoon to hit up a couple of Goodwills.
While I only found one thing and Louis Dean bought a paperback of The American Sniper - 
we still had a good time. Brenda sent me a text about booking our flights to Seattle for our Alaskan Cruise. It's not until September but we didn't want the flights to book up before we made our choice.
Plus it's nice to pay for the trip as much ahead of time as we can.
Summer is a whiz at booking things, finding bargains, navigating the Internet and was such a blessing to us when I called her and she went online and made our reservations for us.
I felt rather pampered that as I sat on a Goodwill parking lot, Summer took care of everything!
We made a last stop at Home Depot and headed back to the ranch where Sherry and StepsonDean had just arrived. We were all excited about the Bee Man coming!

The ranch is a one end of Falls County and the Bee Keeper is in Chilton - nearly a hour away and yet still in the same county.
He arrived and put on his bee suit. His daughter was planning on helping him so she wore gloves and a bee mask along with her heavy shirt and pants.

Not wanting to miss the show, Sherry and I gathered up our glasses of tea and some cheese she had brought back with her from her recent trip to Wisconsin, along with some crackers and got in her truck, drove around to where the bee action was and parked so we could watch.
As he was cutting into the wood to get to the hive, the bees became quite agitated.
They swarmed all over him - of course, they didn't hurt him - but he had to keep blowing smoke around his mask so he could see what he was doing. His daughter didn't have on as much protection as he did and soon backed way off but they still swarmed after her. She gave up and went back to their truck. By this time it was HOT in Sherry's truck and we couldn't roll the windows down for the bees trying to get in. 
We decided to go back and get Louis Dean's truck! It's diesel and has great AC!
We left with Louis Dean still telling me it wasn't a good idea to drive the truck back behind the house! We settled back in to watch some more of the action!
And it got heavier!
They swarmed all around the truck and hit all the windows.
I admit it freaked me out and I cried uncle and drove back to the front. Alas, the bees had been swarming all around the camper including the front room. Louis Dean and SonDean had been sitting on the front deck and had to come in. The bees were swarming in at the north door and they were inside with fly swatters trying to get them out.
We sat in the truck waiting and watching for them to calm down. 
I pulled on a sweatshirt Sherry had and made a run for it to the door which faces East.
Made it with no stings!

The Bee Man was hot and tired and took a little break. 
That's when Sherry decided he needed help!

She pulled on the sweatshirt and drew the strings tight around the hood.

The Bee Man gave her gloves and head gear to wear and she was in business.

StepSon Dean and I got in Louis Dean's truck, drove around, parked and watched the show.
Our Sherry is not afraid of anything!
Plus she loves to do everything!!!
She has long planned to take a beekeeping class and intends to keep hives of her own when the time comes that she can do this.

Sherry went right to work! 
First she took photos and a video!!
We have to document these things!

Then she manned the smoker and sprayed that on the bee man so he could use both hands in dealing with getting to the hive. She then took the pieces of the hive and slid them into the slots in the bee box. They worked until it was too dark to do any more!
Using the ladder, they put two boards up there holding the bee box and left it in hopes the bees would start going in it.

Sherry put some of the honeycomb in bags and gave us this one.
By the end of the evening, she had only been stung once.
Louis Dean was stung twice when he ventured out to see what was going on when he thought things had calmed down. He ran all the way back to the front room with the bees following him!
They didn't sting him until he got inside!

We all gathered around their truck talking before the bee man and his daughter left.
They would return the next evening.
Louis Dean came out to join the conversation.
His son and I had dicussed playing a joke on him about me damaging a tire or rim since he was so concerned about me driving his truck around the ranch.
I remembered just in time!! We were about to wind down and say our goodbyes  to everyone when I turned to Louis Dean and said, "Honey, I have to tell you something. I THINK the rim is okay......" That immediately got his attention! He said, "What???? I just KNEW you were gonna mess up my truck!!!"
I continued......"I said the rim is probably okay but I'm afraid the tire......."
"WHAT did you do to my truck??? WHICH tire?? I just KNEW it!!!"
I had to turn my head and laugh into my apron! It was too dark for him to see me and he had started to walk over to see if he could find our what damage had been caused.
We all wanted to play this out a little longer but we couldn't because we were already laughing so hard!! As I am reading this to LD before I publish, he said, "Linda, that was hurtful!"

The one thing I found at the Goodwill Monday was spot on perfect!

I will always remember when I got this!!

This morning (Tuesday) I squeezed out some of the honeycomb and opened a bit of the zip lock bag so it could pour out into a small bowl.

Raw honey!

Probably the first time I have ever had any that was so fresh!!
Drizzled on our biscuits this morning - it made the perfect breakfast!

There's always something to see down here on the ranch!

This afternoon it was crop dusters!

I had made our supper and we had just finished eating when the Bee Man arrived.

This time he brought Sherry a more complete bee suit and she went right to work.
The bees didn't seem to be as agitated as they were last night.
Still, I took this picture from a distance and zoomed in!

See those boards on the old shop wall?
Each one is a foot high.
The bee hive goes from the top down through five boards which equals 5 feet.
Then the hive is 4 feet wide.....

That's a pretty big bee hive!
Tonight they were looking for but never found the Queen bee.
As it stands now, the bee box is still there and he left the bee suit so Sherry can come down and check on things after work Wednesday and Thursday.
Then the Bee Keeper will come back Saturday afternoon.

Sherry is amazing!
She carried the honeycomb thick with bees and never missed a beat.
The bee man used a big yellow Dickie's cup and scooped up bees and put them in the bee box.
What an amazing adventure this has been.

We are all so grateful to Michael Yarbrough for rescuing these bees for us.
They - and we - will be much happier once they are living at his place instead on in the walls of the shop next to the camper!


Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Linda the bee adventure is huge, I am so glad you were there and can share the process (not the stings). Bet that honey was the best ever. I am so happy that Summer could take care of all the booking for your flight for your cruise. You 'new' sign sure matches the activities this week.

Bluebird49 said...

I hope Sherry can find the queen! And I hope the ones in the y d will adjust! That is a huge hive. I was lucky enough to be given some honey and still in a piece of the comb years ago, and we can get raw local honey at the garden shop nearby. Honey bees are some of our hardest working insects!
You all nearly gave Louis a heart attack didn't you!! Did Dean put you up to that, or were you the culprit!? 😀
Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!!

Linda said...

Whatever happens I’m betting on Sherry. I like her spirit of adventure.

Carol said...

What amazing adventures you have on the farm!

Susie said...

Linda, There's always an adventure at the ranch. I love bees and am happy they are saved. It's good to have the honey with your breakfast. Yes, the perfect sign. Sherry is a ranch girl for sure. She likes to get things done. Sounds like her father-in law. LOL. Blessings to all, love you, xoxo, Susie

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Yes you need the Queen to show herself so the bees will follow her! I did read that if the Queen leaves the hive is usually preparing one egg to become the queen. Bees are the most interesting creatures. That honey looked good. We look forward to getting our honey at Grimmwood.

MadSnapper said...

it was all I could do to just READ this bee adventure, and I can tell you I would not have been there at all. I am terrified of bees and wasps and all thing that fly and sting... the hairs are standing up in fright on my arms now just hearing your story. hope they get that hive out of there safely with the queen in it... I have never had fresh honey.. I love honey

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That super find of the sign at good will is definitely a keeper. I don't think any of you will ever forget where the honey was. Hopefully they will all soon be gone to a happier home and your home will be happier too. Who knew that hives could ever get so big! Your life is really an adventure in more ways than one for sure !

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I hope the queen is found, but I think they will create a new queen if she is not. What an adventure!

Kathy said...

This story is so exciting! Sherry is a brave person. I've been stung only once in my life and that was enough. The good thing is you got all that good honey.

Vee said...

This was an adventure! Poor Louis Dean...I never knew that you could play such a trick. Loved his response. Do let us know the ongoing bee story. 🍯

Carole said...

I've never had fresh honey... I read somewhere recently that honey will keep for decades if not centuries. Those bees are clever! Cheers

Nancy Chan said...

Always filled with interesting happenings at the farm and countryside! I think people who deal with bees are so brave!

Lisa said...

I would love to have some fresh honey. I love honey comb. I am afraid of bees but have often thought id like to own honey bees. But now that you mentioned some stinging going on, ive changed my mind again. Haha.