Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Another Bee Adventure!

 Our sweet kitties are the best little things!
They take frequent road trips back and forth to the ranch in stride and settle right in - both in the country and the city. They have their favorite things to do in both places.

Nita brought a brown paper bag down on Saturday when they visited us with egg cartons inside.
We sent two cartons back with some fresh eggs in each for bot Nita and Mike and Michele and Lonnie.
Tabitha thinks her Aunt Nita brought the bag especially for HER!
Samantha was a wee bit jealous that she didn't find it first!

I have put down all but 4 garden stakes in our purple hull pea patch.
These were gifts from Sheryl, Nita's fabulous gardening guru neighbor.
Makes the garden look classy and like we know what we're doing!

I was out putting the last few stakes in this early afternoon when the rain came in.
We knew it was coming. The sky was dark and the air was still.
At first it was such a gentle light shower that I continued to work in the graden.
With only a handful of stakes left,  it began to rain HARD!
That's when both of us took oursleves to the
 front porch with a glass of tea and sat back to enjoy the show that lasted an hour and a half.
Not that we sat there the whole time.
I had some art I was working on and Louis Dean has been 'sorting his tools.'
This has been an ongoing activity for the past 16 years that we've been married and I am pretty sure he's been 'sorting' and organizing for decades before we knew each other.
For some reason, I have been unusually tired lately so I tucked yself in the girl bunk and took a two hour nap! That's an hour less than the one I took yesterday afternoon!

Sherry and I had planned on doing a bee removal at 5:00, but I wasn't sure that would happen with the change in weather. As it turned out, the rain swept in and then it was gone and it was blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

Sherry works from home and I am here to tell you that she works hard and long.
She is a stickler for keeping strict office hours and it was 5:01 when she started getting her things together. I dumped my bee suit and things in a white plastic trash bag and put my phone in a small denim pouch; then Louis Dean drove me down to Sherry's and we loaded up from there.

It was a short 5 minute drive over to Tim's place.
He's the one who has done some gravel work for us and put in our septic tank.
Bees swarmed in and found a place on his old boat a couple of weeks ago.

They nested right up there in the cabinet on the upper right.

This entire cabinet was full of bees and comb!

Dean and Sherry always check one another's suits to make sure they are zipped up and secure.

Sherry worked under there for the better part of two hours.
It was dark and so full of comb and bees there was no way to tell if she had captured the queen.

The bees were not aggressive - but we suit up everytime we work the hives or a swarm.
Better to be safe than sorry and we are still newbies!
This is only our third year of beekeeping.

I am not much help with the physical hard work that is involved.
Dean and Sherry do all of that.
I was happy I was able to climb up into that boat!
I document our bee adventures and do the less strenuous jobs.

The bees had been working hard and made a lot of comb with  good bit of brood, larvae and pollen in it. My job was to take the sections Sherry cut our from the cabinet and put them in the empty wooden frames we brought to go in the new brood box. Dean and Sherry had gone to Waco Sunday night specifically to get strong rubber bands that we use to hold the comb in place.
There was enough to nearly fill all 7 of the frames we brought!

The now empty cabinet box.
I take my gloves off to take pictures - I ordered more stylus pens for my iPhone but they arrived an hour after we left  last week - and the one and only bee sting I got was taking this pic. I was excited to get it since bee stings are good for arthritic hands.
This particular bee stung me on the bottom knuckle of my right index finger.....and I still feel the sting with no benefits! I am writing this while sitting comfortably in the girl bunk and I just looked down and that knuckle and the one next to it are considerably swollen and red. When I finish writing, I'll go take a couple of Benadryl.

The bee vac was not working as well as it did on the Cedar Box bees....but Sherry was persistent and she got thousands of bees in there!

I love the hum......

We decided to put the new brood box we had brought - now filled with the comb and resources of this hive - on top of the cabinet where they were. The box has a bottom board and a queen excluder - meaning bees can come in and out but the queen cannot. She's too big to get through the plastic mesh excluder! We are hoping the queen is, indeed, inside the brood box and, if so, the other bees will go in as well. If not, then tomorrow morning we should find a ball mass of bees somewhere in this area with the queen in the middle of it. Hopefully, the bee vac will be working and we can capture them.
Beekeeping is complicated but we are learning more and more with every adventure!

I'm closing out tonight's journal entry - 6:00 in the morning comes early - and I really do need to take that Benadryl now!!

He is not worthy of the honey-comb
that shuns the hives because the bees have stings.
-William Shakespeare


Bluebird49 said...

Wow, I hope that we sting is better, Kinda. You all have a lot going on there, it seems. We got 3unches of rain since Thursday and the farmers are happy and so are we, for them.
Hope you feel more rested tomorrow.💕

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

I hope the bees enjoy their new home and do well for you. You all have certainly learned a lot in the few short years you've been bee keeping. I had no idea there were any benefits of being stung. Glad you have bender on hand.

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

Benadryl that is . It really does help.

MadSnapper said...

now I know I am not worthy to eat the honey I love because I most definitely would and always will shun that hive. glad there are people like all of you that are brave bee people. before air conditioning in church, when a bee or wasp got inside the church, as they did often, I would leave in the middle of daddy's sermon becuse of the swooping wasps. 3 days ago while walking Beau i heard what i think my bee a swarm of bees, it was a loud humming noise, i got myself out and we don't walk that street any more.

Changes in the wind said...

It is so exciting that you can rescue bees. I hope it is successful.

Deanna Rabe said...

You all have learned so much in the three years you've been bee keeping! I was surprised it was only three years!

I hope this swarm will make up for the one that got destroyed by the moths.

LC said...

Your intriguing post brought memories of a dear elderly but active family friend who kept bees in a Louisiana swamp near where his houseboat and my family's were tied up. He never used protective gear. He said the occasional stings helped his arthritis. I was a curious five-year-old, and he was extra patient with my dogging his steps and pelting him with questions. When he hatched a bunch of quail eggs and hen eggs, he had the baby quails in one huge cardboard box and the chicken biddies in another. He let me handle them and play with them.

Vee said...

You have one of the scariest jobs! I'd not be worthy of the honey. 😉

Hope your hand is feeling much better.

Luann said...

This reminded me of the only time I have ever been stung by a bee. We were stationed in England and I was driving the car to the base. Windows open on this glorious day and I went to shift gears and must have disturbed a bee. My right hand got stung and boy did it hurt. This was about 1980 so many, many moons ago. Benadryl even helped way back then! :-)

photowannabe said...

I sure hope your bee sting is better and you got the relief.
Rest can sure heal what ails us..
Your bees are fascinating and I am learning so much about them from you.
Hope the queen is there and a new hive can be started.
(((hugs))) to you and Louis Dean..what a wonderful pair you are..
Love Sue

Ginny Hartzler said...

Perhaps after the redness and swelling go down, it will start working it's magic! There is still hope! Our pastor cured his hand completely with bees. when nothing else would. He could not even shake hands anymore.

Debbie said...

you are the cutest bee keeper i have ever seen!! the kitties are adorable and the garden looks fabulous!!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I am always fascinated and amazed when you post about your bee keeping, and especially this second bee rescue. Those bees must have been living in that vessel a long time to have come across so many, a veritable boatload of bees. Hope the sting is feeling better, Linda. Always glad to read about the safety precautions you all take. Both cats are certainly well traveled now.

NanaDiana said...

Your 'babies' are so cute. Nothing like a kitty and a paper sack, is there? hel
I loved the bee-keeping story. My Uncle that lived one farm over was a beekeeper and always put hives on our property-usually where the clover fields were. I love clover honey. One year he put a couple of hives next to a field of sorghum and it was a dark, almost bitter, honey and I couldn't eat it. Oh- and those sweet little tin honey pails that held the honey and a bit of comb sometimes.

I hope you have a wonderful night. xo Diana

Carole said...

we got our first jabs today - it didn't hurt and so far no ill effects... Cheers

Wanda said...

Linda, I only have a minute....but YOU ARE WORTHY!!

Hootin Anni said...

It's exciting to read your "adventures"...such bravery. I'm allergic to bee stings (good thing I don't have arthritis). Hope you are feeling better and well rested