Friday, July 16, 2021

Gardens and Bee News - Good and Bad!

I have a country morning routine when we are here at the ranch.......
I take my first cup of coffee out to the front and walk around our gardens.
I see what's growing....what's ripe.......what might need some attention.
I just  realized that I do this when we are at home, too.
Just one day last week, I noticed a plumbago that was getting too much sun so I moved it. 
Looking and admiring nature is a good way to begin any day - city or country!

I'm ridiculously happy over my lavender and I go out to smell it every morniing.
I counted 10 melons growing on that same mound of sandy loam soil.
These all grew from the seeds we tossed over there after eating the watermelons from last year.

After my stroll around the yard - and Louis Dean has managed to grow a nice little lawn area, too - we pour our second cip of coffee and do our Bible reading followed by Dunkirk which we are reading aloud together.

It's a ristic set up with TV tables and an ice chest foot stool - and our weapons of war!
The fly swatters!!

Flies are part of the country life and we use these little umbrellas for protect our food.
And I never eat outside at night!

I settled down to do a few hours of art.....

This is a cheat painting!
It's a printed canvas I picked up at a Goodwill and it had faded some.
I simply painted over it with my oils and the colors I already had on my palette.
Much better!!!

Louis Dean was a happy man playong in the dirt with his tiller!
Plus he mowed a good bit outside our fenced area.

After lunch, I went down to spend the afternoon at Sherry's.
She works from home and I set up a work station for me to put together some brood boxes.

This weekend we have three different swarms to capture.....
One is in a microwave, one in a boat and one in a wall.
So we need three brood boxes.

By the time she got off work, they were all done.
We decided to go over to the apiary around 7:00 to inspect the hives.

The summer flowers are fading but new ones are showing now.

The first hive we checked was Hive #4 - the weak queenless hive that we had dumped the cedar chest bees in two weeks ago,

Alas, it was a horrible mess and a total loss.

The wax moths had destroyed the entire hive....
brood box and supers!

We sure hated to see this!

All the bees are gone and we have a mess to deal with.
Dean says we will put the frames in with the chickens and let them clean them off.


They love the fat white wormy looking wax moth larva!

WE decided to go ahead and inspect all the other hives......and in the future we will inspect struggling hives more frequently.

Thankfully, Hive #6 was the strongest one in our apiary and had an entire super of 10 frames full of honey!!

You can see they are busy working to cap it all with wax. 
This would be harvestable as it is, though, since the honey is set and if you turned the frame down and shook it really hard - the honey will remain in the comb, which means you can harvest it.

We found one other hive that had 4-5 frames of honey so now we know that at least we WILL have a harvest, albeit nothing like the one we had last year.

So- out of 7 hives, we lost one to wax moths, one hive is doing really well and another is doing pretty good. The others are healthy and drawing the comb out but there is no honey in the supers.

We regret that we didn't taste the honey this evening while we were there.
That's tricky to do since we were suited up but I managed to do it last year!

This is extraction time, however, we have decided to give the bees another two weeks and we will harvest what honey we have at the end of the month.
We risk getting some bitterweed honey by waiting and the bitterweed IS blooming.
We just hope our bees are eating the good stuff.
I suppose when we do extract, we will sample each and every frame by taste testing it before spinning the honey out.

So, as sad as we are at losing the hive we worked so hard on just two weeks ago, we are thankful that we WILL get at least some honey this year!



Bluebird49 said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry for the loss. It was heartbreaking to see. I'm glad you can wait another couple of weeks.
I hope you're both feeling well!

Hootin' Anni said...

That's a shame to lose some, after all the work the bees did & You tending the hives.

Love your war weapons!!

Enjoy that country I envy you.

BeachGypsy said...

Howdy there Linda, so glad to see y'all enjoying your time in the beautiful and peaceful country! Loved all the pretty pictures, the flowers and all. I know you are so happy there. Them DANG WAX MOTHS THOUGH!! Hang in there, next time will be better. You asked if I got my hair cute and nope I didn' looks short in the the pictures because on HOT HOT DAYS I get so hot and sweaty and agravatted with it, I just twig it up with clips, barettes, whatever I can find, ha ha ha!! LOL Happy weekend, have a great one y'all!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Bee keeping is a full time job for sure. Loved seeing your pretty honey in those frames.

Vee said...

Very disappointing to lose the hive after you worked so hard to rescue it. I like Louis Dean's idea of feeding the remains to the chickens. They'll make short work of it.

Fun to see you painting!

Changes in the wind said...

What a treat to throw seeds over and get the real deal:) must be some really good soil. Sorry for the loss but at least you tried to rescue it and fortunately they flew the coop and hopefully started anew.

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

Win some loose soon. Nature has a way of providing. Good luck with setting up the new hives. Hopefully you will harvest lots of good honey.

Deb said...

So sorry to hear of the loss of one of your hives. I know you work so hard with them. Good to hear that some of the others are doing quite well. Good luck with the new hives. Have a good country weekend!

photowannabe said...

Glad you checked out the hives and now as sad as loosing the hive...the chickens will have a feast.
Glad you will have some to harvest though.
I love the picture of LD working the tiller..he's one happy man at the Ranch.
Your paintings are looking fabulous...and oh my those melons just from seeds...way to go..just a wee bit jealous though.
Hugs to you and enjoy the weekend.

Debbie said...

it seems bee keeping is a lot of work, but it interests me too!! it is disappointing when things don't work out!! i just want to work in my garden too...enjoy working in yours for me!!

Ginny Hartzler said...

Sad about the bees. How many do you think died? Those awful moths! I love your red loveseat! I am still enjoying your beautiful background!

Carole said...

Great poster. did you know that our most famous NZer was a beekeeper - Sir Edmund Hilary Cheers

Carol said...

Sorry for the loss of the one hive, but I am so thankful that you and Sherry have developed such a love for bees.

Rain said...

Hi Linda :)) I love your Rooster, cheat or not! :) Your breakfast looks great, I have those dinner plate tents too. I love your morning routine! :)

Wanda said...

It's sad when something you've worked so hard to keep, gets ruined. It really looked sad. But as others have mentioned, the chickens will enjoy the larva.
I agree, Louis Dean is such a happy camper when he's playing in the dirt!
You plants and seeds and melons so remind me of my growing up years. I do miss that since I became a city gal.
I love your routine, of your daily Bible reading, and reading books together.
I can't believe I'm half way through the Bible in my One Year Daily Bible Reading.
Enjoy your time at the ranch and thanks for all the stories and pictures. Love your art!!!