Sunday, August 1, 2021

Winding Things Up......

 Our week here is done and we are winding up our projects and preparing to go home tomorrow.


One of the fun things Louis Dean and I did yesterday was to taste test all our honey from the past 3 years. 2019 was our first year to keep bees and we didn't harvest until August - which we learned is too late. Why? 

Because once the bitterweed and broomweed bloom - the bees use it to make honey and it tastes just about the same as the name implies. 

**Source**

Bitterweed......

**Source**

Broomweed.....

We had two hives in 2019 with two honey supers (boxes) on each one.
We kept the spring honey - in the lower boxes - separate from the summer honey which contained bitterweed. Notice the honey from that year is darker?

Sherry purposely mowed down the offensive weeds after that and we harvested earlier last year and this year to avoid the bitter honey. Once we have our honey, the bees can use all the bitter and broom weed they want because now they are storing up honey for their own use in the winter.
Since this year was so weird, we had no spring honey whatsoever. Only summer honey - mainly from.....


Horsemint.....


and mesquite blooms.

We both agreed that 2021 honey taste the best yet!!


Yesterday I proclaimed the Santa Express a done deal!
It must dry and be glazed and then I am going to take it to Amber so she can photograph it for my Christmas card this year. I can paint but I am not a good photographer!


Louis Dean picked and shelled purple hull peas and then I picked some more!
I'll go out in the morning for one last pea picking adventure before we go home.
We can shell them later.
I'm freezing them for cooking this fall and winter.


Now he's watering the black eyed peas!
They played out last month and we did a second planting - they are looking good!

Since Sherry and I had such an early morning on Friday, we slacked off on our bee work for Saturday and then went out to the apiary this morning before the heat of the day arrived.


While we did not NEED a smoker, we always take one with us just in case.
Sherry does all the heavy bee work - lifting the boxes and such - so I am trying my best to learn how to keep a smoker smoking! It is a fine art!


There's about to be another nectar flow and the beeyard has a good many flowers in it - right by the hives!


I never get tired of seeing our bees and listening to them hum.
We treated all the hives - brood boxes as well as supers - for small hive beetles.

**Source**

We have these little contraptions that we pour vegetable oil in and the hive beetles go in there and drown.

Our bee work is done - for now.
Next trip down, we will be building more brood boxes and supers and putting together more frames.
We still have 3 swarm hives to rescue - including one right here in the shop building next to the camper.
By October we should have 9 hives!
By the way, ALL 6 of the ones we have now look really good and healthy!!

My grandson, Levi, asked me to paint a picture for him!


I'm not finished yet.....this was just the first session of basing in but it was a lot of fun.
First time I've ever done something like this but I enjoyed painting it and look forward to finishing it when we come back down here in two weeks.


I love the sign Summer gave us a few years ago.......and it's true!
What heppens here WILL be posted on Facebook!!


These are two of Dean's favorite t-shirts and he thought I might do something artsy with them.
They are too fragile to use in quilts so I wrapped them around a stretched canvas!
Instant ART!

I'm going to close tonight's journal entry with photos of my brother, Lonnie......


Here he is with both of his sons.....


......and their wives and the grandchildren along with Michele whom he calls his 'Beautiful Bride.'
I love family photos and I love Lonnie and all his family and was so happy to see them all together.
I want to get a pic of me and mine this year. I don't think I have ever had one of all of us.


Oh, Happy Day!!!
Welcome August!
While she may not be my favorite month - she is the older sister of September!


14 comments:

Deb said...

Hi Linda. I am learning a lot about bee keeping from reading your blog. Fascinating. I love honey and now I know a lot more about it. I love the painting for your Christmas Card. I hope I am still on your list. I will look forward to receiving one - in a few months. Have a great week. Take care. See you again soon. :-)

Ginny Hartzler said...

Horsemeint is beautiful! Why does it have such a name? Surely not befitting it! Your Santa painting is spectacular this year! What a great idea to wrap the shirts around canvas!

Kathy said...

I am not a lover of honey. Joe is though. But I am fascinated by all of your bee stories. My brother keeps bees in Tennessee. You two would like each other.

I love your new Christmas painting. And what a great idea to put the t-shirts on a canvas. I am going to borrow that idea.

Bluebird49 said...

Ed "takes" a teaspoon of honey a day, to see if it makes him healthier. I think it makes him sweeter! ��
I love the instant art. I hope you get a picture of you and yours sometime this year, sweetie!
Love you!

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Wow, a great honey harvest Linda. So glad yall are doing so well with bee keeping. We still have some honey from our bee days and there is nothing like honey.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The Santa Express is my favorite now...of all the Christmas art you've done! WOW!

Changes in the wind said...

I never thought about the taste of the honey changing due to the flowers that grow around the bees but it makes sense. I guess I thought it all just tasted like honey. I was told the best honey to buy is the one from your own state. Your Santa Express turned out fabulous.

MadSnapper said...

from bee adventures to tales of the different taste of honey to painting and watering and shelling peas, your life is one wonderful adventure. and we know it will be shared. and love that. i did not know about the different taste from differnt flower until you became a bee keeper

photowannabe said...

Oh you must get a photo of the entire family together..It will be one of the most precious you will ever have.
Love your Christmas painting...absolutely fantastic.
Your Bees keep you busy as bees for sure. I'm glad they are doing well and this years harvest is tasty.
Safe trip home.
Sue

Carole said...

Thanks for the lovely update. We had wild wind over night but luckily no big trees fell down just some little branches! Cheers

Wanda said...

Linda, there is something about your Santa and Train that are just magical!
Good old black eyed peas. When my parents came to California from Oklahoma, they saw a field of blackeyed peas and ask the farmer if they could pick and buy some. He ask why they just wanted a few since they were "cow feed". No, where they came from it was "people" food...HaHaHa.

Love all your sweet family pictures, and your little bees!! Also love the picture of Louis Dean in his chair watering the garden.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

The Santa Express painting is wonderful, Linda, and will make a great holiday card even more so because it is one of yours. Thanks for al lthe info about honey and bees and the various plants and their effect on the produced honey. I know you and Louis Dean will e glad to be home again until your net trip to the ranch.Nice to see you brother Lonnie and his family too.

Buttercup said...

Great post. I like honey, but knew just about nothing about what it takes to get honey. Thanks for enlightening me. Your Santa Express is great. I've made a resolution that I am not to buy or print new cards this year. 2021 is the year that I will use what I have on hand. Don't know if I will stick to my resolution, but will try.

BeachGypsy said...

hOWDY there girlfriend! Hope y'all are doing fine. I love reading all about your all's comings and goings and doings!--and your time in the pretty country! and the BEES!!--wow, I've learned alot about bees from you! I love all the country pictures and I can scarcely keep up with y'all whether y'all are back home or back in the country...ha ha ha LOL! Lots of good things from your garden! I love seeing garden things and what people grow. Ours is doing great, we had green beans (not so well) LOTS OF TATERS, we have "maters" and the onions taste SO GOOD THIS YEAR. Also the red peppers, I do love them so! We have other things too but those are our best growers. It's been so hot and rainy here, it somes a good summer thunderstorm every single day this week. The flowers love it and we don't have to water, ha ha. Y'all take care, hope to see more posts soon and yes--your Christmas train painting is real pretty!!! hugs!