Glory Downs Farm

Glory Downs Farm

Friday, September 30, 2011

If you leave it- they will come.

After taking apart the hive split (bee's gone and wax moths present) I put the equipment in the driveway. Using my hive tool to scrape the old honey comb out I had some left on the tool. when I was done dismantling the equipment, I placed the hive tool near my door knowing the bee's would sniff out the honey- but I didn't realize how fast they would. Less than a minute.

Beekeeping first year is coming to a close. In about one more month I will seal up the hives and pray that the buggers will survive the winter.

That is if they survive the month.

Upon opening the hives today to feed I found these things.

1. The biggest sugar ant nest I have ever seen ( no stretching of the truth like usual) on the inner cover. 
2. Bee's with withered wings. (look this up and it will tell you your bee's have been subjected to nuclear holocust of some sort while you were away)
3. Small Hive Beetle. Yup. They are there. Eating the bee's sugar syrup.
4. Wax moths in the experimental hive split.
5. Bee's with a rather rouge attitude.
6. Queenlessness?
7. Moldy inner covers!
8. Varroa Mites?!

So after seeing these possible and somewhat very serious problems with the two remaining hive I came inside and sat down trying to think of what to do.

My first instinct was to look up "first year beekeeping failures," to see if there was anyone else out there that has had a first year like me.  There wasn't, really so that didn't make me feel better.

The second thing I did was try to change the subject in my mind to something else like puppies and kittens, but that only led me to keep looking out the window to see what the bee's were doing.

Thirdly, it was to blog about it. Surely, sharing my inner thoughts about my failures as a beekeeper will make me feel better if people I might not know read about it.

so here we go.

Confessions of a First Year Beekeeper.

The bee's keep me humble.  I can look back and blame the heat that caused my first hive to swarm. And I can blame the month of rain that cause the mold to grow on my inner covers. But what it comes down to is learning. And these sweet golden gals have taught me many good lessons over this past year. I would get deep into what exactly they have taught me but I would be merly repeating my previous blogs and I am not one for repetition. But the one lesson that I can say I am walking away from them with it is humbleness.  

I went into beekeeping pretty confident. It was something I wanted to do for years. When I finally got the gals I was then confident in them to do what God has programmed them to do. But I quickly realized that just like anyone else- they need help. And if I wasn't feeling particularly humble on the day of visiting- a sting would put me back in check.

So what am I to do now?

I can treat the second hive with a pesticide for small hive beetles, that is unsafe to handle. Why then would I want to injest the honey afterwards? And with a cub on the way- this Mamma Bear needs to think of these things.

As for the possibility of the hives being means a start up all over again and about a hundred bucks to gamble with. They could kill her, or she might fail.....

Moldy equipment. I totally am gonna blame that on the month long rain session we have been having. Yup. Not gonna take the blame.

The mite problem......dude- I don't even know what to look for~? *sigh

Sugar ant nest the size of Mt. Helen on inner cover.....I brought that over to the chicken yard to clean it up. My hens were hired hithens for the afternoon.

Bee's with rather rogue attitude. Well, we all get em. I'll let that slide.

Bee's with withered wings. I just don't know if its mites, or the bee's age. I just don't know.

So what is the supposed beecharmer to do about this?
I don't know yet.
First thing first, is to see if there is a natural small hive beetle trap to at least try and save the hive. As for the queenlessness- employ my loving husband to help me check for them, since I can do heavy lifting anymore. (The hive boxes can weigh a good amount of weight.)

And when it comes to next year- get new hives. Go into sophmore year with a better understanding of the bee's world. Be a little more prepared for the amount of work that goes into it.

Would I give up on beekeeping now that there is a baby on the way? No. I dream of the day when our cub is out in the bee yard with me learning the lessons that I am learning. Seeing God in the golden creatures that help the flowers grow. And eating sweet honey like Our Savior did so many years before.

The bee's future is still undetermined. They could surprise me and pull through healthy and strong. But until them I will tend to them as I can, and in the most natural chemical free way too.

So first year beekeeping fail? Sure- in some ways yes. But, would I have given back all the experiences? No. way.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

TIPS ON FEEDING A FOX; From the fox's perspective.

When the fried chicken you had the other day was just sub-par to will then, also, be sub-par to the fox.

"Where's my hotdogs woman?"

(from Lauren; "Yes folks, Ash took the fried chicken off the steps and took a bite. Realizing what I realized (a bit sooner than me) that the chicken was just not- that- good.

I later found a half eaten corn cob in the yard.........Maybe Ash would like to have me feel a bit guilty today for not supplying him with his hotdogs as of late, and would like me to see that he had to resort to eating corn. Lesson learned and hotdogs will be supplied tonight.")

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yellowstone Bear Bum!

This little scamp was on the road we took to drive up the mountain to our ranch. We stayed at Montana Buffalo Ranch Co. on Cinnabar Road in Gardiner, MT.  The bear showed himself on the last day we were there:)

Glory Downs Farm: Gunslingers.

Glory Downs Farm: Gunslingers.: Its been awhile since I last wrote. But then again I haven't had internet access while in the wild west, exploring the frontier. My family...


Its been awhile since I last wrote. But then again I haven't had internet access while in the wild west, exploring the frontier.

My family and I went to Yellowstone this past week. We stayed at a buffalo ranch in Gardiner, MT, and we were celebrating my Mom's five years being cancer free.

To sum up what Yellowstone, Montana, Wyoming,  would be: "a crescendo to one of God's symphonies."

Every morning I woke up my breath was taken away....

I will be posting some bear, geyser and buffalo video's shortly, please stayed tuned:)

Friday, September 2, 2011

why do beecharmers wear white? Cause we are crime fighting, bee vigilante's?!?! Duh!

I was out working with the hive this morning when a robbery happened.

I thought that it was possibly my fault.

 While in the smaller hive (the spilt from he Buckfast) I was checking the frames to see if they had any queen activity or if they had at least made a "emergency queen cell," which- thankfully they had. You see I have named this hive "The Island of Misfits."  They were the split from the Buckfast. The hive was split with high hopes of the Buckfast NOT swarming (which they did anyways) and this split (which was given multiple queen cells) to form a new and operating hive (which they didn't.)  The hive now (before I reintroduce them back into their original) is kind of an experiment. They ARE capping the unfertilized brood they have made. And they DID (finally) make an emergency queen cell. But until then I'd like to see what they feel like doing. which doesn't seem like much. SO while in there today taking inventory on them, my hive tool slipped, decapitating a bee and breaking into some honeycomb. I thought to take advantage of the situation and taste the honey. (Not the other end of the bee.) What I did though- which is prob bad- is wipe some honey (a small amount) on the entrance of the hive.  This here would give the bee's (or other bee's) something to eat. So after closing up my hives and hanging with my lady hens for about twenty minutes, I turned around to see this.

I thought- ok. This is robbery. No panicking aloud. This "Island of Misfits," IS and expirement-lets see what they can do. I did wipe honey at the entrance, so maybe this provoked a robbery.
Its kinda like hanging your prized jewelry collection on your laundry line.

I figured it was the big, strong Carniolan hive doing the robbery ( and that is a normal thing, for a big hive to rob a smaller, weaker hive) when I saw this----

The Carni's!!! Under attack!

Watch from their view point ( again) what an attack looks like! Watch as no specific flight pattern is present. At the end of the video there is a barroom brawl with some yellow jackets!


Oh the dram!
My Buckfast hive ALSO under attack!

Have no fear though- As I peek out the window to see what's going on, all is calm.

I plugged the entrance with some leaves to help the bee's in the hive ward off the hooligan bee's.

My thoughts are wandering to ----"what beehive DID come and try to rob?"

Could it have been the Buckfast that previously swarmed?  "They," say that when a Buckfast allows a queen to be superceded it could produce and unruly bunch of ladies.............

hmmmm. Could they be back for some ass kicking, honey stealing, turf wars?

Those cats!

Hold the applause and drop your draws!

Robbery! Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Boxer Dog.

Somedays you just don't feel like tucking in your bottom lip.

An up close shot of "Her Nastiness."

Hope your not eating right now-

Sorry- couldn't help BUT share...

I look at my leg as if its an alien.

Its both fascinating and disgusting.

Please enjoy.

Picture Pretty! If your name starts with poison and you cause terrible blisters.

Don't look like much does it?

But this bitch of a plant has kept me up at night. 
Has caused my leg to look like pizza, and not the good kind. More like the regurgitated kind. 
And now requires me to go on steroids.

I itch all over.