It’s Honey Time again

I went back through some of my old photos.  We’ve evolved for sure over the last 4 years of bee keeping.

It’s time to go get the honey.  I hope we have a good harvest.

It’s amazing how honey can be so different, from the light and sweet to the dark and smokey.

Bees are pretty cool.

I think they will get coal this year

Image from Facebook.

Back from the bee yard

I smell of wood smoke and honey. I’m sweaty, tired, and swollen.

Limping a bit from the 8 stings this weekend.

The first 5 yesterday left my heart racing, probably from the adrenaline. The three today just ticked me off.

I’m getting an Epi Penn before we go back out.

Why they like my left thigh, and backside?……Those girls are wicked. I think some of that venom went straight to an artery. Two stings on top of each other. I’m polka dotted with dark pink 5″ diameter swollen marks.

If they hang their stockings out….They are getting coal.

Haven’t they heard “don’t bite the hand that feeds you?”

Or in my case, ‘butt’. They tore me up yesterday and today as we feed them for winter.

It takes the ultimate patience to get over being stung by the bees I strive to keep alive.

Momma might order some new queens for Spring…..time for a regime change in the bee yard.

Santa, Can I get some new Queens for Christmas?

Running away

I ran away yesterday afternoon to my favorite Garden space, The Arbor Gate in Tomball, TX.

Wandering around amongst the plants, in a nearly deserted nursery I got to touch all the wonderful herbs,and see all the beautiful things.

The bees were a nice surprise.

I’m so grateful for time to see, touch, and enjoy the wonderful things of nature.

A Day in the Bee yard

It’s been a really dry August, and everything is struggling. We are supplemental feeding and keeping an eye on the stressful hives.

It was a crunchy day in the country. I was concerned on the cracks in the soil and the level of the pond. But we’ve got some rain coming. I hope it soaks in well.

Today I’m grateful for a little rain in Houston. I love the sound of rain.

Let’s hope the rain makes it 100 miles west. We need it there too.

Chainsaws and bees

 

We are always very careful about running loud machinery around the beehives.  Bees are sensitive to loud vibrating sounds, light in their dark hives, scents that they don’t know, and any other thing a female group could be sensitive.  Just saying, this is a whole lot of girls to keep happy.

Imagine the surprise at opening a log with a chainsaw, and not being immediately attacked?  What?

The friendliest bees in S. Texas are were in a log, and now they are getting comfy in a box with all their brood, bees, queen, and some sugar for being so sweet.

What amazing creatures.

I’m so grateful for this experience.  Even when it doesn’t go so well, or when we get together with some Kranky gals, I’m still amazed by how they work, what they do, how they produce, and how sweet they can be when I least deserve it.

Have I been stung, you bet.  Did I deserve it?  Mostly, but sometimes these gals are just horrid, and it takes some management to get the disposition of the hive to turn.  Yep, it’s a Regicide.  The queen is a gonner if the hive gets mean, because she is the driver.

Do I understand, Nope?  I’m just working the best that I can.

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This is a photo I took a few weeks ago when we were feeding.  She smelled the sugar on my hands and stopped  by to see what was left.  No stings, no fuss, just a drop in to see what was up.

I really like my bees.  Isn’t she beautiful?

I’m also very grateful that most of my encounters with bees have been quite pleasant.  They are amazing little creatures.

Beautiful day in the bee yard

The sun was mellow, but the heat was inescapable. 


The girls were really busy bring in the golden rod nectar and pollen.


Then I got a special treat.

I got to see a book from 1901 on bee keeping.  It is so cool!


It is so beautifully written, and the photos and illustrations are magnificent.  

What a great treat to hold this piece of history in my hands.

Our first few frames of honey were plucked up this weekend.  So we will be getting sticky putting that goodness into jars.

Have a great week!

I’ve got a few things on my mind

First!  I’m so grateful that our lovely blogging buddy Diane from Ladies who lunch came through her surgery well, and is resting and recovering.

Cheers to you and your boobs!  Just in time for Save the TA-Tas month.


Image credit Pinterest.
Second. 

I finished up my full second week of work still smiling.  I’m a happy girl, actively employed, enjoying getting back to my industry and friends.  I lost some of my desk “stamina”, but I’m sure with time and practice, I can get back in condition.

I’ve forgotten how to pack….so I’m scrambling to get ready to fly to Vegas for a convention.  I may have overpacked.  Fortunate for me, there is great shopping where I’m headed!  That way I can bring a second suitcase home?  I might need to rethink this.


I’m not a gambler by any stretch of the imagination, so I hope I get to Coddywomple around the strip and people watch.

Our group is at the Luxor.  Between the Pyramid, the Eiffel Tower, and the dancing water at the Bellagio, I will have a lot to see.


Cheers all!  Have a great weekend.

Have or Had

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Image credit:  Gratitudehabitat.com

 

There is something about 2 am.  I get these unusual sparks of energy.  Sometimes creativity comes to tap me on the shoulder, and my mind is off and running.

We spent a hot, muggy, Saturday in the Bee yard.  In the heat, you can feel the blood pulsing through your veins, every heart beat seems like a bass drum banging in my chest.  My ears thrum with the pressure, as the sweat pours down my face, neck, back, and chest.

I appreciate cool water, and cool breezes.

The heat doesn’t bother the bees.  They seem more active than ever.  Each hive has a flurry of activity.  A steady stream of bees landing on the front porch, and taking off.

Bright yellow and white pollen dots their back legs, and fills their pollen baskets.

Prying open the inner cover of The Hive.  (The one where we placed our big swarm captured last spring.)  I have a huge smile on my face.  I look up at my husband and say, “Can you smell the Honey?”

The whole hive is perfumed with the scent of honey.  Pulling frames, we can see how busy these girls have been, and that the recent rains have given them a mid summer opportunity to pack away some sweet nectar.

Riding home from the bee work, sweaty, dirty, and tired.  It’s a good tired.

I’m grateful for the strength and health to work the bees.

I’m grateful for the rain that has brought out natural forage for them.

I’m grateful for a little piece of property where we can get away from the hustle-bustle, and hang out with little critters who make honey.

 

Apitherapy

The hubs and I attended a summer clinic yesterday put together by our State Bee Keepers Association.  

The big topic was Apitherapy. I’ve kinda joked about my venom therapy whenever I’ve been stung in the bee yard, but it’s a huge thing.  Go figure.  My unintentional venom therapy might have some really useful benefits…. Other than Gwyeth Paltrows beauty regimen.  My stings never made me feel better, but I don’t suffer from chronic pain.

But!  Would you do it?


Palestinian bee keepers in the Gaza Strip. Image credit CBS News.

I don’t see any exposed skin there, do you? 

So I dug in to find out what this trend is about, and there is a National Apitherapy Association. Some Chiropractors use Apitherapy on their clients with spinal arthritis.  Some Acupuncture professionals use Apitherapy for Lyme disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments.  In reading a little of the info, it is even suggested there are benefits to the central nervous system. I really looking forward to learning more.

Sources: What is LymeApitherapyKeeping Bee

One of the attendees at our function, a bee keeper from Marshall, Tx, was so excited over her results kept she showing me her hands. They were straight and strong, no bent fingers, very dexterous.  She’s had rheumatoid arthritis since her early 30’s and had to retire at 40 because she couldn’t perform her job as an electrician anymore.  She took up beekeeping, and found that the more she allowed her hands to be stung, the straighter her fingers became.  Anectodal, I know, but really interesting.  Now she raises bees to sell for Apitherapy, and encourage me to consider the same path.


I guess my question du jour, is could you do it?

Would you do it?  Do you know anyone who has?