Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Day Late!

I finished painting my wooden ware today. Packed it up in the car and went to split my girls. Again.
When I get there I noticed that they weren't as busy as they had been... Uh-oh!

So I go ahead and open the hive. The hive is so empty! And most of the swarm cells are open! Oh no!

Drat! Well, I had all this stuff in the car, so I added another medium to it, alternating the frames that are in the hive with empties. So now I have 2 medium supers with alternating frames of brood. They sure aren't crowded now. -_-

There were still a couple of queen cells, so I pulled a few frames and put them in a new deep super. (The medium super cell is gone.) I brought the new super over to the Walkers', but I may bring that one to another home. (I'm waiting for a call back.) Then I checked the Walkers' nuc. Thank goodness, it looks great!

The queen cups are open.

And they have larvae!

 I did move one frame over to the new hive, checking very carefully for the new queen. I still haven't seen her, but the signs are good!
 I need to make more deep frames and get them into a deep hive body. Can't have them getting too crowded in that nuc.

 Here's my car after the move:

Beekeeping is exciting!

After everything was moved and done I spoke to Kate, she told me there was a cluster of bees in the little garden in front of the hives... Last night. Yep. *headdesk* They swarmed yesterday. Maybe I can put up "Lost" signs. "Have you seen these bees?" "Please call!"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Making Splits

 Remember last week? When I made a split from the "Wild Hive"?
I got a text, with a picture of the hives, and all the girls were hanging out, outside.

 So I checked on them today. They have no less than 6 capped queen cells! These girls are determined to swarm! There are 2 in the medium super, with the rest in the deeps. I'm going to split them again and bring some bees over to Nancy's. She said she wanted some bees in her yard. =) I'm going to pull the medium super, and make it into a hive by itself. Then, I'll split the deep into either 2 or 3 hives. (Depending on how many deeps I can find in the garage!) If they need to swarm after that, I'm going to let 'em.

 The other hive is doing just fine, not quite as strong, but they've been happily playing "Queens in the Corners". None had eggs, so no worries there.

The downside to splits, is that you get less honey. But the upside is that I'll have more hives, so better odds of having some surviving the winter, (Even if I need to combine them later.) and likely more hives to work with next year. That's the hope, anyway. =)

 From now on, I'll be calling that hive "The Queenmaker". =D Wish me luck with my splits!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gnomes Book

Guinea Pig nibbles.

 The SBN on the cover flap is the one that matches Amazon and but the SBN that's *in* the book doesn't match anything, anywhere. Maybe because it's from the U.K.?

Edit to add: This book has found a new home! Thank you for looking!

What's New

I've decided that I like the liquid laundry detergent better than the powder. With the powder, I worry that it doesn't all dissolve before I throw my clothes in.

Plus, it smells pretty!

We've had a lot of rain, but the plants are loving it.

And in bee news, this is Gabrielle, she's one of my Adopt-a-Hive families at New Pond Farm.

This is her first hands-on with the girls. She getting more comfortable with them. =)

After I finished at the farm, I went and took care of my girls.

They are packed to the gills, so I pulled a few frames. Three from the wild hive, and two from Daves girls. The wild hive had two capped queen cells, so I used that frame and started a nuc.

I moved the nuc over to the Walker's house. They've been waiting for some bees! =) Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the nuc in it's new home, but I will tomorrow!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

Made the liquid detergent today. It wasn't as difficult as I thought. I made the mistake of putting the FellsNaptha soap in first... I thought it needed to melt. It should have gone in last.

The soap looks like it did last time. One half a bar.

Added the Borax and the washing soda. One cup of each. 

Boiled it for 15 minutes. Carefully! You don't want it to boil over!

Then I added a few drops of lemongrass oil, and poured it into empty detergent containers. It's supposed to gel when it cools, and you should shake it before using.

My only gripe is that it destroyed the inside of my pot! I guess I have a soap-making pot now. I just  
need a new cooking pot. 

This is the pot *after* it was cleaned! The bottom coating is just *gone* and the insides look trashed as well. =( I hope this stuff works!

In other news, the thrift shop gods smiled on me yesterday. =) I found a pot that I've been looking for, for a friend. I brought it home, scrubbed it up. Now it looks as good as new! 

Paid $45 for it. It retails for around $300. Thank you thrift shop gods!

And when I got home, my salt had been delivered. 

It's hard to see in my pictures but it's pink! It's 10lbs of "Real Salt" sea salt. Now I can play with fermenting a little bit.