In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Swarm days are almost here!

 Five ways to tell the difference between honey bees and other stinging insects!

I get phone calls every year from people claiming they have a swarm of honeybees that they want me to come and get.  I'd guess 90% of those calls are not honeybees. I've already received a call this was not honey bees.  But in the next few weeks, it's possible you will see a swarm of honeybees.  They have a swarming season, and it's usually the end of April, or the month of May, in our area, depending on the weather.  I would like to show you some ways to identify honey bees.

 Last year I got a call from a friend who thought she had honey bees in her house.  She had something in her house, but these are NOT honeybees.
  They are yellow jackets or wasps and they made a mess in her house. 

1) Honeybees do not make this kind of a mess in a home.  If they get into a house, it's usually in the walls or the attic space and they will build wax comb, not this papery mess you see here.
  I suggested she call an exterminator.  Wasps and yellow jackets are not friendly.
(Look at the wasp on the screen.  The body is more jointed than a bee, and skinnier)

2) This (below) is what we used to call paper wasps.  I'm not sure if that is the official name, because I am not that knowledgeable when it comes to yellow jackets or wasps.  I am not a keeper of yellow jackets or wasps! 

Honeybees do not live here!

3) If you see something like this hanging on a tree, get the H out of there QUICK!  This is probably a hornets nest.  I did not get close enough to find out if it had a live nest in it!

Honeybees do not live here! 

4) Honeybees do NOT live in the ground.  I've had several people swear they have honey bees coming out of the ground, but they don't.

If you look at this picture I got off of the internet, you can see honey bees are a little more muted in color than wasps and yellow jackets and they are a little more fuzzy looking.  I know you are thinking you won't get close enough to tell, right!

5) A honey bee will not sting you unless she has to defend herself or her hive, and once she stings you, she will die.  Not so with a wasp or a yellow jacket.  They can sting over and over again and they don't die from stinging you.
 Most of the time honey bees will be on flowers, they only want nectar and pollen from plants.  Yellow jackets and wasps are carnivores (and junkavores).  They will eat your steak, your ice cream (they are the "crazy bees" that won't leave you alone in the fall) and they will even eat a honey bee!

Most honey bees are not found in the wild anymore.  However......
 If you see something like this (picture below) hanging on a tree, call a beekeeper or your local extension office.   They are honey bees and even though this is what a swarm usually looks like, it is not actually a swarm.  This happened to be a bunch of honey bees that built a hive on the outside of a tree.  They would never have lasted the winter. 

This is a swarm and it's probably the biggest swarm I ever retrieved. Usually they are football in size or bigger, if they are worth getting.
Here I am holding it.  Swarms are not mean.  I did not get one sting getting this swarm.  These honeybees are protecting their queen and looking for a new home.  Look closely and you can see bees flying around all over the place.  I was waiting for them to calm down, then I was going to put them in the cardboard nuc box until I got them safely home and into a hive that I had waiting for them.

This is another swarm.  Sometimes they aren't that easy to see, but you might hear them.  Or, if you're lucky, you'll see a "cloud" flying quickly across the sky and landing in a tree.  

 This is a horrible picture of me!  I think I was painting when this guy called me to come and get this swarm.   If you see a swarm, you have anywhere from three hours to three days to get a beekeeper to come and get the swarm.   SO CALL SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY!

We were standing under she swarm.  Which shows how docile they are when they are in swarm mode.
Here they are, hidden in the tree being all nice and quiet like.
If you are ever in a situation where you aren't sure, it's always best to call a beekeeper or your local extension office.  It's a special day when you see a swarm because it doesn't happen often, and it's very special to watch a beekeeper capture one.

I am connecting with Amy at  Five on Friday!  Click here to see what other bloggers are up to.

Cindy Bee

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five on Friday

  1)  Crochet group was a lot of fun this week.  I was trying to take a picture of these corner to corner blankets that Debbie and K are making, and Cheryl kept sticking her single crochet scarf in the way.
I just wanted the blankets, then I was going to get her scarf, but I think I might have hurt her itty bitty feelers when I said to get that scarf out of the picture!  Bless her heart. She wouldn't hold it up for me.
 2)  We celebrated her birthday anyway!

Do you know how good these little cupcakes were?   

3) Mom and Dad and my sister and I all went out for dinner.  There wasn't a special reason that we planned on going out to eat, however, I decided it was a celebration night because earlier in the day we got the closing statement from our attorney on My Shug's Mom's estate.  I could not be happier to get that finished.

 So I ordered a bottle of wine and LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT BOTTLE!!!  I asked him if I could take the leftover home.  Sure, but he has to cork it and staple the bag closed.   Hilarious!  Not that I would drink and drive or drink while driving, but I'm sure if I were that kind of person, this would not stop me.  Rules are rules though.
4) I know right, why am I showing a picture of a shower curtain.  Because I found it!  I found it!  I have been looking for it for quite some time.  If you would see the room we stored everything in when we moved into our little room in the'd understand.  We didn't need the shower curtain to take a shower, it has glass doors.  I just like the look of a curtain.  With glass doors you can see all the soaps and scrubbies and such in the shower.  And with a curtain it just looks homier.


And 5)  we made huge progress on the house this week.  We got the floor laid in the office/mudroom.

I'm connecting with Amy at Love Made my Home for  Five on Friday.  Click here to see what others have been up to.

Cindy Bee

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Retail Therapy

You know how it go shopping for a fun little gift for a friend, and you see something you really like.
 But you don't buy it because
 a) you don't need cute little bowls, and
b) you have too much stuff you need to get rid of. 

Then, the next day you meet your friends for lunch.  These are the friends I used to work with that we meet one time a month at a different restaurant in town. 

We met at The Fox's Trail.(hence the foxes)
The atmosphere was great.  It wasn't loud like some of the restaurants are. Have you noticed that?  Some restaurants sound like they put "canned loud talking" through their speaker systems.  This place was great for visiting.
 I thought the decor was pretty cool too.  There was a big rock wall dividing the restaurant part and the tavern part.
 But sadly, I've eaten there about four times and I've only had one meal that I really liked.  However, other people seem to like it, so maybe it's just me.  Usually, by the fourth time I've eaten at a place I have something picked out that I love at that place.   Besides decor!

After eating I had a couple of errands to do, and then I decided I did not want to come home to an empty house.

 I kind of have been in a and on....since I had my tooth pulled...and my eye fixed....and a few other  irritations, such as this weather FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!  Can it stop precipitating for five minutes of a day please.
So anyway....I went to a bookstore.  And I checked out the bargain area.

I really wanted simply Crochet magazine, but it just didn't look like something I would like this time.
But, they had this wonderful cake book on sale for $10!
 I love reading cookbooks.  Reading the history of foods and the traditions behind them are interesting to me.  And who knows, maybe I'll bake a cake or two.
  And this is the second publication I've bought of The Sewing Box.  It's a small, fattish, publication.  Kind of pricey though.  I almost didn't buy it, but there's something about it that inspires me.  It does have other things in it besides sewing.   It's really a mix of all kinds of crafty-ness.  Baking, re-making clothes into something else, a little bit of crochet, and more sewing.  And I bought an issue of Molly Makes, which I haven't bought in ages.  So, SCORE at the bookstore.

And I bought this kitchen towel at this very cute store downtown called The Jitterbug, because who doesn't love garden gnomes?  

 And I know...I did not need this, but I love it (it was singing to me as my friend Debbie says) and I decided I'm done fighting my purse addiction.  I'm just going with it.  I mean.... I'll try to hold back, but honestly, I just don't think I can anymore. 
 And here's the thing....I only went in for bowls!!!!!

But hey, I'm out of my slump!  Some good stuff happened today which I will tell you about later....but every now and then it's fun to have a little retail therapy!

Cindy Bee