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!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Preparing for winter

I got a comment from Fi the other day saying she wanted some of the old Christmas lights.

I was thinking Fi, you could knit some like I did! Then you don't have to worry about the old wiring. I have the pattern...somewhere...

After I was inspired (see last post) early Sunday morning, I realized I only had a few hours to finish a project for my sister. She bought a couple of hand made gifts from me for Christmas presents, and I had yet to finish them. So Dixie,

And Winston,

and I relaxed by the fire and I started knitting. It felt so good to knit again. aaahhhhhh

And I got the projects finished in time. A scarf for a young girl and a matching scarf for her American Girl doll. I also crocheted a couple of flowers for these little felt bags. All gifts for people on her gift list. She is giving everything local made or hand made this year. Sunday afternoon we went to her daughter's dance recital. Then to Barnes & Noble bookstore to peruse the magazines. I'm so addicted. Anyway, Sunday was a relaxing day, but...

So much for relaxing....Today I was talking to a friend on the phone and as I was doing some housework, making the bed, I gasped right in the middle of the conversation.

Is this fuzz or mouse poo?!?! Lordy people... I couldn't tell. I got a tissue and picked it up and threw it in the toilet. Then I stripped the bed immediately, put the sheets in the wash, and tonight I had My Shug help me take the mattress off the bed. Lest any creature be in my mattress. If he's there, he wasn't stirring....(get it - tee hee - not a creature was stirring not even a mouse!) Ok, not funny. I'm drinking wine so excuse please. I'm hoping the wine will help me sleep tonight.

Anyway, today was a beautiful day, in the 40's, with sunshine. But remember the storm I told you about that we had the other day? We not only lost power, but we lost a few trees in that storm.

And one of them fell in my bee yard. My Shug and I spent a couple of hours on Friday night cutting them up and stacking them for wood.

And as you can see, the end of the tree landed on this hive. I was not happy.

You see, bees cluster in the winter to stay warm. If that cluster is broken, they will freeze to death. Well, I still had hope for them since it was the end of the tree, but....when I went back in a couple of days, the top was off the hive. Now, every single one of my hives have bricks on top of them to discourage animals from opening the hive. All of them, except this one. Why? Why wasn't I thinking? Because when I went back, the top was completely off of this hive and on the ground. I don't know if it had been that way for an hour or a day, but since today was nice out, I decided to do final preps for winter and check this hive.

Dead. And from the looks of things...I can't tell if they froze to death or starved to death. There was a lot of honey in the super above this cluster. I don't know....I just know they are dead. So sad.

Now, this is a candy board. I don't make these, I order these from another beekeeper friend for $27.50 each.

I bought four of them because I have four hives that do not quite have enough honey to get them through the winter. These boards go on the inside top of the hive. When the bees have eaten all of the honey all the way to the top of the hive, throughout the winter,

they will start in on the candy board.

I hate opening their hives this time of year, because it breaks the seal they made to keep their hives from getting cold air in them. So I re-seal the hives with shrink wrap.

Here is a close up view. The plain wood is the candy board. It doesn't look like it in the picture, but that top lid is over the inner cover and it's all wrapped clear up underneath that top cover.

So they should be nice and warm, and hopefully they'll have plenty of room. The only thing left to do is relax by the fire, and knit, or crochet, and wait for spring.

Cindy Bee


  1. Mrs Bee....Either you have some serious lent between your toes when you go to bed.....or looks like you've been sleepin with vermin

  2. Love the handmade items. Hope the bees are happy and healthy this winter. P.S. I think it was fuzz.

  3. Hi Cindy .. from experience I can tell you that mice don't tend to leave one isolated bit of poo ... there's usually a few in the same area. So I think this was probably some sort of fuzz / lint or whatever! I had a horrible 6 months living in a rented farmhouse that had quite a large mouse population while I was trying to find a house to buy. Hate mice ...but also couldn't bring myself to kill them, so we used a humane trap and Andy had to cart the mice out as far away as possible before releasing them in a field. I'm sure they just came back in!

    Sorry to hear about the bees.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about the bees that's so sad. Now about the bed it looked like lint. Your sister good for her I wish more people would shop that way.
    P.s. He's mine...sorry!

  5. Unless that mouse had been eating dryer lint... I'm pretty sure that is not excrement. Maybe a yarn mouse poo... but not a real living breathing rodent... rest easy.

  6. Cute Christmas lights on the mantel. The real big C 9's are on our house. Matt wants to have the most lit house on the road. So far so good ;)
    The knitting projects are adorable.
    Thanks again for the education on bee hives. I have become more appreciative of the bees and honey because of your education. I hope they survive the winter.

    Winston and Dixie are so darn snuggly!

  7. Dear Cindy,

    I sent you a nice comment for this post, but when I checked , blogger has eaten it up! where has it gone.....



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