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!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Random garden stuff

Aren't these the cutest ears of corn evah?  My neighbor gave them to us.
 Look how they all fit in the pan so nicely...and they were yummo!

 And these cute little tomatoes....I'm tellin' ya peeps....we've had some cute food lately!
I grew the maters myself!

 And check this out!!!  I'm getting my gardening mojo back!  EXCITING!!!!!
That's my compost.....

I set up my compost bin in the bee yard. You know I'm not playing when I go into the weeds and drag this baby out!  I have a plan. 
And when I take my Dixie Doodle for a walk every night, we I carry the compost bucket to the compost bin. 
 I've made my compost bucket convenient.  It sits right beside the trash can.  
And My Shug says, (Use man voice here) "If that starts attracting gnats I don't want it in the house."  
(Use sweet girl voice here)  "OK Shug." 
 (then Mumble voice here) "it's not like the trash doesn't already attract them, but ok."  

We are living in a basement peeps.  I know...I know I've told you.  I've decided to call it a studio.  We are living in the studio apartment of our house...heretofore it will be known and called "the Studio."  There isn't much room for a compost bin, but I have decided that in life, if you do not make things convenient you will not do it.  Hence, the compost bin needs to be beside the trash can.  So does the recycle bin, which will be today's project.   I'm certain the recycle bin will not attract gnats.

And now for the flower portion of this Random garden post...

This fairy garden has turned into this!  I've got some work to do.
 Tropicals are looking lovely
 My friend, Patti Beck, gave me some flower starts, and they are looking good!
I haven't taken you on a tour of her place yet this year, but I will.  I always get wonderful ideas when I visit her garden.
 And I do have a plan.... of my faves.  (below)  I know, it's so simple looking, but I love it.   I'll tell you why.  I first discovered it on a trip my Shug and I took to Mackinaw Island, Michigan.  I've loved it since.

 The flower petal fell and it looks like butterflies...
 This soft looking vine is called Love in a Puff.  It has very delicate white flowers on it, and later in the summer the flower will turn into these puff balls with seeds in them. 
 The shady side of the house isn't so robust or colorful,
so I put her in the garden to help brighten it up!

  Four O'Clocks.  I don't know how they know, but they usually open around 4:00.  I went out to see if they were open now because of the rain (clouds) but nope....closed up.  
And I've always got to sprinkle in a few herbs.  This is fennel...or maybe dill...they look so much alike.  They are for the butterflies...not me.

 And for my garden tea party that I probably won't even have this year,
but maybe next....when I get the camper done.  Which I haven't had time to work on because I'm working on house stuff, and extracting honey.  (Reality Jayne - jeeeeeesh - she wanted to know why the camper wasn't finished yet.  Hellllloooooo?)  Just so you all know I haven't been just goofing off extracting honey, building bee frames, trying to keep the studio clean, you can check out the house blog.

Anyway, I've been going through this slump off and on since we moved, but right now....
I feel good nanner nanner nanner naaaah
And I knew that I would yeahhhh...

Cindy Bee

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A post of it's own...almost!

 Remember when I said what was in that other bag deserves a post of it's own.  LOOK at this wall hanging that a friend made for me!
 The details....little embroidered paths that the bees took.
 All of the little bits of material are bees, flowers, honey comb....
 All of the bee buttons are different!  She had to collect everywhere she went.
 Little tiny squares sewn together.
 A cute pink bee.
 The bees coming out of the hive...look at the buttons.
 I think this is the most stunning wall hanging ever.  She made it for ME!  She put it in our local fair and got a Reserve Grand Champion (I think that's what they call it).  She also got a Grand Champion on another quilt.  I was meeting her at the yarn store and she was showing us her fair entries and in a very nonchalant way I said, "Oh I need that wall hanging!"  and she said to the other girls,  "I made it for Cindy."  I was speechless.  I don't think they've ever seen me speechless before!  Bee-You-Tea-Full is what I say!  And THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Gotta get busy...I'm painting these this morning, and extracting honey this afternoon.
These 'things' are caps and bases for our columns.  $47.00 bills a pair!  I had the big one!
And this is the picture that was supposed to go through on my Ipad on that last post.  I did go back to sleep, btw!
Cindy Bee

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I love nature

Just a quick post I wanted to share. Of course the effect won't be the same. I'm in bed, looking at blogs on the iPad, coffee on the nightstand. The only light I have on is the one beside the bed. You should hear it outside. The sounds. You see in the picture we have big windows and we can open them down or up. Since we are in our 'studio' apartment in the basement, we open them down. I feel like I am in the middle of a forest right now with all of the sounds I'm hearing. A coyote howled off in the distance awhile ago. I hear a rooster crow from a far away distance. He hasnt stopped in at least 15 minutes. Every bird imaginable is waking up and I have a choir right outside my window. I wonder are deer around the corner having a breakfast of clover.  Are my bees starting to buzz.  My head wants to go for a walk. My body wants to stay right here!  My body wins!

Cindy Bee

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Buy, Sell, or Trade

Guess what all
 of this stuff
 has in common?
(earrings from Unexpected Elegance at Horton's French Flea Market.)

 And guess what's in the sacks!

Commercial Break
 I have honey for sale for those of you who live near me.  I don't mail it because shipping is almost as expensive as the honey.  I don't use chemicals on my hives and I don't add anything to the honey.  It is raw, unprocessed, right out of the hive into the jar honey.
1 pound squeeze bottles are $6.00, and quart jars are $18.00

SO you are thinking...but what does that 'stuff' all have in common?  What's in the bags?
I'm not going to leave you hanging......completely.
All of the beans, alpaca roving, blueberries, cukes & zukes, and earrings, were all items people TRADED me for honey!  I have never had a year where so many people wanted to trade, but I have found it to be a lot of fun! 
(actually, the cukes and zukes were free, he traded the green beans, and there was enough to freeze 17 -2 cup bags, plus cook up a mess of them.  And the blueberries....yum.....5 pounds....gone in three days.  I froze one bag and we ate the rest!)

And in the bags....
This material was in one bag.  A "yarn store" friend gave it to me for curtain material for Coral Belle!  The day I was picking out yarn for a blanket to make for Coral Belle, she was sitting at the table knitting away....and she says, "you know that picnic checked tablecloth pattern?"
"Well, I have some material that would match that yarn, your camper, in that checked pattern.  You could make curtains out of it for your camper.  Do you want it?"
Huge excitement for me!  "YEEESSSS!  I will pay you for it."
"No.  You can have it.  I didn't know what I was going to do with it.  Now I know."
I traded her some honey for it.

And the other bag...well it deserves a post of it's own.  It just does. 

Cindy Bee

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How I take honey from the bees hive

My cousin, Vickie, suited up the other day and helped me extract honey.  
When I was looking at the pictures on my camera, I noticed that she took a few.  I think there might be enough pics to give you an idea of the extracting process from the hive end of things.  I have never been able to show you, because I've never had anyone able to take pics while I take the frames.  At one time I did a post on extracting honey, after it's taken from the hive. But here is how you get it from the hive to the extractor.

 I keep bricks on my hives.  It makes it harder for the deer and raccoons to knock the lid off of the hives.  And yes, Susie (She Junks), a raccoon will completely ruin a hive.  They will not only eat the honey, but they will eat the bees too! The way you can tell a raccoon has been in a hive is there is a pile of wings in front of the hive!  Apparently wings aren't tasty. 

Now, see how in these two pictures, (above and below) both hives have two hive bodies.  The hive bodies in the above picture are painted light green.  Above the hive bodies are smaller 'boxes' called supers.  These supers are where the bees put the honey.  Some hives have more supers than others because when the bees fill a super, if I don't extract it, I add another one with empty frames to give them more room.
 You use a hive tool and pull the outer cover (lid) off of the hive.  Usually the outer cover is "glued" down by the bees with something they make called propopolis.
Then you pry the inner cover off.  Same's "glued' down.
  Then you start pulling frames.

You want to make sure the honey in the frames is capped over at least 90%, if not completely. 

 Here is a close up of the frame I am holding above.  it is not fully capped.

 If it is capped over, I gently shake the bees off of the frame in front of the hive.  If you look closely you will see bees flying around all over the place.
 If there are bees left on the frame, I gently brush them off with a special brush made just for this purpose.
This frame is completely capped
so I shook the bees off, and gently brushed the rest off.
 When the bees are completely off of a frame, I walk it over to the truck which isn't far from the hive.  I put them in an empty super (the box you see me holding here) and put a cover on it, so the bees cannot get back on their frame.  When someone helps me, as Vickie was doing, I have them do this job.  She also kept the smokers going.  Once I have two or three supers full, I take them to the garage where I continue the extracting process.  But first I put the hive back together, minus a few supers.
 In the garage...
See how I'm taking a serrated knife and slicing the cappings off of the frame?  That's how you expose the honey so you can extract it.
     This is the link to the rest of the extracting process if you want to check it out.

Cindy Bee