Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In the BEEginning of the Year

We had three hives that survived through January.  

When it warms up (not freezing), we add sugar water feeders to supplement food supply.  

Doug checking the bees.  

As you can see it was a nice spring day.  Kayli and Aubri watched this time.  

New bees were a month from arriving, so we needed to get new brood boxes made and painted.  

We like bright colors.  

Painting is kinda messy, especially oil-based painted.  

We painted the boxes with time to spare. They needed to dry and air out so the bees would like them.   If they smelled like fresh paint, then the bees could swarm (leave the unfit hive).  

Inside the brood boxes are frames.  

Uncle Doug likes to use old fashioned wired D frames with wired wax in the hives.  
These require stringing wire through the frame.   

It takes lots of time and patience.   Doug says that we do it this way because he had to make frames like this when he was little, and now so do the girls (Kayli, Holli, Aubri).

If we string the frame correctly, it plays like a guitar when we pluck the wire.

Dean is in charge of adding the wax.  This is a fragile process because you have to weave the wax between the wires then nail it into place.

Once the frames are assembled, we pack them into the boxes so they are ready to go when the bees arrive.

Look at the progress we made.  

This is a IPM board.  IPM stands for Integrated Pest Management.   Dawn is a big fan of IPM.  By implementing IPM, you weigh the costs and benefits of implementing control tactics (biological, mechanical, chemical, etc.).   It also takes into account thresholds of pests to determine when to implement your control tactic.  

The IPM board goes under the hive to catch insect pests such as mites and beetles that we do not want in our hives.   If we count X number of beetles, then we can decide whether or not to introduce beetle traps for example.   

Kayli is reviewing the thresholds for insect pests of bees, so she can help later this summer.  

Kalyi making sure we have all the parts to build a hive for the bees.  

After all that work, Holli likes to clean up.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Muffin batter
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 - 1 1/2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
Streusel topping
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
Mix Streusel topping in small bowl and set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.
In another bowl, mix together milk, melted margarine, vanilla, and eggs.
Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until combined.  Add 1 - 1 1/2 cups of finely diced rhubarb.
Spoon batter into muffin tins; fill 2/3 full.  Sprinkle Streusel topping over top.
Bake muffins at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let muffins cool.
Makes 12 - 15 muffins.  Enjoy!

Kayli picking rhubarb.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

These Girls Work Hard too

The recent rains have left a lot of plants in bloom and the worker bees (girls) busy.
All the hives have supers (for honey) or have expanded to two brood boxes which support the queen, drones, nurse bees, and all the new baby bees.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Planting pumpkins and sunflowers

Pumpkins and Sunflowers

 We made hills to plant our pumpkins in.

 Kayli and Aubri busy making hills and planting,
 Holli planting pumpkin seeds.
 Busy girls.
 Kayli and Grandpa planted pumpkins behind the feed bunker.
 Riding with grandpa.
 Going to mulch the blueberries.
 Mowing the yard - go Darci!