Monday, May 23, 2011


We have a new lilac in our "row of lilacs". It's called Charles Joly.  Double blooms of rich purple make it very different than the standard lilac.  And here are a few more pictures of the lilacs in bloom. I never get tired of walking out in our yard and having the wind spread that wonderful smell!!

Nothing new to report on our bees.  They are busy coming and going from the hive. We did get to see several on our flowering apple trees.  So that was good to see.  Can't wait to see if the Queen is laying eggs.  We'll be able to see that in another week or so.  We're not supposed to bother them by opening the hive.  We don't want to discourage them from their work.  One other worthy mention is that the Orioles have been coming in daily since that first time a couple of weeks ago.  And yesterday I saw a pair of bluebirds!  Don't you just love this time of year!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Queen has been set free!!

Yes it's true!!  The Queen's subjects have successfully freed her from her box!  Yeah!!  The picture isn't great, but you can see the small hole at the end of the box.  That was filled with a sugar plug which the drones had to eat in order to free their Queen.  We were also able to see that they are already building wax in the hive. 

Yesterday we kind of thought that she might be out of her box.  There were a few dead bees in the box that they came in.  We saw bees dragging out the dead ones and pushing them out over the edge onto the ground.  They were definitely cleaning house and we thought that the Queen was already giving orders to tidy things up!!

Hopefully all will go well in the next couple weeks.  The next clue that our hive is thriving is to see that the Queen has laid eggs.  Isn't this exciting??  We think so anyway.  Stayed tuned for the next update!!  Have a beeutiful weekend (sorry I couldn't resist)!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Bees are in the Hive!

Since it was so cold when we got the bees on Sunday, we had to wait a day to put them in their hive.  We sprayed them with sugar water to make them happy first.  Here is my husband Gene in his bee suit ready to get started.

It's not as easy as you might think.  To try and get 10,000 to 12,000 bees in that little box was interesting.  Needless to say I stayed back (since I don't have a suit) and took pictures (believe me I was ready to run if needed)!!  Several of them decided to hang out on Gene's suit!!  They were all over him.

Then comes the Queen.  She arrives in her own special little box with a few of her drones (will just call them servants).  They are supposed to help her eat the candy plug on the other side to get her out among her subjects so she can tell them what to do like any good Queen would do!!  We will check back in a couple days to make sure she made it out.  If not we will need to intervene and get her out.  Otherwise, the whole swarm could just fly away!!  I'm not sure you can see her but she's about twice the size of the others (big enough to boss everyone around).

And finally, here is the hive completed.  We needed to put something heavy on the top so that the raccoons or other critters won't break in.  Tonight Buddy (our lab) went up to the hive and took off the other way.  He didn't get stung, but he knew enough that he shouldn't be around there. 

I'll be back in a couple days to let you know how the Queen's subjects did in helping her escape her little box!! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our bees have arrived!!

We have decided to raise honey bees.  If we get honey that will be great. But we are hoping that they will help pollinate our fruit trees, vegetable garden and flowers.  We picked them up today.  We got one 3 pound box, which is somewhere around 10,000 to 12,000 bees.  That is a lot of bees!!  It was pretty strange riding back in the car knowing that there were that many bees in the back seat.  There were even a few outside the container.  But we arrived home safely. 

It's pretty cold here today, only in the 40s, so we're going to wait and put them in the hive tomorrow.  They came from Georgia so I think this weather will be some what of a shock to them.  There is so much to learn about them.  Stayed tuned.  I'll be back with more pictures as the summer unfolds.

Red Raspberries

We planted 25 red raspberry bushes on Saturday.  Don't they look great??  Can't wait until it's berry season!!  Yumm....

Monday, May 9, 2011

OMG!!! We have Orioles!!

We don't get a chance very often to see Orioles.  But tonight there were three males that came in to feed on the oranges.  I could not believe my eyes.  We were sitting in the sun porch eating dinner and in they came.  They are so beautiful!!  The three males were fighting to see who could feed on the oranges.  So after they left we put out a few more and they came back several times to feed.  I hope they return so I can get some better pictures.  This is as close as I could get, but feel lucky to have not one but two in the photo!!!  So exciting!!