Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Birthday SBW......

It is important to be at peace on the day of one's birth.
So..... for Scott's 42nd birthday, we ventured to Wilbur Hot Springs in Williams, CA.

Welcome to BLISS land.

We soaked.
We made yummy food.
And we woke up to the birdies talking and the sun shining.
We hiked and saw the most beautiful wildflowers popping everywhere.
And we celebrated the magnificent Scott B Ward.

Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver

Hello, Sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of tulips
and the nodding morning glories.
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety - 

best preacher that ever was,
dead star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light-
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Swollen Bee Stings

A honey bee that is away from the hive foraging for nectar or pollen will rarely sting, except when stepped on or roughly handled. BUT honey bees will actively seek out and sting when they perceive the hive to be threatened, often being alerted to this by the release of attack pheromones.

In the past few weeks we have gone through the hives several times, and each time Scott has been stung.

Once to the forehead. Look at that right eye. Like a bruiser he swung but missed - the bee won. He was super stoic with minor whines..

And again one more time to the ankle. Left ankle normal. Right ankle oddly enlarged. But Scott was still active on it...although pulling a sock over the width was tough so he stuck a pin in it...fsssssss

This is how it works:
The stinger is barbed so that it lodges in the victim's skin, tearing loose from the bee's abdomen and leading to its death in minutes.
The bee's sting is speculated to have evolved for inter-bee combat between members of different hives. 

The sting's injection of apitoxin into the victim is accompanied by the release of alarm pheromones, a process which is accelerated if the bee is fatally injured. Release of alarm pheromones near a hive or swarm may attract other bees to the location, where they will likewise exhibit defensive behaviors until there is no longer a threat.......MORE adventures in beekeeping to come.........

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day beekeeping adventure! bzzzzzzzz.........

Flowers and bees are a perfect match. Bees gather nectar and pollen enabling plants to reproduce. 
In turn, pollen feeds baby bees, and nectar is turned into honey to be enjoyed by the bees and everyone!

While many kinds of trees and shrubs are bees' prime source of pollen and nectar, a wide range of flowers contributes to bee development and a bumper crop of honey.

Did you know that many weeds actually are great bee plants, including the pesky dandelion, clover, goldenrod, and purple vetch?

 Each source of nectar has its own flavor. A combination of nectars produces great tasting honey.

AND bees love California Poppies!

Today we went through the hive.
It has been a month since we went through it, and hive A is humming along....hive B is another story....