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Posts Tagged ‘feeding’

Bee board holding pecans

Hello everyone. Just wanted to take some time to catch you up on our happenings. First off, yard treasures. This past year we had an amazing pecan crop when many others didn’t. Between bee work, candle making, construction and living life, Mark and Tang picked up pecans. We had a little help from family visits and a LOT of help from our dear friends, Mr. & Mrs. Savior. Boy, that man can climb trees still and he is up there in years. I was very little help really as the cedar has been trying to hurt me as it does every year about this time. After harvesting the pecans, we took them in batches to Brookes Pecan of San Antonio. They did a great job for us and while we wait for the final total, it looks like we are either first or second in terms of hauling in the most pecans, measuring by pounds brought in and shelled. Whoa! That’s pretty cool. At this point, I can safely say it was over 1,000 pounds. Exact number coming soon.

Here’s a second yard treasure for you (pecans being the first) – Colombian coin in the yard! It’s so pretty. I love the beautiful flower tree on one side of the coin. It’s the tree of life, which is what one of our ornaments is named! Meant to be, I tell you. So neat to find little treasures, both edible and not.

Colombian coin found in our yard

In construction news, we are happy, worried, anxious, eager, and all the other emotions that people must feel when they are spending a ton of money to build a dream. There’s always something unexpected though not always bad, so that’s nice. It’s good we’re near the end of building because we’re also dwindling away funds and while we did set aside funds for this, it’s still a little scary, right? 🙂 Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, please. We can’t wait to get in the building so we can see how far our journey will continue to take us. We have power; we have concrete landings; we have some landscaping dirt and gravel; and we have a builder ready to finish out the inside. Ahhhh!!! There’s still more landscaping work to be done but it looked so wonderful tonight when I walked out back to see the progress made today with fill dirt and gravel. It’s going to be so wonderful when it’s time to move into it! What a joy it will be to work in all that space and to have the things you need better organized.

Today's look at our Honey House

One more shot regarding building and construction and things you have to do to make the City happy. Such as build a sidewalk in front of your place of business. This one deserves a post at a later date so for now, I will leave it at this…the men were out front researching and figuring how to meet requirements and also not have to take out the lovely trees at our entrance. We’ll keep you posted.

Researching placement of the required sidewalk

Finally, I will share a one of the pictures I got from Tang and Mark as they check and feed bees. This is the first batch of drone brood for the season and it’s exciting because it means the hive is starting to grow and that’s always a great thing. It’s a sign of good health. Yay bees!

First drone brood of the season

Quiz time: What else do you see in the above picture that is noteworthy?

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Permits posted at GBR

Here’s our entrance to the Bee Ranch. The two papers posted are permits from the City of Seguin so that we can be officially in our construction and so on. We also had people out to mark all the underground things we need to be aware of – it’s 811 if you need to schedule that, by the way.

After an evening of worry over a plumbing issue that Mark noticed Monday, we got moving again after a fairly painless resolution was found the next day. Phew. We continue to learn a LOT as we get the Honey House built (this is how I found Mark after dinner Monday night: Recalculating plumbing measurements). Boy, talk about an entirely new awareness and appreciation for building projects. Can’t even imagine the coordination and administrative work of a really gigantic warehouse. But maybe it’d be less stress if you had on-site help daily. We are thankful, however, that we have a good friend who is acting as our construction consultant. Thank you, Thomas!

Rebar in the foundation

This is a shot of some of the rebar that concrete will be poured onto soon. What’s really awesome is the fact that the rebar going into the HH foundation is from our local steel mill where I work (CMC Steel Texas). Go steelers! I don’t know why but that just made it extra special for me when I saw it on property and in the form. At lunchtime, the update was sounding really great: plumbing work is done for now, the foundation crew returned (yay) and then the electrician comes next. This is all so exciting and we really are hoping we’ll have enough done on the HH so that we can stage it a bit for Holiday Open House on December 8. Fingers crossed!

In bee news: Last week the Bigfoot bee yard bees did not look good at all. It really worried Mark to see their frames empty of honey already given that the area had rain recently. He expected to find more but since he didn’t, he started pulling together plans to feed the girls to sustain them until they can go at it on their own. Still trying to figure out why they went downhill like that. Fortunately, a visit to Comanche Creek yards assured us we weren’t about to lose all of those hives as well. Mark was happy to see #1 yard bee looking pretty good. #2 yard will need to be fed but at least they are all still there. He wants to get back out there as soon as possible to feed, but given this critical stage of construction, he needed to stay around the Bee Ranch. Measure twice, pour once…as a friend wrote to us. He is right. We need to get this right for the HH. 🙂

That’s it for now. Next post, I’ll share some shots and directions for the best baked persimmon dessert ever! 🙂 Ciao!

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Winter pollen is a great thing to see

Today was finally warm and dry enough to get out to the Farm bee yard in order to check on and feed the new hives we picked up this fall. We’ve had several nice rainfalls lately so you have to think about how muddy the yards are and whether or not you can maneuver a truck in and out without getting stuck. The Farm yard is a good one as it is pretty easy to get in and out without much worry in the upper areas. We have several hives set up in a lower section of the grounds and that may be a different story. It’s great seeing all the pollen the bees are bringing in – a nice change from the pollen-less summer. This bee was carrying some of the brightest pollen I’ve seen this fall – not sure what flower it’s from.

David feeding the bees

We continue to feed these new hives that we purchased and placed at the Farm Yard in late October. They were short on stores for the winter, so we’ve scrambled to get them some food so they can keep themselves warm. Our challenge is to bring them through the winter alive, because if we do, they are going to have a field day with all of the spring wildflowers that are already starting to sprout from our abundant fall rains. The good news is that the hives are putting on some much-needed weight from our sugar syrup feedings — and, there is more rain in our forecast!

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Sugar water, pollen supplement & mite treatment

No, I’m not talking about Chinese food – bees don’t do Chinese. 🙂 But they do like pollen and nectar but since there’s not much of either around, we have to feed them what we got. So, I like this first shot because it captures the triple delight that the bees are getting served right now, as we endure the hottest weather of the year so far. There’s sugar water going in the internal feeder, pollen patty (soy-based pollen substitute + sugar water) and powdered sugar. They eat and drink all of it and we’ve been able to help them survive this brutal summer.

When I snapped the shot below, it was because I liked the way the Mesquite pods contrasted against their dark surroundings. I also liked the reflective surface of the water because it sharply contrasted all the other matte surfaces – powered sugar, wood, bee box. But when I loaded the pictures into Flickr, the picture made me think about all the recent folks who have contacted us for some advice on helping the bees by giving them a place to come for water. I tell them what Mark taught me – always give the bees a place on which to light so they may drink without drowning. I NEVER thought about that before I met my beekeeper but it makes sense so now we put little sticks or these pods in the feeders. People seem to appreciate us sharing that with them because it never occurred to them either. Always nice to share information with folks.

In-hive water for bees

And here’s a bonus for you. I wasn’t planning on using this last shot but when I think bees and water, I always enjoy looking at a certain series of shots I snapped a couple of years ago in our backyard when we had a few hives back there. This is a galvanized pan that we had put under the water spigot to capture dripping water during lawn watering. Worked out well for the bees and I enjoyed watching them. They take the water back to the hives and use it somehow for cooling though I don’t exactly how they use it.

Bees drinking water

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