Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Things Are Buzzing

May has arrived and there is so much to do all of a sudden.  Even since I took this photo, the woods have burst into leaf and the wildflowers are everywhere. 
The grass in the pastures is knee deep with only 3 alpacas to eat it, so I will be on the tractor mowing soon.  We had some extremely warm weather this past weekend and now it has turned around and feels much more seasonal.  But it is enough to make me start planting and preparing gardens.  

 The asparagus is coming on nicely and we enjoyed some last week sauteed in butter with ramps and morels.  The root bulbs of the ramps are minced and sauteed, then I added the asparagus and morels and when everything was nice and tender, I threw in some of the ramp leaves chopped up fairly fine.  Quite yummy.

I have planted some herbs outside in the herb garden and I may have to cover them overnight this weekend as we may get frost.  I have sunflowers  and cukes sprouted in pots on the back deck and am waiting for tomatoes and peppers to come up.  Lettuce, arugula and spinach are starting to come up in the garden and beets have been planted.  

Mom came to visit this weekend.  She brought the ashes of Luca, her Springer Spaniel, and we buried them up at the pond.  He loved that pond and I think it will be nice to think of him being there.  While Mom was here I took her out to the stalls in the horse barn, which have become a storage area, to show her the new front door Sam got to replace the ancient drafty one that is probably 50 years old, and we discovered that the barn was full of bees.  Honey bees.
There were bees in these bee boxes I had stacked in there last fall with intentions to deal with them this spring. 

There were bees clustered on the the window (this photo was taken after dark once they settled down).   There were what seemed like thousands of bees in the air, coming and going through the doorway.  This was on Sunday afternoon.  I was pretty sure it was a swarm of bees and that they had likely been attracted by the stacked hive boxes which still had frames of drawn comb, though no honey, in them.  

By Monday morning, this is what we had going on.  Those bees are not covering anything, that is a solid mass of bees hanging on the ceiling and support beam above the stall divider in the barn.  No doubt, this is a swarm.  So while Sam was at work on Monday, I prepared a hive box and when he arrived home we decided where to put the hive and then Sam stood on one side of the stall divider and held a box and I climbed up onto something on the other side so I could reach the bees and I brushed and scooped them into the box.  We then took them to the prepared hive box, into which I had placed frames with drawn comb and one with honey and some lemongrass oil, and I dumped them in.  Then we went back and scooped up some more bees and dumped them into the hive as well.  We will see if they stick around.

My dilemma is that there are STILL bees in that box in the barn and there is STILL a cluster of bees in the window. And during the day yesterday there were STILL large numbers of bees coming and going through the barn door. Is that a second swarm?  This evening I will delve into the box in the barn and see if we need to set up a second hive.  I really thought I was done with bees.  But it seems as though I am not yet meant to be finished with them.

On Friday, Grover and I have a private agility lesson over near Columbus.  I am excited about this and hope we can get some good input on things we need to work on.  I would like to do this monthly and have homework to do between lessons.  And then the next weekend, the 12th to the 14th, we are going to an agility trial in the Cleveland area.  This is a new venue for us and we are going with my friend/instructor from the Club, Sharon.  So next time I post I hope to have lots of good runs to share.

I am still working on the same two weaving projects.  The exciting news is that I have started to move things into my studio!  So far just my sewing machine table, drum carder table, and a plastic bin organizer with some of my weaving stuff in it.  Moving my loom from Rowdy's room will be a chore, even though it folds up, but maybe Sam and I can do that this weekend.  I am still trying to figure out storage and shelving, etc.  But it is every exciting.  

See the frog?
Grover among the Trillium


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