Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Queen's of Outback Farm

This afternoon, when I got home, I grabbed my long sleeve white shirt, bee hat, hive tool and smoker. Went to the Garden hive first. The bees were out and about, but most were in the hive. I have to say, these bees are very docile, calm bees. I have lifted the lid almost every day to check on them and they never even buzz loud. So I set the smoker down where the smoke would kind of swirl around and I could get to it if I needed to. Took off the lid and the top board. The middle frames are stuck together, so I took the hive tool to pry them apart so I can lift them out. Still nothing going on in the 4 outer frames. Some bees on them, but no construction. I lifted out each frame to find the queen. I didn't see her anywhere. One of the frames was really heavy with honey. So I put it back together and went up to check the other hive.

That one was busy, with bees flying all over. I took off the top and took each frame out. It was sunnier up there, so I could see better. I cannot see anything with that hat on, so it was off. I saw a lot of reddish-orange (pollen? Honey?) in some of the frames. Some capped frames. Lots of busy bees. And I found the queen! Her back end looked like a caterpillar abdomen to me. Long, pointed and no stripes. She was all over that frame! Very big. It looked like little larva in some of the cells. And some shiny substance, maybe royal jelly? I have no idea what I'm seeing. Or what to even look for. Anyway, they all looked great. So put it back together and went back to the other hive to look for the queen, now that I saw the other one.

And I found the Garden hive queen, in the middle frame! She was much bigger than last week. And very busy too. The frames did look different from last week. So I feel better.

And I've decided, instead of putting down those really cool Congolium tiles, to just paint the plywood floors in the little house. The tiles would cost nearly $750 for the whole house. I can get a couple gallons of paint and do it for about $50. I can do stripes, or squares. And put rugs down. Anyway, lots of ideas for my little studio-shop.

Tomorrow is farmer's market day. I pick all morning, wash and bag, or tie, or put in totes. That takes all morning. Then get it all ready and in the car. It's literally an ALL day thing, this afternoon market. I am worn out. I finally made dandelion jelly that jelled! So I have 7 jars of that to take. And just made 9 little jars of plantain salve. I have sold all that I made last week, so needed more. Also had an order for 3 crocheted wash clothes and soap for gifts.

And we are going to start a farmer's market just 5 miles South of me, at Mt. Cove Farm. On Sunday's from 1-3. I sure hope it takes off and is successful, so I can go to this one instead of the Sat. market 30 miles away. I might not get to go to this first market this Sunday because the shearer from Atlanta is supposed to come here Sunday sometime to shear my poor very hot ewes.

The guy who bought my sheep last week called. He needed to know how to get to my house. I almost freaked out. I asked him if he was bringing the sheep back? He said he had to go to my friend's farm a little past me and couldn't remember how he got out here. Scared me!

Still haven't sold any goat kids or does. The 4 kids running together are the 4 doe kids I'm keeping. Aslan, Jewel, (Sandy, to the left, is their mother) Emmy Lou and Merry piper. The other kid is one of the triplets, a buck, Pete. He's so cute. I love his color. The other buck is almost white, Tom Dooly. Then Emmy Lou's big brother, Woody Guthrie, is the other buck. They all need to go. All the kids this year are so friendly.


Iris said...

Sounds like a busy afternoon on the bee farm! Glad you found the queen! The little goats are so cute!

Kris said...

Thanks, Mom!

Betty Ann said...

Wow!! You are a busy lady! I so miss Kristin's bees. I am happy to hear of your successes.

Betty Ann said...

Please see my comment re: painted floors on your post prior to this one ;)