Monday, August 5, 2019

The Honey Blog

Honey Harvest 

Over the weekend we did a thing that comes in near the top of my "Coolest Things I've Ever Done" list. We harvested some honey!

Selfie with Hives
Wylie brought home some hives early in the year, and arranged to get queens and workers in early April. Cool! He set everything up, and got the bees into their hives. A queen comes in a little box with a sugar plug. There are a few bees with her, who chew on the sugar plug, releasing her into the hive.  Along with the queen in her box, there were a couple dozen workers in the larger box. There was food and water in that box, and once the queen and her helpers got out of the queen box, there were the others waiting to get started. And then the action began!

Of course, we don't get to directly observe most bee action! The queen gets busy laying eggs, and the workers stay busy attending the eggs, prepping the brood cells, and keeping things orderly in the hive. We stand on the outside going "Wonder how they're doing." 

We have been curious, because we have two hives, and in the heat only one of them has been "bearding" This is when the bees congregate outside the hive, collecting together en masse, and looking like a beard, truly. They do it when the interior of the hive gets too warm, and we, watching from the outside, thought there was a huge population in one hive, while the other colony might be dwindling because they just don't beard. But Wylie checked it out, and found that indeed, the non-bearding hive was flourishing as well. 

Wylie Suiting Up
Some equipment
The time came to harvest some honey. Wylie got his helmet and gloves on, and carried the new boxes and slats out to the hives.

Lifting the top box off, and examining the slats, he found brood in the first four slats that he checked. We don't want to disturb the brood, so he left those slats. 

Brood Cells have dark domed caps

Checking Slats

Before we started
After opening the hive.
THAT is bearding.
Gently brushing bees off into the hive

Little dude emerging from brood cell.
We got back to our processing area, and found that some of the honey was really dark, while other honey was pale and yellow. We figure this must be from different sources of nectar. 

One slat that was 100% honey on one side had about a dozen brood cells on the other side. We didn't notice the brood cells among all the honey, or we would have left that frame in the hive. We could see the baby bees chewing their way through their domes, and I felt so bad! A few escaped before we put their slat in the extractor, but they didn't have other bees around, touching them and making them part of the hive. I did feel bad. 

Slats going to be brought to the extractor

Though we didn't get stung, we did have bees in our faces, and at one point I had a security detail herd me away from the hive. Mostly when bees hover nearby they're just sorta checking you out, but I had three or four bees come at me while I was watching the action at the hives. They were really in my face, bouncing off my head, and generally being much more...assertive...than a normal honey bee. I took the hint and moved away, and they let me be...except one. He wasn't happy until I went inside the house, and he escorted me all the way to the back door. 

Helpful Hint: Waving your hands at bees whose hive is being disturbed does NOT make them go away.

the extractor
Honey pours. Thank you, Bees!

The extractor is centrifugal, spinning the honey right out of its cells onto the walls. The honey then drips down the walls of the extractor to the base, where there is a "honey gate". Can you see the filter in the bucket? 

The filter is much needed, because there's wax, propolis, bee legs, and whole entire dead bees in there. They love their honey and some of them hung out around our processing area the whole time we were working. Of course they'd try to light on the honey and OF COURSE, they would get stuck in it. There was no saving them, and again I felt bad. 

Wylie did eventually put both gloves on

We lifted the filter out and tied it to a broom handle. Then Wylie twisted, and sort of smooshed the honey along. The recommendation is to leave it to strain, but we had nowhere to leave an open bucket of honey so... The filter keeps out the bee parts, etc, but pollen is able to get through so our honey is considered strained, not filtered. Pollen and the enzymes naturally present in honey are left, making it a more complete food. 

The flavor is unique, again because their resources are varied, unlike the clover honey available in grocery stores. It's a stronger flavor, with depth or tone. I felt like it was a wine tasting. Another difference, at least in the several samples I lifted from the edges with my finger: Grocery store honey does NOT have bits of wax in it! 

We estimate that we had a harvest of about 3 1/2 gallons, and had enough jars for 2 gallons, neat and tidy, and looking like champagne. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

UMT Using MY Tangle!

I accidentally deleted my post! Thankfully I had it saved on another blog (which was also by accident but thank goodness I had it)

So this is the replacement, minus the comments it had received :(

Well tickle me pink! The Diva Challenge this week is UMT, and my tangle, Mezzanine, was selected.

Mezzanine Stepouts

But first, let me show you pictures of my little baby grandson!

Bring it, World!

Watering the Garden
he is 17 months old and yes, he is a pistol! My little sweet angel baby. Orion.

Now, this is my entry for the Diva Challenge...I'm going to play some more, because it's been a long time since I got this out. But doesn't it just look like a bottom? LOL I didn't mean to do it that way, but with the shading came the curvaceous hiney. And there's even a "Tramp Stamp" hahahaha!


Even though I haven't posted a blog entry for ages (thanks to a cranky old slow corrupt laptop at home) I have been busy with several groups on Facebook. 

A Start from Spring Taylor

My finish.

This is a tile swap from the Traveling Tangles Project. The month was June, and the theme was Blue.

The Jungle Invades
We moved to a new place, from a tiny 600 sq ft one bedroom, into a duplex with shared kitchen (My mom's place. We were able to put a bathroom in the basement, but no way could there be a kitchen) and one of the first things I did after the move, was to make some tiles. This piece was left over from that, and I tangled on it, thinking I'd cut it down to two bookmarks. But then it looked pretty good as-is, so I left it. 

using a list created by Stephanie Jennifer of the TTP
and borrowed by Square One Zentangle

For Inktober this year, I am posting to the FB group Square One Zentangle. I joined them very recently to hone my actual Zentangle and white, on a tile, with shading. 

Day 1: Mooka

Day 2: YAH
with other Y tangles

Day 3: Ginili

Oreo Face
My Adorbs Babay

And with that, I am done for now. 
Thank you for reading, and commenting. Comments make me happy!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Short and Sweet

Trying this from my Amazon Fire. Let's see how I do!

Orion turned one! Can you even believe it!

I'm sure mom will appreciatappreciatee the genuine wooden mallet!

Yummy cake!

The Joey challenge combined really well with the Diva challenge: use auras. Turned out fun, and looks like some floating seedling on a calm eddy.
Pickpocket. Reminds me of trees
with their arms around each other.

The button technique

From the Traveling Tangled Project. The start from Megan White was so ribbony. I loved doing this one!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Celebrating Amanda Day

It's been a fun couple of weeks. Including the tangling I've been doing.

I started with the Diva Amanda Day challenge. Rummaged in my recycle bin and grabbed a drink mix box (I do NOT drink this stuff, Wylie does)...broke it down, and the four elements spoke to me: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air.

Earth is green
Water is blue
Fire...a Sunray!
Air is white and black

The Air panel, that strip of white Tipple is actually the glue from breaking down the box. Arundel is the pattern, which reminds me of a window, to look out onto the airy sky?

Fire is a sunray string in orange tones. I aimed for swirly or curvy rays. Alternated with black.

Water is mainly Crest, with some Bublz and Tipple.

Earth is Dublin, Pokeroot and Pokeleaf, a tangleation of  Mooka, I guess. But those globes! I love those globes!

And then I cut it into bookmarks. I may just sneak into the library and plant these among the stacks!
 No shoes, thanks!

Orion's mom and dad took after his YaYa (me) and have left him shoeless his whole life. When we went outside, I thought he'd be happier with shoes on.

I was wrong.
barefoot is better
He worked on his microbe intake...building that immune system! Nom nom, dirt!


I like this camel. Look at his wavy hump hair!

One weeknight in April, my mom, my granddaughter Nadia, and I went to China Lights, the Chinese lantern festival that has been in Salt Lake. Oh! It was so cool, once the sun went down! And the small entertainment was very enjoyable.

you can find inspiration in so many places

The dragon was as big as the whole center quad.
 we had a great time.

The back side of some tissue dyed paper

The Milky Way!

Wylie and I went to an AMAZING concert, Postmodern Jukebox. All I can say is WOW! What a show they put on, with vintage covers of all kinds of current songs. I had the time of my life, up close to the stage, dancing, singing along, and enjoying myself thoroughly. 

This is from Joey's challenge last week. I haven't started the one for this week. Enjoying this series a LOT! I call this Trellis
 A start, and my finish, from the Traveling Tangles Project on FB.

Oooh! I really liked this one. It is a scratch off, and I used a chopstick on it.
Fronds is the pattern and rainbow ombre is the background.

Now THIS is cool. I found a unique book on Amazon, called "Wreck this Journal"...each page has an instruction (including "break the spine" and "tear this page out and throw it away") *gulp*
But the instruction on this page was "collect the stamps from all your mail"...and I had OODLES of envelopes from all over the world, thanks to the Traveling Tangles Project...and look how COOL that is! Stamps from all over the US, plus Belgium, Singapore, Australia, and Russia! I'm enjoying this book a lot. Today I worked on the page for documenting what I ate...splatters, dribbles, drops of guacamole, rice, beans, queso...hahahaha! fun! And messy, and quite freeing. 

This is the Whitney Siblings, and their spouses. My sister Hilary is in the foreground, her husband Curt, then me, then Wylie. My brother Dave is to the right with his wife Marcie. The head...we didn't really know who that was but he didn't mind us taking our pic with him.

We ate out at the best Mexican restaurant in town, then strolled around the International Peace Garden, which was created when the Olympics came to town. What an enjoyable evening!...Yeah, it's been a busy few weeks. Busy in the best possible way. 

And here you see all the starts that I haven't gotten to yet, so I guess that means I'll get off the computer and get busy in another WONDERFUL way!