Monday, April 30, 2007

Busy as a. . .

Oh, never mind. That's very timeworn, isn't it.

And it's hard to uphold the martyr act when I spent most of today watching my kids do things like this

and this

We have been to the local beach for the last three days. Two warm days, yesterday a little like what I imagine being at the beach in Britain to be like. As I huddled behind the windbreak Thing 1 had made, I kept saying, "Isn't this lovely?" and cracking up.

Yesterday I went into the two hives I keep here at home, and one is doing well from the bees' standpoint, but rottenly from mine. They are drawing combs across the bars, so it's not a moveable-frame hive. They'll still raise babies and make honey, but it's not as useable for people. And I can't monitor for disease and their space needs. See?

It makes me want to cry. My own fault, really, as I didn't give them any starter strips to guide them in straight comb drawing. I'm going to ask around at the bee meeting and see if anyone has any useful ideas.

The other hive, the one in which I remembered to put starter strips of beeswax? It's like a miracle.

Bar after bar of beautiful comb, straight and thick. The bees are calm and going about their business. I saw capped brood, little teeny new eggs, and lots of pollen and nectar. Go, bees. I have to check on the other two hives.

I also got another swarm call and I'm going to drive out and get them early tomorrow morning. Oh, and as to earlier questions, our back yard, while large for our area, measures about 40x40'. Not huge, but bees are easy to please. I think for now I'll stop with two hives. My sister's house has room for many more. . . Thanks to Thing 1 for the bee pictures. She's feeling much bolder with a veil on.

Tonight, I'm going to get the kids in bed early (those hours at the beach pay off!) and then grade like a madwoman. The course I'm teaching is winding up, so I have to finish that and then edit the lectures. Then I'll have more time to work on things like this

I'm almost to the arm division. Thing 1 says she wants a pretty plain sweater, and this is working out to be just that. I think she'll get a lot of wear out of it, but not unless we have more beach days like yesterday.

I think after I get this last swarm sorted, and hived, and finish the work I have to do, I'll have lots of catch-up knitting time.

Except that Sunday is my first spinning class.


Charity said...

Well aren't you a busy little... ahem.

Your first spinning class! How exciting - I look forward to hearing about your experiences! :0)

amy said...

spinning - go, you!

R was stung by a bee the other night - somehow a solitary bee found itself in our house and was hanging out on one of his toys.

Nice to see those Things!

bfmomma said...

Yay, summer! Beautiful thing pics!

wow... the hive things are so entertaining (for me...not so much for you, I'm sure).

And spinning? wow... I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

I need to post what I'm knitting on--though none of it is sweater material. ugh! new month tomorrow, too.

Jacquie said...

Silly Bees!

We Brits, once we have decided to do something will carry on regardless of the weather - hence wind breakers on the beach and barbecues in the rain.

Have fun at your spinning class!

Katherine said...

Ohhhh, that reminds me of childhood trips to the beach in Nova Scotia - only about six weeks of decent swimming (and I use the word decent loosly), but we didn't let that stop us.

Your bees are beautiful! (So are your Things, by the way). I hope you get good suggestions about the first hive; live and learn, huh?

And enjoy the spinning - I've never done it so I'm excited to see how it goes for you. I can see how you feel you need another hobby. ; )

Brittany said...

Spinning class? Eeee! I'm so excited!

The bees look great. And the pictures are great too. Go Thing 1!

Lara said...

The bees are so pretty!

I wish we lived hear the beach. That's a big problem with being in Kansas.

Samantha said...

As much as bees scare me (bad incident as a child - and yes, I know its silly to still be frightened of them) I love seeing your honey bees. With all that's going on with the honey bee population these days, bravo to you (you brave brave bee keeper) ... :)

Montana said...

I lost my link to you when I reformatted my page and had to come looking around! The bee thing is way cool. Too bad you are an entire country away. I would be happy to be a beehive repository on our little farm. I like it that they are calm or worried. It's the intelligence of nature, isn't it?

Jennus Interruptus said...

all this talk of swarms and hives is making me swoon!

i have a present for you! i've had a present for you for quite some time. it needs to be mailed. maybe now that i've gone and admitted it i'll actually send the darn thing.. :)

Alisha said...

Love the photos and the swing jacket is a great color.

Rain said...

Ha! Bet you don't have the raw sewage being pumped out into the sea though. Have had some very chilly days at the beach in my youth with my mother saying the exact same thing. Give me the Mediterranean any day.

The sweater is coming along beautifully.