This morning was sort of productive, we had another big pot of milk to make into cheese or yogurt, so I started 5 gallons of yogurt, and a two gallon pot of apple mint to make into apple mint jelly. This was supposed to be Laundry Day Monday but I had a bee run call and turned everything off to head out to identify a feral bee problem. From the homeowners' fearful description it really did sound like honeybees. When I got there, it only took me a couple of seconds to identify them as yellow jackets! What a waste. I'm really going to have to ask for a small fee to cover my gas to do these runs. Our two college kids need some text books, so I can't afford to spend anymore gas money on free services. Yes, my friend, Marianne, I really am going to start charging for the services provided!
We went to the orchard to work (feral hive remove #2)for them on our way home. These gals were kidnapped off the front of a house where the homeowner's daughter is admittedly paranoid of bees. She had not known they were there till we arrived to assess the situation. Oops! We moved two hives off that house so far. This house is closer but we will have to start charging for this service for any location farther than 2 miles off our regular errand routes. Anyway, they now have another feeder to help them get their act together really fast, and in case they find the pasture a bit thin yet. They have a deep and a medium, they also have a small softball-sized brood nest on a frame. I snagged that from another hive, and I hope they will raise a queen or two with that brood. I will try to save several queens to put with other new hives as I continue to pull excess bees from that old house. At the orchard there was a hummingbird humming around in the rafters of the ceiling of the fruit stand shed. We couldn't get it to leave, despite a lot of attempts at herding it out with a wide broom. Finally they decided to just let it hum around and hope it found it's way out eventually. We went back down to the hive and got busy. Just as I picked up my box of frames, zipped into my bee jacket, and turned to head for the hive with them, a group of women and a little tot ambled by. I asked them if they were going to be coming out soon, as I expected things to get really exciting shortly. We decided they might be able to walk around the other side of the barn there, but it looked a little rough. Just as I picked up my last toys...er I mean tools,...here they came again. I had just given the hive gals another spray of sugar water to help them calm down when the group was back again. They were able to walk by without incident. I was very proud of the beehavior of our new gals.
The K-22 rangers are doing well. They are helping me clean up the tomato garden, by eating all the waste tomatoes the other hens and ducks managed to mess up, or totally destroy. I picked up all the waste and tossed it to them, and they get all the scraps when I make sauce or a sandwich. I had a sketchy lunch trying to make sure I didn't forget anything I might need for that bee run, as it seemed like I would be able to get the queen and set a hive there for the whole field worker force to come home to, then return after dark, close up the hive and move it to a new location. Almost any location other than in someone's wall. I really hope to fit in some preserving activities tomorrow.
The Two Tot/Teens managed to find time to do their milking and other homestead chores, as well as collect some more jam and jelly materials. Then while they milked again we dashed off to check another feral trap-out hive, pickup the two College Kids from the school, take one to get her tennis racket for her PE class, and <gulp!> fill that 34 gallon gas tank on my bee wrangling truck! I'm going to have to have it painted with honeybees all over it, I think. In all our busyness we forgot to make supper so it was a $2 meal deal special for our light supper snack tonight. To finish up I am processing pics tonight,...er ...I see that time has swept away my night and it is already 'tomorrow'! Until next time,...bee well!