Our Starter Hive

Let me just start off by saying we wish all well in Irene’s path and hope any damage sustained is very minimal. You guys are in our thoughts and prayers!

You know that we have two beekeepers, Sherry and Melva, that brought out a number of hives this past spring. To begin with they brought out in the neighborhood of 60 hives, and have since cut it back to about 20. This is because they follow the crops fixing to bloom, and move their hives accordingly.

The first bloom the bees caught was the orange blossoms, followed by the palmetto bloom, and then the cabbage palm bloom. These are now just about finished up. The next move is to go to the Brazilian peppers.

The Brazilian pepper is an invasive shrub that is not native to Florida. This I didn’t know, and actually I thought it some type of pepper, of the vegetable variety. But this isn’t the case. But the bees will work the bloom and continue making honey, though Sherry tells me this is not table grade honey.

Anyway, our starter hive has done very well after all is said and done. If you remember, Sherry got my starter hive by splitting some of her established hives. By doing it this way, our hive had to produce its own queen.

You see, the queen begins life as a female worker larvae, but by the young worker bees feeding it an extremely rich mixture of food, called Royal Jelly, she hatches out into a queen. The hive can produce a new queen at any time one is needed by feeding any female larvae less than 48 hours old. This happened in our case.

The starter hive produced a new queen after the split, Sherry kept her queen, so ours had to make a new one. After a short period, Sherry was showing me my new queen larvae. It is considerably larger than the regular larvae, and looks kinda like a peanut.

If you’ll look at the photo below, you can see the new queen larvae just above Sherry’s gloved finger. As you can see it protrudes out from the frame and again, it looks sort of like a peanut.

After hatching out, the queen goes on her initial flight as Sherry calls it. This is when the new queen leaves the hive to fly to drone congregation areas to mate. Sometimes these new queens will fly up to 10 to 15 miles to these areas and will mate with 10 to 20 drones, then come back to the hive…or maybe not. Our first queen didn’t. She flew the coop, or hive, and never returned.

With this being the case, the colony produced another queen, and this one flew the coop too…but she returned and the colony has done excellent since then. This process, from larvae to egg laying, usually takes about 23 days.

So you can see by my first queen not coming back, this was valuable time lost, until the second queen hatched and began laying.

The hive body is full, and we added a super. This too is doing well now, and last trip out Sherry added us another super. Hopefully, come sometime this spring, this colony will be doing well enough for us to make a split with our starter hive and then we’ll have two hives going.

As I said the blooms down here are beginning to run out here until spring, and then the cycle starts all over with the orange blossoms. I’m sure there are others coming along during that time too, but orange trees are a big, big part of honey making here in Florida.

This will be my first winter with bees, and I’m curious as to how we make out. The drones, or males, will be driven from the colony as the winter approaches. They are expendable, except for mating…sound familiar guys?

This is because there is no ready food supply to collect pollen from, and the honey stored in the hive body is used by the bees as their food supply to get them through the winter, and the hive body is also where they raise their brood. The honey in the hive body is again for the bees consumption, while the honey produced in the supers is harvested by the beekeeper.

A good queen though will continue laying eggs at a high rate until late fall, and this furnishes the colony with a large population of young bees. If this is the case in a hive, and the hive body has an ample supply of pollen and honey with which to feed, then this is all the better for when springtime hits.

If this is the case, then when spring hits, you already have a populous hive with plenty of young bees to “hit the ground running,” and thus the colony growing off well right off the bat, and hopefully allowing your bees to create a maximum honey flow.

So, I’m happy to have met Sherry and thus being fortunate in her helping us out with our starter hive. They are good people, and treat Deb and I both really well, by taking the time to help us understand the goings on in a hive, and even taking the time for us to get pictures or video of them working their hives. All of this interferes with their workday, but they never mention it. Thanks Sherry!

They keep us in honey, and we help them out some by our neighbors buying honey from them too. I drink unsweetened tea, but I do like sugar in my coffee. I now drink it with honey as my sweetener…not sugar. Pretty good stuff too!

I’ve got a couple video’s today, one of our starter hive, and the other a short video of the garden too. The peas and okra were in the ground two weeks ago yesterday, and they’re sure doing well.

Also, in the garden video, it had just gotten through raining…a good rain. It had rained a couple hours, then broke off. I got the video done, and not much later the rain started again…in sheets, for another couple hours. Thunder, lightning, really just bad weather, but this rain today was the best rain we’ve had all spring and summer.

All around us people had caught good rains, but we couldn’t catch anything over a half inch. Today…we got our turn with a high volume rain. It was so nice to sit back, and just watch and listen to it fall. It cooled everything off so nice and besides that, doesn’t everything look and smell so good after a rain?

Shelby Lynn and Red came by and spent 4-5 hours with us, and while doing so Shelby and “Papa” got in trouble.

While it was coming down good outside, Shelby and I slipped out on the porch, with her Daddy and Nana inside.

Well, we got bored just watching it rain, so I took an ole toy of the dogs and went to chunkin it out in the rain.

Shelby, being the little helper she is to her Papa, would run out and get it. She’d turn her back, and I’d chunk it again. By the time her Daddy and Nana walked out to the porch with us, well, Shelby was absolutely soaked.

With this being the case, the other two went to getting on to Shelby and I pretty good, BUT, we straightened those two right out…with Cheyenne’s help. They couldn’t whip the three of us!

See the Queen cell right above her gloved finger?

The Progress of Our Starter Hive

Garden Progress…Two Weeks Old

You guys have a great day, and God Bless. Deb says to keep a smile on your face, and one in your heart!
Dub and Deb

AP’s Corner…

OBAMA’S ATTACK ON PRIVATE INDUSTRY……..you would think that a company planning to expand its manufacturing facilities and create a 1,000+ NEW JOBS, here at home, rather than overseas, would have the Obama administrations jumping with joy….You would be wrong!!!!!…….instead the Obama’s National Labor Relations Board NLRB) is doing all it can to throw a wrench into the machinery of private industry……….the story begins with the Boeing Corporation’s decision to build a new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina in order to fulfill an order for 800, 787 Dreamliner, their fastest selling airliner……the NLRB immediately filed a restraining order against Boeing, alleging that the move to Charleston S.C. a right to-work state was in retaliation for the union strikes at their Washington State facilities……Senator DeMint R-SC, wrote to the president, condemning the NLRB’s complaint:” we consider this an attack on millions of workers in the 22 right-to-work states, as well as a government-led act of intimidation against American companies that should have the freedom to build plants in right-to-work states.

If the union’s plea prevails, it will only encourage companies to make their investments in foreign nations, moving jobs and economic growth overseas.

But in the White House where the cozy relationship between big labor and big government could not be any closer, the NLRB moves are just what the Obama administration’s latest effort to come to the defense of the union machine and their millions of dollars available for political contribution.

BALANCED BUDGET… In 1997, after a fierce debate, a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution was defeated by just ONE vote in the United States Senate. Fourteen years later, our nation is facing a debt crisis of epic proportions. Our national debt has gone from roughly $5 trillion in 1997 to over $14 trillion today, which translates to more than $ 45,000 for every man, woman, and child in America.

It is no wonder the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullin, said “Our national debt is our biggest national security threat” and the international Monetary Fund recently found that the United States doesn’t have a “credible strategy” to confront this looming crisis…….In the Senate 47 Senators are supporting a balanced budget amendment has been introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch……This is not a novel idea. Every state, except Vermont, and countries such as Germany and Switzerland have this common sense requirement….It’s time that Washington does as well…..why can’t Congress and the President come together and just cut our debt?….the answer is simple…..every grand compromise over the past 3 decades to tackle our debt, has been UNDONE almost immediately after being enacted by Congress, with massive spending INCREASES almost as soon as the ink is dry….

U.S. Senators and Representatives tend to be less directly attuned and responsive to the need of their constituents, and through the installation of large staffs, which allows them to depend on more expensive mass communications than on direct contact with voters to persuade to keep them in office……….

WHO BET ON THE U.S. DOWNGRADE?…..Someone dropped a bomb on the bond market this past Thursday…..a $1 billion Armageddon trade betting that the United States would lose its AAA credit rating….in one moment the mysterious trader placed a single trade that moved the most liquid debt market in the world……The massive trade wasn’t placed in the bonds itself, it was placed in the futures market….Of course this mystery bet could have been placed by any Hedge Fund that followed Soro’s course of action. However, very few people have the inside contacts with the Treasury Department and Obama administration that Soros does, and the historic evidence does point strongly to this bet being one that he has done in the past….

WHITE HOUSE RULES by FIAT ONCE AGAIN……..in the shadow of the disastrous Wall Street melt down, the Obama is once again circumventing Congress in the name of advancing the President’s agenda…..where Obama can’t legislate, he will use executive branch action to accomplish his agenda…….in the past he as applied this tactic in the auto industry’s bail out, EPA regulations and Obama care….this time he is using this approach to remake “No Child Left Behind”….circumventing Congress by granting states conditions waivers, which will exacerbate Washington’s decades long history of improving educational outcomes…..

TIME TO END FANNIE & FREDDIE……..Four years after home values in America plummeted, fears over America’s housing market remain…..In testimony before Congress, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke cited “ the continuing depressed condition of the housing sector, is one of the main factors behind America’s sagging economy’……..remember that many economists consider the housing collapse as THE CAUSE OF OUR PRESENT FINANCIAL COLLAPSE…..the value of household real estate has fallen by about $6.6 trillion, about 30%, and continues to fall. The real recovery (if possible) is not likely until Freddie and Fannie are replaced by a new housing finance system that does not include government distortions of the market…….As the crash of 2008 showed, the old structure of housing finance was spectacular and expensive failure…..Allowing it to remain in place—-or, even worse, recreating it, is the very last thing that homeowners or taxpayer’s need to pass on to future generations………..watch out for Barney Frank, he is not one to give up on “affordable housing”.

CELLULOSIC ETHANOL and UNICORNS ……today’s quiz: What happens if the government mandates the consumption of a product that does not exist? Naturally the EPA has decided to punish the gasoline refiners because they can’t buy any alternative fuel that no one is making….somehow consumers will be punished as well.
OBAMA’S TOUR of DENIAL and BLAME…………It’s being billed as a “listening tour”…..a three state journey across the MIDWEST where the President will hear directly from Americans about the economy and talk about his ideas for job growth (again) which was the heart of his inauguration speech when the President promised he would save or create 3.5 million jobs by 2010 ( he came up7.3 million jobs short )…..An then there was the 2,700 page behemoth known as OBAMACARE, the 9,000 page, Earmark Omnibus Bill, $ 3.22 trillion in new debt, a $ 26.2 billion government union bail out, the $ 3 billion Cash for Clunkers program, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill…..somehow all that action was not enough, so in January, the President used his State of the Union Address to again convey to America, that creating jobs was the most important item in his agenda, in fact he confessed that “ this subject was on his mind when he went sleep, and again when he woke up the next morning”
A new problem, his stalwart allies, The New York Times had no choice but to print a “harsh assessment” of the state of the “green economy…..including the President’s promise to create “Five Million Green Jobs “has proven to be nothing but a “pipe dream “with California’s Bay Area providing that the green job program have actually lost “green” jobs, not gained.

See ya’ll in the funny papers……AP

PS…….new word is born, created by someone confused by all the candidates……..ELECTILE DYSFUNCTION, the inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either party in the 2012 election……..

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