Friday, July 24, 2009

Shop Boy

When I'm in production mode I'll take help from where ever & who ever I can get it. Here's my shop boy who will work for chocolate milkshakes. That is until I made the mistake of offering him a dollar. That was a mistake because the next day his rate had gone up to $3 & he was writing his time on the hot shop calendar! We've negotiated that Friday's will be his payday.

Yep, I think the economy is in recovery. :)

A Summer Swarm

Every summer I worry about my bees swarming. This occurs when the hive becomes congested with too many bees, no room for the queen to lay eggs, over heating, or a multitude of other reasons. This year I ordered a "nuc" which is sort of a mini hive that is used to catch swarms or to do a split with a hive that is growing too big so the beekeeper "splits" it into two hives.

So a couple of weeks ago I set up the nuc in my garden area. It's located about 75 feet away from the main hives. It's usually recommended that a nuc or swarm trap be set-up close to existing hives if you want to catch a swarm from bees outside the area & away from existing hives if you want to catch bees that may be from your own hives. It seems that if bees are going to swarm they will not set-up a new home close to the original hive but will travel a short distance (usually 75 to 100 feet) away to find a new home.

Then I forgot about it.

Until today when I was checking the progress of my raspberries. Wowie-zowie! There were bees all over the nuc! The picture above doesn't really do justice to the buzz of activity around the entrance to the nuc. There was a cloud of bees!

Very exciting & satisfying. I'm hoping one of my existing hives didn't swarm but if they did I'm glad they found a new home in the neighborhood. Welcome home!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Honey Harvest of the Summer!

Yesterday, William & I harvested our first honey of the summer. We pulled 3 full frames of honey from the hive. We're harvesting using the "crush & strain" method. It's self-explanitory; the honey is cut from the frame, crushed & then strained through filters into a large 5 gallon bucket. The bucket has a latch on the bottom so you can easily fill bottles.

It's very easy but sticky! Here's across section of a section of filled honey comb. You can see how full the cells are & the variant color. After filtering it's a beautiful golden color.

Of course it tastes delicious too!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Accordion Time!

It's the 3rd Monday of the month so it's Anchorage Accordion Club Night! Join us from 6 to 8 pm at the BP Atrium for practice & play. I know this looks like should stop bye & see if I look this good in my Lederhosen! :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Accordion Night!

It's the first Monday of the month so you know what that means....the Anchorage Accordion Club meets tonight from 6 to 8 pm at BP. Bring your accordion & join us for some music & fun!

Here's a link to the "Jimmy Hendrix of Accordion" as Steve Jordon is called in the music business. If you google him add Estaban. He's cool & probably one of the best accordion & button box players of all time. The link is to a story that NPR did in early June. Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Finding the Time

Lately, it's been hard to find the time to blog, and garden, and read, and....You know how it goes. I've been busy with my glass work & re-orders. There always seems to be something around the house to clean or repair so when my partner wanted us to go camping & canoeing for a couple of days I really didn't want to go. I have work in the studio to do!

Yesterday afternoon while slowly paddling around a quiet lake I thought to myself, "why don't we do this more often??" It takes time to slow down, get calm, & centered. For me it's a time to think without distractions & noise. A time when new ideas come.

Today after arriving back in Anchorage & catching up on reading one of my favorite blogs, Just Enough Time, there was a link to a fabulous video about this very subject. Pour yourself a cup of coco & take the time to view it ~ you'll be glad you did!