Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hiking and Mini Golf

 The children from our church's children's group got together for an end of school/ beginning of summer bash. These are some great kiddos. I enjoy every moment with each one. We took them for a hike around Hematite Lake at Land Between the Lakes.
Connor, Cody, Olivia, Eli, Maya, Kendall, Bailey, Maya, Fiona, Caleb
Taking a break from hiking

Fiona, Bailey, Ayden, and Caleb checking out a fallen log

Bunch of wild boys- Mason, Aiden, Cody, and Eli
Cody always posing for the camera

Ran across a beaver dam on our path beside the lake- Cool!

Olivia, Fiona, Maya, Cody, Bailey, and Caleb
Gage, Mason, Aiden, Bailey, Eli, Olivia, Fiona, and Cody

We decided to divide and conquer once we got to Maggie's Jungle Golf. The older kids golfed, while the younger guys went on the Jungle Run- mini petting zoo that you drive thru with a golf cart. Then we swapped activities.

Feeding the very assertive camel

Beautiful peacock

Slushy break- Yummy!
Mini golf with the young guys
Long day of fun!

School's Out for Summer!

Tree frog that Daddy rescued from our pool as we opened it.
"Come on in, the water feels great"- except Momma doesn't get in when the water temp is under 85.
Well Summer is here. The boys and I are officially out of school and looking forward to lots of fun times.

Doing what they do best = )

This is Wesley. New kitty in the house. For those of you that didn't know, Jukto (the little silvery black and white kitten) didn't work out so well. He had a hole in his heart, then got really sick. The vet found a huge tumor on his kidney. We decided to find a little older cat at the humane society. Wesley is between 1-2 years old. He is super playful, spends half the day leaping and attacking strings, mice, and other toys-dragging them all over the house. He absolutely LOVES the boys and runs after them like a puppy dog, following them all over the house and they laugh hysterically at his kittenish antics.

This is Wesley in the sunroom watching the boys swim. "Come back in and play with me!"

 Church Picnic was last weekend. I love this picture of Cody wacking his buddy Connor. 
 Cody also got his face painted at the picnic. He said his face represents UK basketball and the MC is for Marshall County. So cute!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Checking on the Bees

 Cody trying out his new bee suit. Always Momma's little helper-I had to get him a suit because he wants to get in on some action.
 He was amazed at how they would climb onto his glove. 
We needed to check the hive to see if the queen was in the hive and laying eggs. We changed out the sugar water. They had gone through a quart jar in a week. We have to feed them at the beginning because they have no storage of food built up yet. In a month or so, they will probably have enough collected for them to rely on their own foraging and stores. We also needed to move the false-back to the wall of the hive. This was a separator board that was placed in the middle of the hive when we installed the bees to make the hive appear smaller. When you add the bees, they are small in number and are weak if they were attacked by intruder bees. As they start growing, then you can move the board back so they can expand.  As we pulled the topbars out, we saw that they already had comb drawn out on 4 bars. The comb was full of clear sticky liquid (I am sure they are probably stocking up on the sugar water that we are feeding them). We also saw pollen collected and then we pulled out comb that had brood (baby bees!) On that comb, we saw the queen busily moving over the comb. We can spot the queen because she is larger and we bought a marked queen, so she has a white spot painted on her thorax.

White dot south of the middle of the bees is the queen, she is marked with a white spot to identify her easier.

Cody and Daddy checking out the comb and bees. Aren't they cute! Cody was so excited to help check out the hive. I scraped off a bit of comb that the bees had stuck to the bottom of the hive. It had a tiny bit of pollen stored in it. I will let the boys take it to school to show their class.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beginner Beekeepers- the Girls Arrived!

One of our Topbar Hives

 Well today is the day that we officially became Beekeepers. Ben built 2 Topbar hives for my birthday this year because of my interest in honeybees.
Bees arrived in 2 crates

Sporting my beesuit
The postoffice called twice this am before 7:30. I think they were pretty anxious for me to come pick up my bees. I don't think they wanted 10,000 bees per crate accidentally getting out.

"The Girls" were pretty worked up when I picked them up. Buzzing furiously. When I got them home, I put them in the basement and sprayed them down good with sugar water, they settled down to almost silence.

 When we got home this evening, we sprayed "The Girls" down again. Got them drunk and happy, then opened them up. We pulled out the queen cage and saw that she looked good, then attached her to a frame. Next we poured the clump of bees into the hive. They just dumped in a huge mass, I shook them around some more and dumped them in and set the crate under the hive for the stragglers to find their way. Ben and I were suited up, but the bees were amazingly calm. The boys actually stood about 10 ft away by the creek in shorts, short sleeves, and flip flops. The bees never went anywhere near them.
 We waited about 3 hours between hives, so we wouldn't confuse the bees or cause a bee war. By the time we started on the 2nd one, the 1st hive had only a few bees buzzing around checking out the area.
Now we wait about 3 days and go check on the queen. She should be out of her cage, the bees should be drawing out comb on the topbars, and she should be laying eggs. More to come....

Mammoth Cave Field Trip

 Caleb and Adam had their 4th grade field trip at Mammoth Cave this year. Christy and I have been looking forward to going all year. Our friend, Kelly (who we used to work with in LDR) has a daughter in 4th grade too and she was also able to get off work to go on the trip. It was a cool Spring day (mid 60's) and we started off with a short hike, then picnic lunch.
Best buds!
Caleb, Sarah, and Adam goofing off 
Having fun with my kid

 We went on the Historic Tour. We missed Uncle Kev's trivia and historical tips as we went on the tour, but it was still great. All of the 4th graders were really well behaved and asked some great questions. It was a great day!
They had so much fun in the cave

Everyone's favorite cave point

Headed out 

Issac, Case, Caleb, Jarrett, and Adam