Archive for the ‘bees’ Category

Bee Poop

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

I noticed an unusual amount of bee poop on my windshield. (What is a usual amount you might ask? I suppose noting a few drops a couple times a week…) This was about a dozen bits that wasn’t there yesterday.
Tracking poop is a legitimate way to note wild or semi-domesticated animals. Bee poop as well.
Bee poop is small brown dots that show up on your windshield, or hopefully not on your laundry that you hang out. I used to keep a bee hive on my garage roof, and hang laundry in the flight path. Bad idea. It doesn’t come out.
Back to today, I was happy to see a bunch of poop as I backed out of my driveway. It made me smile.

More tweets to catch up with

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The next batch of un-blogged tweets. I’ll expand them on AnnArbor.com tonight or tomorrow.

Had some bread made by a friend, Lamb’s Quarter’s seeds mixed in. Sort of like poppy seeds, gentle flavor, nice texture, slight earthiness 4:59 PM Jan 4th
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Wild greens are heart healthy – the greener the better. Eat more greens, stay out of the ER. Just my idea for a healthy New Year! 7:35 PM Jan 3rd
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Walk in the woods pre-empted by taking my brother to ER. No wild foods there. Nothing green but scrubs. They didn’t ask about diet or herbs. 7:34 PM Jan 3rd
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Some mushy rotting crab apples on a walk, not much else. Spent more time looking down careful of ice than looking around watching for food. 3:23 PM Jan 2nd
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I’m starting now saving plastic jugs, ID trees, each tap hole is about 10 gallons sap most years = 1 qt syrup. I plan to tap about 6 trees. 6:19 AM Jan 1st
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You can tap any maple, as well as birch and sycamore. Sap can be used as is – or boiled for syrup. More stats http://bit.ly/8z5Llo 6:15 AM Jan 1st
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Mich produces over 90,000 gallons of syrup each year. Multiply by 40 to count sap production. Takes 40 gal sap to make 1 gal syrup. 6:13 AM Jan 1st
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Maple syrup is the first farm crop harvested in MI each year. Hoop houses may change that… but the season usually begins next month! 6:11 AM Jan 1st
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Left over acorn and buckwheat black raspberry pancakes. It has been good year for wild food and learning to tweet! Thanks for following. 7:46 PM Dec 31st, 2009
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1 more reason I like natural unprocessed stuff- I’m more sensitive than many. Blogging bad reaction to cleaning product http://bit.ly/82EmB4 4:30 PM Dec 31st, 2009
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But HBC is a source of vit C mid-winter. This week they were the worst ever. Maybe time and desperation would improve the flavor. 6:50 PM Dec 29th, 2009
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Found and tasted some High Bush Cranberries out in the woods. Oh they tasted really truly awful. They have a flat seed – and red berry. 6:48 PM Dec 29th, 2009
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Back to blogging on annarbor.com. That was some writer’s block, glad it is over. http://bit.ly/5QM0V4 10:19 PM Dec 28th, 2009 from TweetDeck
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Finally heated and strained 5 big jars of honey with lots of comb. Left from rescuing a wild hive this spring. Big mess, sweet reward. 9:31 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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Every bit of maple syrup leaves me counting the days until the sap runs again. Maybe 60 or about. Love these pure simple tastes. All year. 9:23 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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The ultimate in local foraged/gleaned pancakes. Outstanding. Acorns add a very interesting multi level taste. Just not something I’m used to 9:21 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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These will be pancakes with multiple stories. I’ll experiment with my sourdough starter in place of baking soda for next time. 12:42 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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Later today, will combine handpicked buckwheat with acorn flour, homemade butter, last years maple syrup, local eggs, raspberries, for wow! 12:39 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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Gleaned buckwheat in Oct. Winnowed recently, grind in mill with hulls, the hulls are then sifted out easily. Foraged Buckwheat flour! 12:38 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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I have a few spots of garlic mustard I will watch into the winter – how long can it live ? How cold can it get? How durable is this pest? 10:36 AM Dec 26th, 2009
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Under that snow lurks garlic mustard, alive and well and also edible. Add to other pot greens, small bits in a salad, it is tasty still. 10:34 AM Dec 26th, 2009
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Dog Nala found sumac in my pocket and ate it – the Vit. C taste made her wince and lick her lips but she kept nibbling. Wild dog. 8:50 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Sucked and licked the berries, friend took it to make sumacade – soak fruit in cold water, ideal with sun, but time will have to do. Vit C 8:48 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Earlier in the week found vibrant staghorn sumac fruit bursting with flavor. Wow! Glad now we picked it as this rain would delete flavor. 8:46 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Bad weather for dogs. Nala wasn’t interested in freezing rain at all – but nature calls and she had no choice. Back under the blankets now. 8:44 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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The best were less than 1/4 inch, growing by the river. Almost missed them. The yukky hips more profuse, and nearby. Have to taste to know. 8:16 AM Dec 24th, 2009
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Yesterday sampled 3 different rosehips. The smallest was exclaim out loud good. Sweet, lemony, nice texture. Other two bland and bad. 8:14 AM Dec 24th, 2009
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My cookbook “Spinach and Beyond Loving Life and Dark Green leafy vegetables sold over 30 copies this week. Largest sales in over 5 years. 9:23 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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And the taste difference between old flour and newly milled flour is amazing. Fresh flour still tastes alive, not like dust. 8:31 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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Seeds store better than flour. The ideal is to have the “berries” of the grain, and grind as needed. Healthy oils and nutty taste are saved. 8:30 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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Chenopodium (lamb’s quarters) are the green to the left – better as a green than as grain. Greens can be blanched and frozen 4 winter eating 10:24 PM Dec 22nd, 2009
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My foraging friend tried cooking up lamb’s quarter seeds tonight. Result: hard, slightly burned, lots of work not much to be excited about. 10:23 PM Dec 22nd, 2009
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I’ve been remiss

Monday, January 11th, 2010

… and haven’t been posting the latest tweets. So I’ll do 25 at a time for a bit and catch up. Here are the last 25 – most recent is at the beginning.

Uncovered garlic mustard from packed snow. A little less vibrancy, still tasted great, lost some intensity. But it is alive, -1 F the day b4 1-11-10
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Late afternoon spotted a dead great blue heron in a stream, Mary Beth Dole Park. They are always around on foraging trips on the river. Sad. 1-11-10
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Some squirrel is going to find these nuts and be really really happy. Or deer, or just about any creature. High fat in winter – good thing. 1-10-10
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Later in the day and my foraging friend is returning his acorn stash to the woods. They are mostly spoiled, but good enough for squirrels. 1-10-10
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Acorn hulls on my stairs and living room rug. Squirrels? No, my dog is finding dropped acorns and eating them. She is as weird as me. 1-10-10
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Wild foods have a profoundly low carbon footprint. No fertilizers, no pesticides, no transportation costs. Most prep is slow and low tech. 1:35 PM Jan 9th
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Oatmeal with ground flax seed, frozen berries, homemade raw milk goat yogurt, honey from my bees, almonds, raisins, cinnamon = best brkfast 5:53 AM Jan 9th
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The berries in my oatmeal this am are mulberries, picked 7-9-09. In ’09 the mulberries lasted an amazing 2 months. I ate some every day. 5:50 AM Jan 9th
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I may not be into appliances, the the Cocoa Latte Machine is a fave. Heats infusions, cider, hot chocolate, froths, perfect temp & blending 5:29 PM Jan 8th
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My new favorite way to prepare cider – grind cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cardamon, nutmeg and add to the hot drink machine – heats & blends 5:28 PM Jan 8th
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Good time to look over the stored food and consume. I had forgotten 2 gallons of home made apple cider in the outdoor freezer. It’s time… 5:27 PM Jan 8th
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Nettle season is early may. But I have lots in the freezer to enjoy all winter. And buy dried from the co-op, steep 3-8 hours. Rich. 3:18 PM Jan 7th
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Most of the nettles I pick I cook or blanch and freeze. My favorite patch has been taken over by garlic mustard. Which is tasty & inferior. 3:17 PM Jan 7th
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I’ll need to transplant a lot of them for the new garden space. And then I will ask male visitors to water them. They need lots of nitrogen. 3:13 PM Jan 7th
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Warmed up some nettle tea infusion after a long walk in the snow. I bought the dried nettles, but I am growing them in Chelsea. Next to Lake 3:12 PM Jan 7th
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Still accepting e-mails this wk from people interested in work exchange apprenticeship starting w/the maple syrup season. 2-5 hrs a week. 1:09 PM Jan 6th
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Free Ann Arbor class on herbs for cancer and heart disease Jan 28 sponsored by PFC taught by Linda Diane Feldt. Register at the Co-op 1:07 PM Jan 6th
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The black berries you will see in winter are often Buckthorn. They are also toxic. Good resource here http://bit.ly/6DaVdm to learn more. 4:50 PM Jan 5th
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The honeysuckle nectar dripping from the flowers is a treat mid summer. But the berries are mildly poisonous. 4:43 PM Jan 5th
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Lots of red honeysuckle beriries in the woods right now. DON’T eat them. The only edible var is Lonicera caerulea and has a blue berry. 4:41 PM Jan 5th
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This is a food I have not yet tried. Where is a female Gingko tree in A2? http://bit.ly/8G7Dn0 I think I found one on the old W side once? 2:40 AM Jan 5th
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Another error – that should be chopped ginger. But it is true, around here it is also shopped for. 2:47 PM Jan 4th
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Simmer 2 inches shopped ginger root 1 qt water , use lid, 20-30 minutes. Add honey. Tastes great, good to prevent colds, drink it outside! 2:46 PM Jan 4th
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Long walk in the winter woods – not local and not wild, but Ginger tea with local honey was so wonderful to enjoy in the cold. Made the walk 2:45 PM Jan 4th
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Long walk in woods, spotted more rotting crabapples but the Vit. C flavor was there and it had a nice initial taste. Nibbled, not eaten. 2:00 PM Jan 4th

Wildcrafting – recent tweets

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Follow me on twitter or just check back here ever week or so when I will post the compiled tweets since last time. Also look for my expanded blog posts on annarbor.com I’ll post the links here, but if you want more current info just search for wildcrafting or Linda Diane Feldt. I post three times a week, usually Monday Wednesday and Friday but I’m not strict about it.

To the tweets – most recent first.
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Fall arrives at 5:19 pm today. Happy equinox, it is an auspicious day for harvesting.
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If you want to do foraging but don’t get around much, partner with someone who bikes, or who walks a lot. Tell them what to look for.
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Free class this Thursday “Nourishing and Medicinal Herbs” Crazy Wisdom 7-8:30, & so begins another year (18th?) of the Herbal Wisdom series
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Another category of food (local organic sustainable) – neglected. Like in the back of your ‘fridge. Like fruit left to rot. Eaten years ago.
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This would be Staghorn Sumac, lovely red berries in a sort of cone, slighlty furry berries and staghorn antler like fuzzy branches.
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Sumac is reday for harvest for sumacade. Add to you water bottle, 30 min and taste. Or sun tea for a few hours, or dry and use cooking or T.
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I need to work on my publicity. No one signed up for the weed walk today. Next chance until spring — Oct. 3. Register before Oct. 1.
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My bees were so very happy today. They were dashing about wildly in the sunshine, finding asters and the last of the goldenrod and ??
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Pondering why the article on acorns has been so popular. Because everyone can identify them? Surprise that something plain has use? ??
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My recent favorite pear tree has no pears this year. Now I need to keep an eye out. I’d like to store a couple hundred pears at least.
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And yet more acorn shelling. Tried to watch Princess Bride at the same time but the DVD player crashed. Told jokes instead.
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Ended up in a park in Brighton and had a friend taste autumn olive berries. She loved them and picked a handful to enjoy. Seed to spit out.
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Blogging about acorn pancakes with other wild and local ingredients http://bit.ly/XQsNd
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Weed Walk this Sunday, Sept 20, 3-5 pm. So far no takers so it is in danger of being canceled. Sliding scale $10-20. Register b4 noon Friday
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Breakfast of acorn pancakes with black raspberries, served with maple syrup I made in March. Made with local raw goat milk and eggs. Yum!!
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Latest wildcrafting blog on annarbor.com http://bit.ly/cKnL9 A little foraging philosophy – expecting the unexpected.
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Got to tromp around in the woods and wetlands for HRWC this am. Lots of rose hips, elderberries, heard a recipe for elderberry flower tea.
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http://bit.ly/4iCxpL latest blog on wildcrafting for annarbor.com

Wildcrafting tweets on bees, acorns, tasting fruit

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Follow me on twitter, or check here for links to my annarbor.com blog and a summary every ten tweets or so.

I found a single dead honey bee clinging to a goldenrod blossom. A good death? But a strange death. They work themselves to death in summer.

I tasted an unripe quince. I do not recommend the experience. Even my dog spit it out. Patience. Wow was it sour!

My foraging friend has started texting me when he finds interesting wild food. I like that use of technology. Sassafras was a recent alert.

Mulberries still dribbling in. I’m amazed. Picking up acorns as I find them, got an OK to harvest from a neighbor on Liberty just now.about 20 hours ago from web

What are the chance I’ll be able to find lots of acorns if I go to streets with names like Oak, Oak Valley, Oakdale, Oakridge, and Oak Way?

I’ve been just tasting crabapples, just biting in to taste. Taking real bites of regular apples avoiding the wormy spots. Lovely tastes.

Blogging annarbor.com on how to make acorn flour http://bit.ly/SeKCN

Tasted some of the early Staghorn Sumac fruit. A taste treat to suck on, I mostly spit out the actual berries. Sumac Soda pop? I’ll try it.

I actually found a few ripe mulberries. They were pretty tart. So I shared them with my dog, Nala. It is the latest I remember seeing them.

I picked some white pine needles today. Will cover with vinegar. I hear the results taste like balsamic vinegar. I’ll know in a month.

Wildcrafting blog on annarbor.com http://bit.ly/rRZ8x

Wildcrafting tweets – acorns, goldenrod, mullein

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Here are the last few tweets, and links to the annarbor.com blog. Follow me if you’d like. I’ll be posting an expanded version of the tweets on annarbor.com later today. I’ll need to photograph some Mullein first! You’ll want to read it to find out how a toilet can help with acorns.

Met another urban beekeeper who believes in encouraging hives in the city. We agree mentoring newbies is the way to go. Education is key.

Sitting next to a friend who has used mullein stalks for a hand drill friction fire. Fire with no matches. Will try it.

Yellow Mullein flowers on tall stalks used as oil for earaches but hard to find enough to harvest at once.

eEvery apple tree seems to offer a unique taste sensation. I’ll try as many as possible. Occasionaly I find perfection.9:49 PM Aug 21st from txt

Blogging on ethics and wildcrafting http://bit.ly/1tfs

Taste those apples that are beginning to drop. Any of them might be ripe, many will be really tasty. Carry a knife to cut and avoid worms.

I’ve never noticed goldenrod to this extent. And there are hundreds of bees in bee heaven, little legs heavy with golden pollen. Lovely.

On my walk today just missed being hit by falling acorns. May be big year for those. I’ll gather and make flour. Lots of work, nutty taste.

Latest Blog at annarbor.com encouraging dandelions and letting your lawn go, a forager in England who uses road kill http://bit.ly/b575f

Latest Wildcrafting Tweets

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Here are the last few tweets. You can follow me on twitter, you can also read the expanded tweets on annarbor.com, search under my name or wildcrafting, or follow the links on the twitters!

Camped out last night, in a few minutes found amaranth, clover flowers, lambs quarters, alfalfa flowers to add to Thai dinner. Yeah Greens!

A fun part of wildcrafting is figuring out what to do with what you find. It promotes creativity and wild food imagining. Mayapple a hit!

I made mayapple juice. A musky, citrusy, tropical flavor, very unusual, very pleasant and all four of us liked it a lot. Would like more..

Friend bit her gum, I picked plantain leaves, (not related to banana) chew, place on damaged area, less pain, more healing, very soothing.

I keep bees, but they are as wild as can be. How to convince 20,000 + stinging insects to do what you want? Want what they want. Profound.

All the fuss about chickens, there are a number of back yard beehives, and it would be great if there were more. We need the bees!

I’m a beekeeper, have a hive in my back yard that was rescued from a garage wall. 10 people helped move them in Apr. They are thriving now!

Just observed 6 different types of bees and 2 different wasps on my goldenrod. I guess it is an important food source!

I got a lovely photo of some goldenrod to post to the annarbor.com blog. It is so lovely it has to be good for you! http://bit.ly/3CS4yo

http://bit.ly/3CS4yo latest blog post

I like to eat wild greens just after a rain – no additional washing. The low ones get splashed, they sometimes get muddy and I wash them.

Those Bees

Friday, May 29th, 2009

The bees that were taken from the garage wall have settled in nicely. Strangely enough I now recognize that I was sort of holding my breath, not wanting to get too attached, doing a bit of distancing until I could confirm that are an intact hive.

Because, truthfully, it is so painful to have a hive die. It isn’t like losing a dog or a cat who is an inside companion, and warm blooded at that. But I vibe with my bees, I thrill with with them, I love talking to them and having the whole hive respond to my energy and presence. When my first hive died, over 20 years ago, I knew it because I dreamed it.

Yes, there is an extra-ordinary connection that can happen with bees. This basically all female clump of stinging winged creatures who have a hive mentality, and function as the most consensus driven unit I’ve ever encountered.

I eat there contribution to my better life nearly every day, and I think of them often. Catching a glimpse of any bee anywhere is always a thrill.

So now that I know I have a laying queen, now that I know it is an intact hive, I’m willing to commit emotionally. I will go there with them and we will sort out their messy hive (not all the frames are in because of putting brood comb and other remnants of their old home directly in the hive). I won’t take any honey this year, and we’ll get through the winter to enjoy next spring intact and no moving of homes.

I’m with you, bees. Thanks for just being there steadily while I was still too afraid to commit.

And what great happiness it is to have such lovely calm critters in my backyard. This is a really wonderful hive.

Now that was fun

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

A warm spring night, just over a dozen friends on the front porch, a vegetable tomato based soup, freshly made sourdough bread with homemade butter, and a bit of a birthday treat of strawberries and mangoes with improvised chocolate sauce.

There was actually a lot of traffic on the court last night, with friends visiting everyone on the street. There was room for sitting and standing as people came and went. The bees were visited by nearly everyone, and we were all glad they seem so happy and —- busy. Like bees are supposed to be.

The soup was simple, but yet got rave reviews from a couple of people. Sauted chopped onions, add carrots, broccoli, celery and quartered mushrooms. 1 can each pureed and diced tomatoes, a can of garbonzos borrowed from my neighbor, salt, freshly crushed pepper, a bit of chili powder – and the critical ingredient freshly ground cumin.

The chocolate sauce was inspired by the thought of ripe mangoes and one of my many friends named Laura brought organic strawberries. A few minutes later I made a roux of fresh ground flour and butter, added some cream off the top of a jug of milk, a handful of chocolate chips and a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder, and a tablespoon of raw sugar. It had a few lumps but capped the meal. Add in a candle standing up in a bowl of strawberries, and that gave us the inspiration to sing happy birthday to Gary.

Nala had her stuffed kong, and this time I had the foresight to stick it in the freezer so it lasted far longer. It was full of some very old cashew butter and kibble. She didn’t get to steal any food from anyone.

I suppose this is the third “season” of Friday dinners, and I enjoyed it totally. Taking a few breaks was good, inviting more people even better. And even though it was great to hang out here in warm weather, being at the lake is even more so.

“You will always be surrounded by true friends” is my Treo generated fortune of the day. Couldn’t be more true. Although “surrounded” may be open to interpretation. Three of the people who came last night will be in California in just a few short months, 2 1/2 months actually. One by one the “last time” events with each of them are passing. That’s hard.

I’m certainly finding a lot of new friends recently, but those people who have been here for a while, we’ve been through times together, we know each other’s hard stories, those are special friends. And it is harder when they are further away. Not as easy to go out for Zingerman’s chocolate cheesecake on the spur of the moment. Or a walk. Or dinner on the porch.

But the pull to visit California soon grows stronger!

A Bee Adventure

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Yesterday was the bee extraction day. The bees were in the rear wall of an attached garage. They had been there for two years, and had to be removed. Why? Because a wall full of honey and bees isn’t good for the building. You can’t just kill the bees, ants and mice will move in to take over the honey and wax. The moisture is damaging to the adjacent structures.

The honey can seep through drywall, bees can cause interior roofs to collapse from the weight of the honey, there is just a lot of damage that can happen. And a lot of the time people will just kill the bees, clean out the area, and patch it up. So this was a challenge.

Gary and Stephen and I had looked the place over last fall, and decided on a course of action to take in the spring. Why spring? Less honey stores, fewer bees. Of course a lot has happened since then. I didn’t know I would be coming back to this project after breaking up with Gary, and slowly finding a way back to being friends.

But here we were. 10 people total, attacking the wall, scooping up honey and brood and bees and chasing down the queen. It was mostly a fun and interesting experience. A few very sad moments as so many bees didn’t survive the process, but they were surprisingly resilient, peaceful and also forgiving. Only four stings – Gary got three, I got one.

We had sugar water and a well stocked smoker. most were novices to this, but dived in with calmness and fascination. It was hard physical work, and I felt responsible for people’s safety as well as the well being of the bees, and the house. But it was a puzzle of trying to figure out the bees, how to use the people well, and how to do what needed to be done with as little damage as possible.

I’m not sure the bees are OK. It will be a few weeks before I know for sure. But they seem to be OK, and today they are carrying out the dead bees, doing their reconnaissance flights, and starting clean up. I’m feeding them more sugar water, and hoping. They are such a gentle sweet bunch. This strain deserves a life here where they are welcome.

After scooping, spraying, vacuuming, chasing, and everything the crowd dwindled, the videotaping and cameras went away, and Gary and I left as well. It was about 6, we had been at work for almost 4 hours. We went out for take out at Jerusalem Gardens, and then hung out until dark. We went back, both getting crisis phone calls on the way. Hmmm.

Gary used a heat gun to clear out more wax, we tied up the hive and moved it to my truck. I finally was home and with hive by about 11 PM. So it was a long day. I forgot how tiring it is to climb up and down ladders all day – it hurts today.

I care deeply about these little creatures now in my care, and I so hope they make it. I will feel very bad if they didn’t. And I know we gave them the very best chance to survive and to thrive. And the experience made a number of new fans of bees – more future bee keepers perhaps.

If and when Monte pulls together the video he shot I will post the links in the comments. I was too busy focusing on the work and the pleasure of being with the bees to be self conscious – perhaps a mistake.

I did all I could. That’s something. I so hope they are OK.

Thanks you to everyone who helped – and since there are at least two names I don’t know how to spell, I have to skip making an actual list. But I couldn’t have done it without Gary, as well as Stephen and Blanche. Thanks. And I received one compliment – that hanging out with me does led to some interesting projects and situations. Yeah.