Category Archives: Queen

Beek’s Log: Priming Freddie’s pump (ewwww!)

Met up with Fuzzy the other day and told him my tale of woe. He concurred that Freddie was likely robbed clean and suggested (among other things) that I swap a few frames of brood from his namesake swarm hive in to Freddie to give it a jump start. Great idea.

So today I went out and began the inspection of the hives with opening up Freddie… boy, it’s looking weaker than ever. I pulled a fairly barren couple of frames, covered Freddie then headed down to Fuzzy and – seeing how Fuzzy’s got maybe 5 or 6 frames of capped brood – I swapped out bare frames from Freddie with 2 of Fuzzy’s and planted them in Freddie. When I closed up Freddie for the night, I also reduced the entrance to the hive by ~50% to reduce the amount of cold air coming in / heat loss. Next, I cracked open Ray and – boy howdy – Ray is absolutely jam packed with capped brood… it seems obvious now that Ray robbed Freddie’s honey and that has boosted Ray’s Queen production / the whole damn place is jumping. (In fact, it looks just like Freddie did before he was jumped, beaten, robbed and left dying and dead.)

In all the excitement I forgot to take a frame Ray and juice up Freddie a bit more, so I’ll have to do that tomorrow.

Shoulda stuck with cats.

Doves, doves, doves…

You may remember last week when I posted some random pics that included our new baby doves? (http://twobigcats.blogspot.com/2009/06/random-pics.html)

As they say, they grow up and leave so quickly… the following pics were taken of them in the time since that last post. (Click the pic to see full details)

Here they are in the birch over the patio on their first morning as fledglings – who knew they would fly in their first day?! I call this picture, “I’ve got your back” as they are sitting tight, next to each other, facing in opposite directions… likely to keep an eye open for predators (Coop, the vegetarian Cooper’s Hawk that lives in our neighborhood.)


Here they are on the ground, apparently warming themselves on the rocks. Over the next few days I would find them foraging in the bushes / plants for seeds, bugs, etc. No doubt they were trying to retain cover from Coop, too.

Don’t know where this one’s sibling was, but this one was keeping itself pretty warm and snuggly on the patio umbrella. As I went out to shoot the pics, I said in a low-key voice, “Keep your eyes open for Hawk – it’s always looking for food and you’re on the menu.” (No acknowledgment from the dove, btw.)

I took this picture on Wed morning, through the screen in my office window. Here they are sitting on the fence, spending time together again… keeping one another company. As I stood up to take their picture, I said to them, “You be careful of the hawk” and I called Joanne in to see them. She left after a few moments and no more than 5 minutes later, damned if a Cooper’s Hawk didn’t drop out of the sky – wings flapping, legs / talons extended, trying to grab them – and darned near got one of them.

BAM! The one on the left managed to make it to the fir tree not 5 feet to the left, the one on the right flew through the citrus trees to the right. Hawk tried flapping it’s way in to the fir tree but got caught up in the jasmine, so turned around and stood its ground on the fence. I tried to shoo it away but it wasn’t about to leave two oh-so-close meals without a fight.

So I headed out of my office, around the house and (trying to get a picture of it for you), it spooked and flew off. I was sweating bullets about the babies until I saw them later in the day but reached the conclusion that it was Darwin / nature at work and they’d all have to figure it out for themselves. Right?

Yup. So, know what’s really funny? As I’m typing this on Thurs night, the two babies have just landed on the fence outside my office again and are watching me as I sit behind the display.

I’ve got more carving show pics to post and will do that over the weekend.

As always, thx for stopping by, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.
hal
btw, It occurred to me after I posted this (so I’ve come back to edit) that some might wonder why in the world I would care about a couple of baby doves, or the baby black squirrel who seems to have taken up residence here… or the hummingbirds, finches, etc.

Good question.

I care because their presence is good for the health and well being of our property and neighborhood. Birds eat lots of insects and seeds and “redistribute” them throughout the gardens / neighborhood where they improve the condition of the soil (also spreading weeds, no doubt, but I’ve already told you how I feel about weeds now that I’m a beekeeper 🙂 I also feel like their songs – the hummingbirds are unique (besides, they’re such characters) and the finches sound great, the cooing of the doves is relaxing and if you listen carefully enough, you can begin to hear different meanings in the sounds squirrels make as they chatter throughout the day.

So that’s why I care. (in case you care why I care 😉

My vet’s office can beat up your vet’s office (and my “family” doctor)

Yup, it’s true.

In today’s world of how much money can I make off this patient / person / client and then get them to leave so I can get to the next patient / person / client, we are blessed.

As you know from the last post, Pan had surgery on Thurs and was making her way through recovery on Friday. Not much eating / drinking / movement going on. Called the vet’s office to ask about the need for a hydration IV and, weighing it against the stress of visiting the office again, decided I’d take Pan in for a fill-up. Just before loading her up, I put a bowl of food and water in front of her and… wouldn’t you know it, she ate a bit of food and drank some water.

Ah. Saved her the stress of the trip and us the extra jack for the visit / IV.

The next morning while I was out for my bike ride, Dr. Ueno called to check on Pan… how was she doing, was she eating / drinking, able to move around ok, etc? (Yes, Joanne said, she was back on the road to recovery.)

So how come I said my vet’s office can beat up your vet’s office?

Because he called us while he was away on vacation.

(edit on sunday night)
I wanted to return to this post to emphasize how grateful we are for the folks at Kirkwood and their support and care of our entire pack, including you-know-who 😉

What makes Brian May of Queen such an Amazing RockStar?


Besides the fact that he’s an ab-solutely incredible, uh-mazing guitarist, lyricist and musician?

Besides the fact that he’s part of a group that’s sold >300 Million – yup, MuhIllion – albums / cds?

Besides the fact that he’s earned a Phd in Astrophysics while on tour with said band?

Besides the fact that when he was 15 he designed and built his own guitar – using pieces of the family mantle for the neck and his mom’s knitting needle for the tremolo / whammy bar? (Fan note: Brian still plays this same guitar in concert, the legendary, Red Special, so named because it’s red and obviously, very special.)

Just read the piece he’s written on his “soapbox” at http://www.brianmay.com/whatsnew.html entitled FRIENDS, FANS, AND COMMITMENTS and tell me with a straight face that he’s not an uh-mazing RockStar and heckuvaguy.

Please note: The photo above is copyright Alexander Ilhe taken in Munich with Queen+ Paul Rogers on tour and “adopted” from Brian’s soapbox page. GREAT PHOTO, ALEXANDER!

Home

Back home, doing fine and resting.

Thanks to everyone for your visits, phone calls and emails while I was in the hospital… each was very much appreciated.

And to Joanne, thank you, luv, for your constant attention and care. I can only begin to imagine how challenging it’s been to manage everything you’ve been taking care of while I was away… probably not unlike the album cover from Innuendo (working in a bit of Queen whenever I can 😉


Thanks again to each of you for your care and support.