Monthly Archives: May 2009

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Friday Post: One man’s weed is another man’s movie ticket

Can’t believe it’s Friday afternoon already.

Back when the kids were growing up, Friday afternoon equaled, “XXX new movie’s out today, I’ll have the kids at Saratoga 6 / Century XX @ 4 and we’ll catch the matinee.” Just about every early / late summer / Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas week, that’s what Friday afternoon was for our family (and some of the kid’s friends).

Then the kids grew up and moved away… and we got busier / more involved in careers that had us staying later and later on Fridays. And then we moved to the House on Walnut Drive – where we have more green / various colored stuff growing than I ever imagined possible in my lifetime. Truth be told, over time, TCofMN’sB (takin’ care of mother nature’s business) got to be a little much when compared to doing our historical “fun stuff” (bike riding, movie-watching… hell, just hanging out.)

And then (to paraphrase Ray Stevens), along came the bees.

It’s obvious to everyone that keeping bees is good for the local environment… they’re wonderful pollinators and a number of neighbors have commented on how well their plants are doing these past two years since we’ve started keeping bees.

It’s probably just as obvious that keeping bees – when they’re healthy and productive – results in honey… maybe even more honey than Pooh Bear could eat.

But I’ll let you in on something of a secret I’ve stumbled across since becoming a beekeeper: When you keep bees, you get more time to watch movies and do fun stuff. How does that happen, you ask?

For me it happened when I realized that all of those pesky “weeds” we’d always been so worried about pulling and cleaning up are really excellent sources of pollen for the bees. Which, in turn, goes to feeding the colony / hive. Which then goes into honey and, in turn goes in to me. (I’ve had bad hay fever the past several decades and it’s become practically non-existant this year.)

So I let ’em grow. Those bright yellow things out in front of our house? Dandelions. Lots of dandelions. “I’d love to take those out, but the bees like / need them.”

So instead of spending late Friday afternoon doing yard work so the neighbors across the street have a better view, I’m going to leave the CampbellHoney dandelion buffet table up indefinitely.

It’s Friday afternoon and “Up” is released this afternoon, anyone up for a movie? 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by, be well and don’t forget to write when you get work.

Campbell Honey (dot com)

Given the current good health of our hives – both colonies are doing great, both queens are very productive, bees are going out “empty” and coming back laden with all sorts of pollen – bright red (neighbor’s bottle brush), neon orange (beats me), luscious gold and gorgeous bright yellow (lots of bright yellow weeds growing everywhere – not to mention tomato plants and sweet broom have lots of blooms on them) – I’ve installed the 2nd brood supers on both hives. I’ll check them for early comb and egg production tomorrow (Memorial Day). Once the 2nd brood supers begin filling with eggs, larvae and honey to feed the brood and worker bees, I’ll keep an eye on things and add the honey supers when appropriate.

Assuming we keep heading in the right direction, it looks like we’ll have a decent honey production this year. (I’ll be using medium supers – they’re only ~60 pounds each when full of honey vs 90 pounds for the deep supers). Although I wasn’t much of a “honey guy” (except the non-bee kind of honey :), I’ve come to appreciate the honey our colony made for us last year – very rich, full of pollen & proteins… helping me fight off most of this year’s allergy problems. That said, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise (something my mother used to say), we could well end up with 15-25 gallons of honey this year.

That’salottahoney! (I think I dated her somewhat smaller sister, Bit’o’Honey 😉

Anyway, there ain’t no way I’m going to put away – or give away – 25 gallons of honey, so it looks like we’ll make some of our honey available for purchase. I’ve always planned on doing “things” via TwoBigCats but – just in case – today I registered the domain for our Campbell-created Honey.

As always, thanks for stopping by, be well until next time and don’t forget to write when you get work.

It snowed on the Los Gatos Creek Trail

Or so it seems, eh? (Dood, you really have to click the pics to see the full details.)

A couple of weeks back I was bicycling in to Los Gatos one morning and notice a lot of white fuzz / fluffy stuff falling from “above”. When I stopped to check it out, I notice that some of the trees seemed to be dropping stuff and when I looked down, darned if gravity hadn’t done its job and pulled the fluffy stuff all the way to the ground.

Then, looking around, it seemed like the entire creek bed had been layered with powder snow or cotton balls. (As usual) These pics don’t do justice to what I saw as I was standing there, but they’ll give you a pretty good idea.

Snowball fight (or facial), anybody?

(Of course, to some of you I’m sure this will seem like a scene out of a Vincent Price, Bela Legosi or Boris Karloff movie and a hand will reach up out of the fog / goo / snow / cottonball stuff and grab you.)

Samurai BeeKeeper

Not exactly Bruce Lee or even Bruce Mackin (Judo instructor when I was freshman. Cardoza, Dale and me.) am I?

Looking at this photo it appears I’m practicing my sticky-fingers technique… I’m working with bees and honey, right?

(and just in case you’re wondering… no, it’s not easy being this serious about life, day in and day out 🙂

I don’t have any thumbs or I’d carve, too…

Notice who’s at the door looking out? (C’mon, click the pic for a great close-up)

Yup, Catgirl-Carver Pandora.

(Now, I may be a little different than you on this but when I see things like this I hear Pan singing… to the tune of “If I only had a brain” from Wizard of Oz.)

“If I only had a thumb
I’d be carving up some wood-sies
I’d be doing it real good-sies

If I only had a thumb.”