In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, and anything else that happens to pop into my head. Sit back, relax for five minutes of a day, and enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Coral Belle the Camper!

Remember Coral Belle?  I was so excited.   I was going to fix her up and have a market in our yard, and sell honey from her, and let my nieces play....  You know how it is...little by little you lose that edge.   All but one hive died, so a lot less honey this year.  My nieces, who I thought might also have fun playing in it, are growing up.  They don't want to spend the night with their Aunt when they could be with their friends.  And I've started taking stuff to a local auction house just to get rid of it.

The final straw was... we had a pole barn built.  Since then, six weeks ago, My Shug has been working in it to get it "storage ready" so we can get stuff out of the weather, and out of the house/garage.  Lawn mowers, tractor, stuff from the potting shed I had in town, etc.  And after six weeks of what was supposed to be" a couple of days", I became discouraged.  So much so that I put my beloved camper up for sale!  I decided by the time My Shug finishes with this house, if ever (I know..) I would be too old to give a care about gardening, beekeeping, or a camper.  I put it for sale with a lump in my throat. 

The first person that came to look at it was very excited.  She sets up at markets and she told me all of the stuff she would do to get it ready to go.  But she said, "Cindy, I can see you don't want to let it go.  Think about it."  Everything she said she was going to do I thought, I could do that. 

The second person that came to look at it decided it wasn't what they wanted.  They wanted a vintage camper to camp in with their family.  This is a little too vintage for them I think.

The third guy wanted to use it to sell pork rinds and kettle corn and he was going to put holes in it to pass corn through and such...and it broke my heart to think of Coral Belle being used that way.  So, I thought about it, and I talked to a couple of friends.  And peeps.....I decided I wasn't going to wait on my Shug to help fix her up.
We are going to fix it up like a girl!
Now that can be taken two ways.  
1) We are going to fix Coral Belle up to look like a girl.  Well, duh....with a name like Coral Belle, she ain't gonna have Nascar pictures and nekked women hanging inside!
2) We are going to fix it up as girls would, not guys.  Well, friends and I are girls!  Now before you go getting your panties in a bunch, and ranting about me being sexist....just back off.  First of all, it's my blog, and second of all, I will tell you right now girls fix things differently than guys.  We do.   I know this because I have been helping build a house.
 For example...I started on her yesterday.

 See the ceiling.  It was partially torn down when I got her.   She had a leak and the wood and ceiling were rotten on that end.  My Shug did take the rotten piece of wood down and put a new piece up.  He also fixed the vent in the ceiling so it would open. And he fixed one of the windows that was out.   And he coated the roof with a two part sealant that I bought at a Vintage Camper dealer that isn't very far from where we live!
 He did all of that last year.
Then she sat, in a state of dis-repair.  And here goes the part about fixing it up like a girl.....
 The first person that looked at her said, "I'd just take down the rest of that ceiling and use the wood as beams, to hang stuff from..."  Girl way!

 So I started on that ceiling.  Wooooe....thick stuff.

(Don't know who has been living in here - above pic- but they bettah be movin' on!)

My Shug gave me this tool, which I promptly started to use.  It went across the piece I was trying to remove, hit the tin ceiling, sparked!, and almost got my forehead.  ALMOST, I said.  I put it down.  Girl way....pliers and a box knife. 
 Ta Daaaah!

 I might paint the rusty ceiling, or just go across the ceiling with material, and staple it on the beams.  I don't know yet.
After I finished the ceiling my friend, Teresa, came over with her husband.  He is going to help us today with the floor.  I know.....even fixing it up like a girl, we are getting a little help from guys,
but here's the thing....
the guys were talking electricity, taking windows out to caulk, new ceiling......we are talking, no electricity, I have no hook-up where it's going to be sitting.  That's what batteries and campfires are for anyway, right?  Not taking windows out to caulk.  Leave the ceiling.  We'll won't notice a thing.

Lovin' CoralBelle...Stay tuned.

Cindy Bee & Coral Belle!

PS - That Jim Beam light switch plate is GOING for sure!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How to move a beehive

 As most of you know, all but one hive died this past winter.  They were good, strong hives, but the winter was too rough.
 In May, I tore down all of the non-surviving hives and put them away.
  That left this hive......
and the swarm I retrieved, also in May.

which I put in this hive.  They were tall, heavy hives, and would be hard to move.  But move them is exactly what I had to do.  Because after pondering for a year or longer, and moving pole barn locations, in our minds at least seven times, we decided the best location for the pole barn would be right where my beehives are located. (sigh)
 So here is how you move a strong, big, heavy, live, hive. First of all, you set up some 4x4's on cement blocks, about two feet from the hive.  On that 4x4 you set up one hive body with five empty frames,
 and you pull five full frames from the hive you are moving.  The full frames should have brood, larvae, honey and nurse bees on them. (not the queen, which you can see in this picture)
You now have reduced the big hive, to a small hive, but you still have the big hive!
So, you tear the big hive down into movable pieces....I had a friend help me, and my Shug drove the tractor.  A truck would have worked just fine too.  So, this is one big hive that we moved to a new location.
and we set it back up in it's new location.
One down, one to go.

 Now this part is important.  See how the hive is moved from the end about two feet?  That's all you can move a hive....two feet a day, at dusk.  You see, we moved the biggest part of the hive to another area in the yard, but some of the bees from that hive were out foraging.  If we wouldn't have left them something, a part of that hive to come back to, they would have come back to the same location with no hive. When a honeybee leaves a hive, it circles the location a couple of times, and when it's finished foraging, it comes back to that same location. So, we left a small piece of the hive for those bees.  We took the queen, with the bigger part of the hive, to the new location.
and every night at dusk, for about six weeks, I suited up and moved each hive two feet.  (we put the hive on the left on the 4x4's as well)
Eventually the hives were out of the way....
 so the guys could clear the ground for the pole barn.

 And now, the hives are away from the pole barn.  They have made new queens and are  strong, new hives.  And the old hives are in their new location doing well also. 
 The three on the left are the new hives that I purchased in June.
And that folks, is part of the life of being a beekeeper.

Cindy Bee