Category Archives: Live


Kids: We’re out of cereal. And milk. And waffles.
Me, jokingly: How about ice cream on toast?


Gotta catch ’em all

Matthew knows exactly what to do when in the middle of a conversation in the car I blurt out, “Turtle!”.

Thankfully, he is a really good sport about these sorts of things.


An unexpected guest

Matthew had a visitor out in the shop this afternoon.

Both Madeline and Abby were thrilled to get to hold the Northern Black Racer. We let it go out in the woodpile, where hopefully it can feast on small rodents and other tasty treats.


Exercises in pattern recognition.

Busy bees

The first hive is about three days behind the second in terms of baby bee development. We saw eggs and larvae on multiple combs, and managed to spot the queen before putting the hive back together.

The second hive has eggs, larvae, and capped brood. It has a tiny bit of a bend in the comb, but we can still separate the bars; they just tend to spoon each other a little more than would be ideal. Ideally, I’ll be able to rotate straight comb through both hives to correct the second hive’s curve by the winter.

Both hives are getting sugar water on a regular basis since they started from scratch with no comb. We should be able to stop feeding them in a few weeks once they’ve drawn enough comb to have a surplus of foraged nectar.


So who’s laying these eggs?

It has been eight days since we installed the bees in their top bar hives. Today was finally sunny and warm, so Madeline and I opened the hives to to make sure that there is brood in the drawn comb, which indicates that the hive has a laying queen. Without a queen, the worker bees will die off without being replaced.

Both hives had at least four fairly large combs on bars, and after a lot of searching, we found what we were looking for — single tiny white eggs at the bottom of empty cells. We restocked the sugar water feeders and replaced the styrofoam floats with wood blocks, then closed up the hives. We’ll check again in one week to make sure there is more brood, refill the feeders, and open up more beespace in the hive. There is a follower board that keeps the usable hive area small so that there is less space that the bees need to keep heated, since nights are still kind of chilly.

The greater good

I took the kids to the doctor for their yearly checkups earlier this week, and as it turned out, Abby needed a Hepatitis A booster. Dr. B commented that she was sorry since Abby probably hadn’t been expecting to get any shots.

Abby replied, completely serious, “I don’t like shots, but they are for the greater good.”