Pairie views <meta name="author" content="Lisa" Apiary (also known as a bee yard) – Prairie Views

Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Category: Apiary (also known as a bee yard)

Bee are wonderful for homesteaders. They give your a source of sugar (Honey) for sweetener and other products, pollination and producing wax for candles and other items.

Late April Showers Bring More Flowers

 

I took a walk around to see what flowers were growing and being visited by bees.  The dandelions were still in bloom in areas and quite popular. The onions I left over winter to go to seed were blooming. The bees really like onions.  As yo can see in the photo above some plants had more than one bee at a time.

 

 

The huge poppies were very popular with the bees.   These were here when we purchased the property in a planted around a worn out cement little pond or pool. I tired to transplant some last year without luck.  They are not in a good area in the lawn so we have to mow around them until they stopped blooming.  I tried before blooming but this year I will try after blooming to see if I can get some in a  back yard planter.

 

 

 

The saliva was very popular last year and now that it is blooming it is very popular with the bees. There are at least three bees on the flowers in this picture. I really like this plant since it is easy to grow and a perennial.

0

SPRING IS HERE AND THE BEES ARE HAPPY!

DSC_1168

 

Since it was a very nice weekend, weather wise, it was very important to put a bee hive inspection at the top of the TO DO list. The hives are looking great. They are strong without any signs of swarm development. So you might wonder what I look for in my inspection. 

  • We look for the queen. If we cannot find her we look for brood and the brood pattern.  After inspecting to first brood box we put that one aside and take a look at the second brood box. Most frames on the second brood boxes were empty or had a little honey on them.  This is what we expected.  I was surprised that the  stronger hive had some brood in the second box. We set this box aside and then check the bottom screened board. This board was really clean on one hive but had quite a few bees on the first hive we inspected,  We scraped any stuff and dumped any dead bees into the grass. This is not something we would worry about this early in the spring since we have just started having spring weather except for the rare January warm up. I think this might of happened becasue we had very warm weather in January that turned to snow the next day. 
  • After inspecting the hives it is time to put them back together. We moved the top box to the bottom and the bottom box to the top. The reason we do this is we want to give the queen more room. The queen usually likes to work up so it you switch it around she has move room to move up while making brood. 
  • On top of the hives we added one supper since we are already having pollen and nectar flowing from the flowering bush and pear tree in the Food Forest. The apple trees and more pear will bloom soon too. It it looks like they are not getting anything I will put syrup out for them. The only problem is if you have suppers on you take the chance of getting sugar water honey. Not good honey at all!  Most of the supers were in the freezer all wither with a mix of capped and uncapped honey so they will have honey available if it gets a little too cool to go our or it rains too much.  
  • You might wonder why I have honey frames. The reason is you do not want to take uncapped honey from a hive becasue it will contain too much moisture. Later we will add more suppers to collect honey. 

 

DSC_1175

 

I like to watch the bees and noticed they had to go all the way in the red flowers to get the pollen and when I saw them going into the hives they had their pouches full of red pollen. Many had white pouches too which is from the pear tree. Dandelions are blooming  too but I suspect that they prefer the other flowers. It made me remember to make some dandelion jelly this year. It was interesting to see the red and white pollen patterns in the combs. An interesting note during the inspection is I did not find one hive beetle walking around. There were some in the hive beetle traps.  Getting rid of them would be great but I am only hopeful at this point. 

0

Planting for Bees, Monarchs and Upland birds

DSC_1147

On the other side of the sidewalk the seed mixture was planted.

 

Today, I planted another area with the Monarch Butterfly and Honey bee Mix I purchased from Sharp Seed Company. This area has Iris , day lilies , tulips and Periwinkle. I tired to remove most of the periwinkle but left the rest.  Now all it needs to do is rain. I just might start watering this area since it is near the house.

DSC_1153

In the fore ground is were some of the upland bird plants will be planted. The seed was planted on the other side of the fence.

 

Last month I had planted a mixture of prairie grass and this Monarch Butterfly & Honey bee seed mixture. We have not gotten rain yet so I am hoping for some soon to get the seed to germinate. In front and the side of the prairie grass and wildflower mixture I will be planting the Pheasant Bundle plants I ordered from the Kansas Forest Service. These will also be good for the quail in the area.  My plan is to increase habitat for pheasants and other grassland-dependent species combined with habitat that will also increase populations of native pollinators,

DSC_1149

 

Yesterday I transferred some wild plums to this area near the road. This will provide animal cover and a wind and dust break.  There is some wild plums I transferred last year and other plants good for birds.

 

I also ordered a queen castle hive from Golden Prairie Honey Farm. This will be my new to go to place for ordering supplies.  Golden Prairie Honey Farms is a beekeeping supply and honey production business that serves as a training program for veterans and transitioning service members. You can order and have items shipped or call ahead to get supplies.  Later I will update about my queen making. 

 

 

0

Candy Board for the Bees

dsc_1076

It is that time of year to put a candy board to make sure the bees do not starve during the winter.

This is a simple process. What you need to do is dissolve the sugar in the least amount of water possible and then cook it to remove most of the water. some just use water while others add vinegar and other stuff. I just do the vinegar and sugar. You heat up the mixture to a hard candy temperature and then pour into a mold. Some make boards like I have while others just use baking pans to pour the mixture into. The foil in the middle is a hole for the bees to crawl into to get the sugar. I made enough for two to three hive but one can double this recipe to make more.

Recipe:

5 lbs. sugar

1/2 quart water

1 Tablespoon vinegar

Prepare molds by spray, covering lightly with oil or covering with parchment paper. I just pour on these bee boards.  Put the on a flat, heat proof surface.

Measure the water and vinegar into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Pour in the sugar, stirring until it dissolves.

After the sugar dissolves put the heat to medium high and stop stirring. Insert a candy thermometer into the pot. Boil until the thermometer reads 250º degrees. F.

Remove from the heat and carefully pour into your molds. Allow for it to cool completely and then store between wax paper until you put on the hive.

0

Buffalo Grass, Fall flowers and Garden Weed Contol

 

dsc_0944

I added some planters this year with mums still in their pots. I plant to plant them in the garden before it get too cold or bring them inside and plant them in the spring.  Someday I hope to have an inviting front porch.

It was warm enough to check the sugar syrup feeders in the hives today. One hive is not eating too much  while the other hive too two pints again in two days. I added two quarts this time. The vinegar really is keeping the mold away from the jars and the bees still really like the syrup. I will keep checking their intake until it starts freezing and will then put sugar boards and leave the hives alone the until late winter on a warm day.

Getting the Vegetable garden ready for the winter can be an arduous undertaking. Especially if the weeds get out of control like they did in my garden. As I mentioned before I plan on using landscaping fabric next year to keep up. I cleaned up two rows and piled some debris to burn later. It can be helpful to burn squash and other plant remains to help reduce insect populations. After cleaning up two thirty foot roll I decided I better get the Buffalo grass plugs planted. 

This became more difficult that I had planned. I figured I would just cut the sod off the soil and plant the expensive plugs. I was not happy with the amount of grass roots left over so I decided to dig up an areas instead. My rotortiller would had done a smooth job but I just did not feel it was worth it for such a small area. So now I have buffalo grass planted and I am hoping for the best.  Buffalo grass spreads by stolons and seed and,  if it grows as well as I hope since it is a native grass, I hope to be able to start taking plugs from the small area next year.
dsc_0934

 

I finished with the grass I decided to enjoy the fall flowers. It is great to have so many flower still flowering.  The Chrysanthemums fell over too much weight but sill look pretty.

 

dsc_0936

dsc_0938

As I turned the corner of the flower bed I notice how much the Mexican Evening Primrose had spread. I because worried about having another wayward plant on my property. I like easy to care  for plants. I looked at the label and it said can become invasive. Invasive! Oh NO! After reviewing the plant I remembered it is native to the central grasslands. So this perennial plant may spread a lot in the flower bed but likely will only spread on my property in areas that will work well.  Just as the vinca minor (non native) is sometimes a problem in garden beds it has not spread elsewhere. 

 

dsc_0939

 

dsc_0942


dsc_0946

0

Autumn Feeding of Honey Bees

dsc_0927

 

 

It was a weird concept for me to feed my bees in the fall and winter. I had been taught my a professional beekeeper to just leave the two brood boxes for the bees in winter. Here in Kansas we have winters and periods of no pollen or nectar. Your bees will starve if you do not feed them unless you are able to really get them to stockpile the brood boxes. So I have begun to feed my bees.

We are starting to feed a syrup and later will put a candy board on top of the hive  just before it really starts to freeze. Mr. Gadget made a board to put the jars on so we can feed them without opening up and exposing the hive. It has four holes to put four jars in.  I used to measure the sugar and water to make the syrup but now just fill the jar 1/2 full of sugar and fill with warm water. This makes a good syrup and save the time and hassle of measurements. This year I started to add vinegar to help keep the mold from forming in the jar. I am hoping it works as well as others say it does.

Yesterday I went in to take up the mite away strips. My hives look really good with bees on every frames just working away. At the same time I checked the hive beetle traps. I found the hive beetles were hiding under the traps. I might have to come up with a way to stop that.  I was still getting some in the traps.

0

Honey of A Year and Comparison of Two Bee Races.

dsc_0924

 

 

This is the first year of harvesting honey from these new hives. The Italians produced a decent amount of honey while the Carniolans had two frames to give. Italians tend to create an earlier brood than the Carniolans giving them the advantage of faster honey production in the spring. In the future, I am hoping this tendency of the Carniolans will bestow on us an early summer harvest in July plus a summer harvest in September. Still, I saw a major difference in the two harvests this year.

Conversely, other beekeepers have mentioned a July harvest would be lighter in color and, consequently, it was. Nevertheless, I am still partial to the late harvest more robust flavor.

In August or when the blooming of most plants producing nectar and pollen ends (periods of dearth) the Italians will begin reducing brood while the Carniolans will keep going strong until September. This means the Italians will have an average population into winter while the Carniolans will have a much stronger hive for the winter. Lower hive population means less ability to keep warm. Many other beekeepers praise the Carniolans in this area for that reason. I also wonder, since Carniolans tend to have higher numbers in the fall, this might help them keep the hive beetles in check better. I plan to keep track to see if I notice a difference, but I have already noticed more beetles in the Italian hive when I did a treatment. In the fall, the beetles tend to achieve overtaking hives in this area. I am working to prevent this.

 Another difference between the two subspecies is the Italians tend to collect less in cooler and overcast weather. The Carniolans keep going with regular activity in this condition. I am hoping the Carniolans, after being established, will out produce the Italians next year.

Moreover, most beekeepers claim the Italians are more laid back while other claim Carniolans are more gentle. My Italians are aggressive while the Carniolans hive is more mellow. Go figure!

Compared to the Italians, the Carniolans tend to swarm. Once the queen begins laying they can run out of space in 60 days. This is something I will have to watch next year.

0

Mariel’s Enchiladas

 

I had a potluck and had planned to bring something else by Mr. Gadget suggested Enchiladas. It was a good choice that went over well. I got this good freezer recipe I got a long time ago and had not made it in a long time. I forgot how good they were especially after changing it to more modern flavors.  Dipping tortillas in hot water instead of frying them helps keep the cholesterol and calorie count down and the dishwater one frying pan closer to completion.

Mariel’s Enchiladas

1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon or Penzey’s California Seasoned Pepper or a green pepper seeded and chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin

2 cans (8 ounces) tomato paste
2 cups beef broth or 2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 2 cups hot water
Salt
1 1/4 pounds ground round or turkey
1 dozen corn or flour tortillas
Green onions, ripe olives, and cheddar cheese for garnish

 

Saute’ onion, garlic, and green pepper in olive oil until vegetables are limp.  Sprinkle flour, cumin, and chili powder into onion mixture and stir until blended. Combine tomato paste and beef stock into onion mix. Cook until smooth and thickened, stirring frequently.  Add salt to taste.

In a separate pan, cook ground round and one-fourth of the cooked sauce until meat is browned and crumbly.

Dip one tortilla in hot water for 5 seconds and drain.

Spoon about 3 tablespoons meat filling down the center of tortilla. Roll tortilla around filling and place flap side down. In a greased shallow casserole place filled enchiladas side by side.

Spoon the remaining three-fourths cooked sauce over the surface of the casserole.

Cool Enchiladas, cover and freeze.

To use:

Bake, uncovered, while still frozen, in a 375 degree F. Oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Scatter chopped green onions, chopped fine olives and grated Cheddar cheese over Enchiladas, before serving.

Serves 6.

0

captureyour365- What I Eat

captureyour365          What I Eat

 

DSC_0536

 

 

 

To be honest this bowl of raisin bran is not what I usually eat but it sure tasted good this morning. I suppose that is what happens when you eat a breakfast late in the morning and hitting the lunch time.

Last night I made some Zesty Chicken Oregano (Kotopoulo Riganato tis Skaras) and Armenian Pita Bread- Bread Machine. I did not make it in the machine but as quick as I could make it in a making bowl. It was a nice change for the evening meal.  That recipe is so simple I should make it more offen.

I have been busy going to events the last two nights. Monday I went to Kansas State University to watch the Anna Marie Wytko is a wonderful Sax player.

Last night I went to the monthly Konza Bee Keepers Association. We had a presentation by  Dr. Viktor Chikan who work primary in research on  nanoparticles but in his spare time like to collect swarms and enjoys beekeeping.  He gave a humorous but informative talk on catching swarms using bait hives.

 

Have a great day!

0

One Step Back But Two Steps Forward At Pairie Views

DSC_0094

 

As I sit here I am in shock. Somehow 2015 went by so fast it is difficult to comprehend. It was a year of some adventure and many failures. I have the need to reflex back on those falure but I am finding it very difficult.

“Fall seven times, get up eight.” – Japanese Proverb
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams
“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Chinese Proverb
“Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never.” – Winston Churchill
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

 

All of these quotes really mean they same.  No matter how many times you run into obstacles, what matters is you are able to overcome, one at a time.

A step is considered negative. It can be a weekend wasted watching T.V. , breaks in your routine, personal tragedies, injuries. Most, if not all people, think that you have to start over. That is a huge mistake in thinking. You need to move forward. Take that one or two steps ahead and you are still past where you were before.

If you expect perfection you have set yourself up for failure. It is the time now to not to start over but to continue forward two steps into the new year. If you were losing weight as I was and have gained a few pounds of the weight back just more forward.

My vegetable garden was a complete disaster in weed control. I live in prairie land and the land wants to continue nurturing the grasses and not the cabbage, carrots and tomatoes I so want. In between the vegetables grass sprout at an amazing rate. Most times getting me far behind in removing them before that choke out my vegetables. This year was no exception. With the added problem of a late winter and not letting my vegetables gain a foothold before summer weather they all struggled. This year is a new year and I will move two steps forward using a ground cover to prevent the prairie from moving back in.

I have enjoyed the variety of birds can Prairie Views home. My years of effort of creating habitats and food sources for birds have paid off. I have a number of cardinals searching for berries and other  seeds moving from bush to tree and then back to the bush. It is a lovely sight. With the cardinals are other native birds enjoying the feast and shelters my property has allowed them. Quails have enjoyed the wild plums and I see their coveys. Young quail also feed very heavily on insects and I hope improving their habitual will give me the added benefit of grasshopper control. It is a careful juggle between giving them areas and areas for my livestock feeding.

So you will not see a new years list from me. I will be stepping forward two steps at a time to continue my goals some of which fell short last year. I can only more forward but will not start over. They are listed below.

Sheep– I will get a new ram with the added idea to have dairy type sheep. I noticed that my Dropers might be excellent for milk production but mine are a flighty herd. Many adding Awassi ram  would word. If I am not able to get one then I might try a katahdin. This is another more common hair sheep breed. Sheep milk is great for cheese and it freezes very well.

Goat– We miss our goats and plan to add at least one doe if we can find someone who will breed her back. We do not have enough land to support a herd. Goat cheese is delicious.

Vegetable garden– Using fiber ground cover I plan to reduce the amount of weeding that takes too much of my time. I tried some with the tomatoes this year and it seemed to work well.

Windbreaks and Habitats-_ I have ordered some native plants seeds and I am deciding if I will order more Forest Service plants to add more bird habitats. I plan to transplant some of the wild plums that have sprouted to new areas to create more thickets and added windbreaks.

Food Forest I have been slowly adding new plants for this area. This year I will likely more forward to more wild and cider types of fruit trees. Apples and pears do well in this area but other type of fruits seem to struggle. Will more wild type of tress endure better. Food for thought.

Bees- One hive did really well while one struggles all year. I do not think it is strong enough to survive the winter. I will be adding another hive and most likely redoing the one.

Reading – I have not been reading as much this year. I need to continue reading the list .

Bucket lists– I had two bucket list that are lost from changing my blog site. They were reading 1001 books to read before you die and visit all of the National Parks. I will move forward on those.

Well in a few more hours it will be the New Year. Do you have plans to more forward?

 

 

 

0

© 2017 Prairie Views

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

This is a demo store for testing purposes — no orders shall be fulfilled. Dismiss

%d bloggers like this: