Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bee My, Bee my, Bee my Little BaBee!!

Continued from Page One!

SO! The Beekeeper came, and brought a wee Bee House. I grabbed my camera and shot a bunch of pictures which--as soon a I get them developed!-- I will edit to post later. We stood there, watching this swarm, and he told me it was "just a little one". To which I replied, "AH! But that is SO subjective! I, as an allergy-ridden fool, believe this is a HUGE! collection of bees!" Since this is only the second time I have seen a bivouac, that is true. EVEN THO! The first one was pre-internet, pre-camera, and in the late sixties. That swarm must have included a queen, since it was well over 2' long, and 18" to 20" inches wide. My Daddy freaked out! and sprayed them with the hose to get them going away. I wish he hadn't, tho... I remember wishing that we could just watch them..... "Just a wee swarm" of perhaps 2,000 bees. A "normal" swarm is 20,000 !! bees! wowzer!

I fixed up a dish of sugar water, and he told me they won't touch anything less than 21% sugar, so I added more sugar...

He put on his bee hat, and some nitrile rubber gloves, and pulled out a shelf from the bee house. Then he gently shooed the cluster of bees onto the shelf. They ooozed onto it, rather like very cold honey pouring out, slowly, sweetly, and when that shelf was filled, he tucked it back lovingly into the bee house. He repeated this action five times. He looked for the queen, but was unable to find her.. but he hadn't caught all of the bees, either...

Then he tucked the be house into the branches of the Grand Fir.. (as gentle as he was with the bees, he was rough and untender with the branches of the wee fir, and left two scrapes along 2 branches... one branch is curled backwards, but I think it will spring back fine)

He told me they will either go into the house, or they won't. They are either a secondary swarm without a queen, or he just didn't find her. They will either find a hollow tree here, and bee happy, or they will go into the bee house, and go home with him.

About an hour after he left, I went out to check on them, and all the bees had left the bee house! They were now tucked between the bee house and the trunk of the fir tree. They seemed quite happy and protected there. I noticed that some were investigating the bee house, but the majority were now re-huddled in their wee mass.

This morning, when I staggered out, bleary-eyed to check on "my" bees, they were still escounced between the bee house and the trunk of the tree. No wee bees were drowning in the sugar water, so hopefully, those that needed a wee sip, got one handy. Just in case they got thirsty, and maybe they are tired from all that flying and stuff.. and maybe the pond is too far away, or something.. I didn't want them to be hungry.....


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Won't You Bee Mine, Honey?

This morning I staggered past a note written by my Roomie, and misread it of course, because reading with one's eyes shut really isn't very affective, I've discovered. I answered the question I THOUGHT she wrote.

Later, with java in my blurred hands, I re-read the note. Calling my now-confused Roomie, I responded; "OH the answer to your question is not the question I answered." She needed me to check her wee little Grand Fir, the Gladstone Tree, which she has babied Lo! these many years in a pot. We planted it out four years ago, now. Every few years, it suffers an attack of those nasty vampire aphids, you know, the ones that are as big as scale but aren't? The Ahnold SchwartzeAphids? and we spray it with Neem, hose 'er off a few days later, and Voila! She grows another foot. Well, she got hit pretty bad, and with this past week of exceptionally hot weather, she got her tip buds whalloped! Saturday, Dianne sprayed her well with Neem. Today I went out to spray her with Dawn dish washing water, to loosen up that yucky sooty must the aphids leave behind.

There was a wee honey bee circling lazily around the Gladstone Tree, then I spied another, and another. Now, I am alert to these kinds of things, as I am pretty severely allergic to bee stings, and anaphylactic shock just ain't pretty.

I moved closer. Anaphylactic shock or not, curiosity gets THIS Kat every time. Along the trunk, I see a darkened mass, which seemingly seethes with golden stripes, like a molten tiger. It takes me a few seconds to figure out what I am seeing. It's a bivouac of honey bees! It's about 8" long by 6" wide, by maybe 4-5" thick. It's beautiful!

SO! My brain starts whirring, startling the Starlings who are stealing cat food off the porch. I have about 500 apple trees! Not to mention the few plums and peaches, and huckleberries and blueberries which are making a valiant effort to thrive here... Fruits and vegetables LIKE pollenators! I wonder??? I called upon my Good Friend, Google

I m awaiting a local beekeeper to come look and see if we can "socialize" them.

How cool!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Well, Bless Her Heart

There is this delightful phrase that Southern women have used for decades. It's rather catty, (no, not moi!) but is oh! so! appropriete sometimes to remind yourself that 1) Some people really SHOULD be outta the gene pool, and 2) it's OK to realize Fact #1

I made mention of this phrase in my post yesterday about the Hollyweird Twit who has instigated a (county-paid, mind you) lawsuit against her neighbor who has been *gasp* FEEDING STRAY CATS! OH! The Horror! The Pain! The Despicability!

This, then, are the definitions:
Bless Her Heart
Bless Her Heart
and well, Bless Her Heart.


Friday, July 10, 2009

The Weird Meet the Council of Logic

So this Beverly Hills twit is trying to cast a Trap/Neuter/and Release (TNR) Advocate who's been feeding stray cats (and trapping them, and getting them altered IN OTHER WORDS, she's part of the SOLUTION, not the Problem) into the Brig for disobeying the law. Well, Bless Her Heart. (If you would like a translation of that little gem, I will write it up in a minute, and edit it for *HERE*)

WHAT IN THE GODS FORSAKEN GOODNESS is with this idiot?? (Yep, it's my Blog, and I can call this Hollyweird Debutante an idiot if I want to.) Alleys aren't "public", they are semi-private convenience egress and ingress. ANYWAY, here's the Scoop, I thought it was well done!

Beverly Hills Ruling on Ordinance to Criminalize Stray Cat Feeders

The Proposed Ordinance

What a CRIME!! against "Humanity"?

And Another

What are we coming to? This is not enlightened behavior. This is .. tragic, evil and incredibly selfishly stupid.

Perhaps it strikes a chord in me, since all of my cats (all "too many of them") are strays and ferals that I have trapped, spayed/neutered, and either kept safe in my house so they may not be harmed, or released. (Depending on their requirements "personality", or "tameability")

Just Bless this Twit's Wee Little Pea-Shaped Heart.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

What a lovely weekend. Thursday and Friday we went to the Safeway Waterfront Park Blues Fest for the 22nd Annual Oregon Food Bank event. For a mere $10.oo and two cans of food, you get a whole day's worth of blues. Thursday was 3 pm - 10:30 pm, Friday was Noon to 10:30 pm.

I was in heaven!

And then today is America's birthday! Not my puppy America, but the USofA America. Let the fireworks commence!