Thursday, June 19, 2008

~~Certified Wildlife Habitat @ kattz*cottage~~

We are very excited at kattz*cottage that we qualified to be a "Certified Wildlife Habitat" ~~ doing our part to take care of any & all wildlife that enter this lively place we call home. We are happy to share our gardens & our woods with so many creatures from birds, owls, frogs, toads, bats, armadillos, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, tons of insects & now our thousands of Honeybees! We provide shelter, water, food, & they provide us with hours of watching pleasure! I realized when posting this that I never have my camera in hand when I see these creatures ~ so that will be my next project - to try to get some wildlife pictures. So without the wildlife, here is the habitat! TZ found an old cedar log in our woods to display our new sign proudly!

What's wrong with this picture??!! Cabo knocks his Croquet Ball into the Pond & always goes in after it!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

~~T.Z.'s BEES~~

Tucked away wayyyyy back there behind the Hollyhocks is the BEEHIVE~~

THE "Bee Viewing Area".......YES we watch the bees ~ Our big pond is just behind the chairs so the bees have lots of water ~~

TZ checking the frames - you can see the white wax across the top where our Busy Bees have already begun working.....after 3 1/2 weeks they already have Honey in them ~~ it tastes SO good :-)

Cookie - TZ's Bee Buddy just can't stay away from the stings yet but it'll happen~~

This view from the top of the frames is after just ONE week in the hive ~ I think that's so amazing - they work fast~

TZ is pointing out the QUEEN - she's easy to find because she's marked.......

Smoking the bees to calm them~~ when I knew TZ was planning Beehives I found an antique Bee Smoker for $5 at an estate sale - works great~~

Alotta lotta bees......

TZ dumps the Bees into the Hive.....

He sprayed them with sugar water to keep them from swarming out - they start licking the sugar so they stay occupied while he dumps them into the hive ~~

Opening the BEE BOX after they arrived.......they come with a can of sugar water to keep them alive on their trip to our cottage~~

~A new adventure at kattz*cottage~

Our new & very exciting adventure! TZ has Bees! Something he has planned for years actually & he has been working on building his beehives & getting ready for his bees for several months now. The Italian Honeybees arrived 3 1/2 weeks ago & they seem to be very happy & comfortable living in their new hive-casa!

After researching & googling the internet & books for months & even years, I think TZ has learned what it takes to be a great bee-keeper. Every step he's taken has been smooth & easy as if he's been doing this for years. Fortunately, as he claims, he got some calm bees if that's

The bees arrived at the front door, in a little box, thousands of them - the buzz was almost deafening & Cookie wanted to get in the box with them! He couldn't stay away from them & still can't. The Queen is marked with a red spot on her back & she was contained in a tiny box with candy on the end that she had to nibble through to be released into the hive.

He has already "smoked" them twice to check the frames & to our complete surprise there was HONEY right before our very eyes! He pulled out every frame to check them & was never swarmed & so far we are "sting-free" but I'm sure one day that'll happen - probably Cookie will be the first victim because he can't stay away from the hive - he walks right up to it!

It may sound crazy but we go out & sit & watch the bees every evening. It's really interesting to see them flying back into the hive from their daily excursion. After smoking them last week TZ pulled off some chunks of wax with honey & brought them over to what I call ~OK don't laugh ~ our "bee viewing area" We couldn't believe that first taste of honey - so unbelievably good & sweet! Can't wait till we can start filling jars FULL of HONEY!

Our internet was down all last week so I had to make 2 trips to town & use the library computer just to catch up on ebay ~~ I'm still trying to catch up & am trying hard to get things listed since last week was a dud with no computer. So since I'm still behind with ebay & that comes first - I'm super WAY behind with blogging! Thanks so much for all your comments & I promise I WILL CATCH UP on all of them! I need more hours in the day!

~~hugs~~ xoxoxoxoxo Kathy