Saturday, September 21, 2013

ONE OF LEEZ BZ OBSERVED TAKING A RARE BREAK

Click on images to see them enlarged.

One of Leez Bz stopped to sip from a water droplet.
She is taking a very rare respite
from day-long marathon of foraging
for a few more morsels of nutrient in the fall forest foliage.

Break time is over.
Time to return to the fields searching for
remaining bits of pollen in the fall forest.

LEEZ BZ ENJOY ANNUAL FALL HOME INSPECTION

Fall Equinox tomorrow means it's time for the Ladies' annual pre-winter home inspection. 

First step is just to sit quietly at the hive entry for a few minutes to observe patterns.  Patterns of how many bees are coming and going to forage.  How much pollen they are returning with.  What color (plant type) is the pollen?  How much, what kind of noise the colony is making.  How many dead bees are strewn on the ground below the hive entrance, and whether it appears they may have died about the same time.  Examine stain streaks on the exterior hive body walls for signs of nosema (which can involve diarrhea).

Sometimes I'll place a stethoscope gently against the sides of the hive boxes to determine how tightly clustered they are, if at all, and if so, where.  That will help guide which frames to remove, or not, for examination when I open the hive in a few minutes.
Leez Bz
(two sidebar boxes are from unsuccessful colonies)


Opening the top of the hive to examine the "super" (the third, topmost box...the bees get to keep all the honey stores they put up for winter feeding, in the lower two boxes).  The super is about 1/3 full, since I used it to replace the prior super a few weeks ago.  If the colony looks healthy today I'll hope to harvest this honey soon.  If not, I'll leave it for winter backup panty, then take it in the spring when forest flowers bloom with pollen to make new honey.


Just a close-up view of the super box.  Not much action up here because it's early and crisply cool still this morning.


I performed only a cursory examination in order not to keep the hive open too long. The Ladies seemed to be doing well, so no need to get them all upset with a detailed exploratory exam.  I had prepared a 50/50 sugar/water mix, and cleaned this plastic hive-top feeder, ahead of time in case of deciding to install it.  I decided to install it.  Partly because the earlier entry-point observation revealed rather little pollen arriving on the bees' rear tibia (corbicula).


Aluminum (water proof) roof installed, with rock to avoid wind blowing off the roof.  Note the hive tools in lower left.  (One of them thinks it used to be a roof repair pry bar).





Well fed, plenty room to maneuver inside the hive, warm sun rays on a crisp fall day.  What more could we do to comfort these incredibly hard working Ladies?  







Friday, September 6, 2013

GOOD SAMARITAN'S St. MARTIN RETIREMENT VILLAGE












SkyBison Memories

The SkyBison has been a wonderful companion and 
aerial photography platform for several years.  

But technology evolves...    
Good bye, SkyBison.  You have filled my heart, lifted my life and 

you have been the "wind beneath my wings".


SkyBison taking Lee Alley up for a final sunset photography shoot
over Sturgis, Bear Butte and the Buffalo Chip Campground

SkyBison's first day of flight, May 29, 2007
at the Belle Fourche Airport

SkyBison moves into its new home
at the Sturgis Airport

Lee Alley and the SkyBison resting after a flight.
Bear Butte in the background



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

LEE'z B'z MAKE DONATION TO LEE'S "SENIORS REAL ESTATE" CLIENTS


Five of my six honeybee colonies did not survive the winter.  But one colony did moderately well.  Not the banner harvest of 140 pounds from my first colony a few years ago.  
But, still, this one surviving colony survived the winter with about 40 pounds of honey to spare.  We waited until late July to make sure the queen was providing them plenty of new baby bees, and that they were well on their way to plenty honey to survive on next winter.  

So last weekend Lee'z B'z "volunteered" to donate their surplus inventory to my most deserving seniors real estate clients.  On top of that, last month I had confined a hive full of honey that a colony had abandoned in late spring after a great start (Colony Collapse Disorder?).  So we also harvested those surplus frames.

Looks like we'll get a couple dozen jars of Leez Bz honey this year.  And we'll will have a couple jars of honeycomb wax to make candles, lip balm, axle lubricant, ...







Tuesday, July 30, 2013

LEE'S URBAN GRAND DAUGHTER MEETS GRANDPA'S HOBBY FARM

Collecting Eggs

Herrrrrre, chick, chick, chick.



4G Social Network:
  Goose, Goat, Grandkid, Grandpa.

Feeding Harney and Sylvan, the Pack Goats

Grandpa Teaching His Daughter's Daughter How to Kiss a Boy (Goat)

Sylvan the Pack Goat Sharing His Spring Buffet






MOTHER GOOSE AND HUBBY ANNOUNCE THEIR NEW TRIPLETS



Mr. Grey and Ms. Absolute Vodka
Announce the Arrival of Their Triplets:
Shot, Sip and Swig

Babies' First Bath with Momma...Dad Stands Guard