busy bees

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Version 2

 

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Sorry, I just couldn’t resist the cheesy post title. It was too easy.

This Spring Gabe completed his six week apprentice beekeeping course through the county, and in April, we purchased two hives. Fun fact: when you purchase bees, you have to pick them up from the bee society and drive them home yourself. Each cage contained 10,oo0 bees and one queen. Gabe drove home with 20,000 live bees buzzing next to him in the front seat of his car. Can you even imagine what that must of sounded like? It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

I wanted to paint the hives bright colors in various hues, but Gabe likes everything to match, and since he is the one risking his life (dramatic, I know) caring for the bees, I left the final decision up to him. He chose to paint them with leftover yellow paint from when we had the house painted last fall, and I have to admit, it was a good choice. They look great.

Gabe was stung twice while putting the bees into their new home (he wasn’t wearing the hood of his bee suit) but other than that, the transition from the  cages to the hives went well and the bees seem to be thriving in their new home.

I absolutely love the photo of Gabe standing next to the hives scratching his head.  You can practically see the thought bubble floating above his head: I hope this works. Okay…let’s do this.

We don’t yet have any honey from the bees, and most likely will not have any till Fall.  Still, I couldn’t resist making a honey and goat’s milk soap a few days ago. My parents also keep bees and my Mom found this recipe on Pinterest. She purchased the same mold used in the original post, and we used store-bought honey and a goat’s milk melt-and-pour soap base that I had leftover from another project. The directions were incredibly easy to follow and the mold is so clever and adorable; I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. You can find the recipe here.

Wednesday Knit Along #1 (And Other Things)

Wednesday Knit Along #1 (And Other Things)

I finally finished Sam’s Abate sweater yesterday. We took it for a test run on my parent’s farm this morning. I knit the 4 year size because I wanted him to be able to wear it for more than one season and that seemed to work out perfectly. (I know the photos are a bit fuzzy, but you try convincing a 14 month old to hold still for more than .5 seconds. It’s impossible.) I used a yarn I’d never heard of before, Plymouth Yarn Coffee Beenz. It’s a wool blend so it’s not scratchy and is machine washable.

I’m quite proud of it. It’s adorable.

So is the kid.

My first batch of harvested lavender is drying in the dining area; it gives off the faintest scent of lavender when I walk past it. I look forward to harvesting more.

Gabe and I canned the pears given to us by family friends. I used the same book as before, Canning for a New Generation: Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff. We made spiced pears in red wine and a pear and ginger preserve. What does one do with a preserve? I have no idea. It tastes amazing eaten straight out of the jar with a baby spoon accompanied by a glass of cheap red wine…so I’ve heard.

While discussing our future plans for the farm, Gabe and I decided that we would try our hand in raising bees. It doesn’t seem terribly complicated and Gabe puts honey on everything. Since I switched our family over to the Paleo diet, we’ve been going through lots of bottles of honey; most food items are sweetened with honey as opposed to refined sugar, a big no-no in Paleo. We thought it would not only save us some money, but also be a fun activity for us and our kid(s) when they become older. Gabe checked out a few books on bee keeping at the local library, one of them being shown in the above photo. I can’t comment on the content of the book just yet, as I’ve only skimmed through the first few chapters, however the pictures are lovely. I love the robin’s egg blue color of the hives. I will probably insist Gabe paint our hives the same color. Because one must have colorful bee hives.

Everyone knows that.

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