Saturday, April 25, 2009

help! my bees are sick

i don't know what's happening but this is what we found this afternoon!

larvae outside the hive
larvae and bees outside the hive

messed up foundation on hive, 4/25/09
these are a bit blurry, but basically, you can see that the wax foundation is discolored and collapsed. you can also see hive beetles, which may be the source of the problem.

messed up foundation on hive, 4/25/09

messed up foundation on hive, 4/25/09

i called someone from the midstate beekeeping association and hopefully they'll know how to help me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

slow food gardening workshop

Small Scale Urban Gardening
Partner event with USC Green Quad Learning Center

Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm
USC Green Quad: Learning Center located at 1216 Wheat Street, Building D

The Green Quad Learning Center for Sustainable Futures along with Slow Food Columbia will host a workshop on Small Scale Urban Vegetable Gardening. The workshop will introduce square foot gardening techniques, container gardening, soil preparation and seed selection for the Columbia area. Green Quad Community Gardener Michael Drennan and Permaculturalist, Matthew Kip will lead the workshop which will begin at 6pm on April 23rd at the Green Quad Community Garden.

Learn more about Michael's Square foot garden.

the torture didn't really transpire

so i was supposed to be on live at five on wis this morning. anyone who knows me well enough will know that i'm not a morning person. so to be awake at 4:30, let alone being perky and coherent is a feat for me. but i got up at 3:30, started to get all prettied up and got a call that there was breaking news and we were being bumped. so i crawled back in bed with very little delay. thus, the torture was minimal.

in all honesty, i have to say i was a little disappointed because this was a good opportunity for me, the agency, and our cause. but oh well, there will be more chances in the future.

Monday, April 20, 2009


if i go to bed right now, i'll get 5 1/2 hrs of sleep. i have to wake up tomorrow at 3:30! that's AM, folks! i'll tell you why tomorrow.

mom's visit

i've not written in over a week mostly because i was so busy with my mom's visit. she came in wednesday night and stayed until this morning. we had a jam-packed, fun time.

i had to work a good part of thursday because we were preparing for a big event for sexual assault awareness month. we did a free movie in the park where we showed the lifetime movie, speak, staring kristen stewart (of twilight acclaim). the event went so well! we had about 100* people there and mostly everything went off without a hitch.

mom and her friend sarah helped put up flyers around the park.
sarah & mom @ concert in the park

although they were a bit cold, i think they enjoyed the show.
sarah, mom & reonda @ movie in the park

mom's main purpose for being in town this week was because her friend was visiting. sarah works for the michael feldman show and they had a broadcast from columbia on saturday. if you don't remember, or didn't know, we met the michael feldman show four years ago when they were on their bus tour. they visited mom's house in cape may, nj. mom struck up a friendship with their stage manager. hence, the connection.

so on friday evening, after a busy day of shopping for mom and me, we met up with the what d'ya know folks and went out with michael, the cast, and some of the accompanying crew of the show. i was pleased that they chose hunter gatherer as their restaurant for the night. what a great representation of the fantastic food in our city. it was great to meet these folks again. they're all really fun to hang out with and share laughs.

on saturday mom, baldman, a friend, and i all went to the watch the broadcast show. of course, that was really neat to see. and we got to hang out backstage for a minute waiting for sarah to be ready. a bonus to that excitement was that while waiting, i got to sample hunter gatherer's new high gravity beer and homemade chocolate fudge from a fan. yum!

after the show we spent a better part of the day bumming around columbia and eating more good food before sarah caught her evening flight back to wisconsin.

saturday afternoon i was able to show mom the bee hive. everything is still looking really good! there is larva growing, and more eggs being laid. still can't find the queen. i'm beginning to think that she was unmarked even though she's supposed to have a little marking to help me find her. but i know she's doing her job. they have laid comb in about 4 or 5 of the foundation. and some of the comb is capped off, which is fantastic! things are progressing very well!

pretty lady in a bee bonnet
mom, the bee-uty queen

suiting mom up
suiting mom up

opening up the hive with mom watching
opening the hive

mom and me looking at bees
mom takes a peak

frames of bees set aside
frames set to the side

on sunday we went strawberry picking, which has become an annual event for me. i tried to take the somali kids like i usually do, but they were not to be found. oh well, that'll give me an excuse to do it again before the season's over. i'll have pictures of the strawberry picking when mom emails them to me.

*yes, the 100 people included about 25 homeless men. but they ate the popcorn and watched the movie so they definitely should be included in our count. still even if they weren't, 75 people is an excellent number for our the first year of this event!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy easter

beautiful clematis

i hope everyone is having a happy and blessed easter. ours was different than originally expected, but it turned out really nice. baldman was not feeling well yesterday so we did not go to the easter vigil like we normally do. he wasn't sure he could make it through the several hours-long mass. so we went this morning.

while in the jam-packed church, we sat next to an african. a guy from burkina faso who we'd never met before. of course, my husband struck up a conversation and ended up inviting him over for lunch. we really enjoyed the visit and it was nice to have someone else to celebrate with. plus, the lunch was awesome (if i do say so myself).

artichoke, leek and potato gratin
green salad with orange, fennel and asparagus
white-eyed peas*
homemade bread
rhubarb pie

baldman and jean-marc

*i bought these peas from a road-side stand in lexington and i think the lady said they were white-eyed peas. but i'm not sure. they're like black-eyed peas, only not. they were really delic!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

what are you doing tuesday night?


why not go to the vagina monologues? the proceeds support (partially) my office.

check it out:

the vagina monologues

first bee check

this afternoon baldman and i did our first inspection of the hive. we couldn't find the queen, but i'm fairly certain she's there. the point is to find the queen (or signs of her) to make sure she's laying eggs and doing her job. we noticed a few hive beetle. i'll keep an eye on that. the bees were definitely working, though. they'd laid comb in a few of the outer frames. so we rotated frames to keep the middle full. hopefully they'll move out as they fill it up. at first i didn't see any eggs. they're so minuscule, it's just so hard to see them. especially when there's thousands of bees covering everything. but we removed some stray burr comb and when i looked closer at that i'm almost certain there were eggs in there. i figure i'll check back in a week to see if there are any more signs. but so far so good.

here are a few picts of the inspection:

baldman all suited up! what a dork!
is he not the cutest!?

taking out the frames for our first inspection
taking out the frames

checking out the bees
if you look closely, you can actually see where they've laid the comb

can you spot the queen?

stray piece of burr comb
the burr comb. if you blow this picture up big enough, you can actually see what i'm fairly certain are eggs. (how 'bout them blue nails?)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

look what i did yesterday!

side garden

and i did it without spending any money. i moved some irises that were in the front yard, planted some lilies that mom transplanted from nj, and used wood chips from the tree that was taken down a few months ago. i'm really proud! now, i hope everything does okay and survives the move.

side garden
another similar shot.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

the best april fools joke in the world

except that it's true.

so today's my birthday. happy birthday to me.

happy birthday to me

here's the saga of my day.

on my way home from work tonight i was in a 3 car accident. someone cut me off in traffic and they hit the person in front of me. i, in turn, hit them. no one was hurt, thankfully, other than just a few scrapes and bruises. i'm sure i'll feel sore tomorrow. but the car is totaled, i'm certain. the front bumper was totally crunched in and it had smashed the radiator. the irony is that i know the person who cut me off. she was my intern from last year and the other passenger in the car was our other intern. nice.

on the plus side we got to install the bees. that went really well. only one sting which i can't blame her because i was really banging them around. so here are a few picts of the process.

the package of bees next to the hive

baldman spraying the package of bees with sugar honey

waldie dumping the bees into the hive

bees at the bottom of the hive

hanging the queen

completely installed hive

bee update

the bees were set to arrive in lexington yesterday at 5:30 pm. so i jetted out of work and pulled into the parking lot right around 6:00. as i pulled in it seemed like the line was deceptively short. and all the cars were in park and not moving at all. so i decided to get out and investigate. first of all, it turns out that the line was so short because i had cut in line. the eta for the bees had been changed to 9 pm, which had caused a lot of people to leave. i had apparently pulled into a gap in the line where people had not moved forward once others had left.

so at this point i had a choice to wait 3+ hours and keep my prime spot in line (which i had stolen anyway), or go home to chill for 2 hours and come back, possibly to wait another hour or so in line again. i decided on the latter, which in the end i really feel was a wise decision. as i was leaving lexington at 6:30 i heard that the drivers had just left the suppliers in south georgia and i knew that it would take them more than 2 1/2 hours to get there.

so at 9:30 pm i pulled back into lexington to find the line grown significantly. no worries, i put on the radio and listed to an old friend on a new-to-me show. it was 1/2 hour later, at 10:00, that the bees arrived. by 10:15 i was inching forward in the line and by 10:45 i had my bees in the back seat and heading home. it was creepy to have them in the car with me, but i knew there was no harm they would do to me. i felt like i had to challenge to myself to ride with them so i could get used to them. it was too late to install them into the hive last night, so i sprayed them down with sugar water to give them something to nibble on and stuck them on the porch. hopefully it won't rain tonight so i can put them in. they can only be in the shipping container for about 2 days tops.

here's a picture that baldman took last night. it shows you how they're clustering around the top where the feeder and the queen are. that cluster is totally thick with bees. there should be about 10,000 bees in there!

our bees clustering in the shipping box