Sunday, March 18, 2012

According to my honeybees, it's spring!

I would just like to say that the normal high for this day is supposed to be 4C/39F. Instead it is 25C/77F right now! Tomorrow it's supposed to hit 27C/80F and thunderstorms are forecast. I have to say, the weather is just crazy and it worries me. It shouldn't be this hot here at this time of the year. I wonder what effect it's having on the wildlife. 

My honeybees were going crazy today..


Those four near the front are communicating with each other about something. Perhaps they're discussing a pollen source, because...


...they were coming in and out of the hives absolutely loaded with pollen (the yellow blobs on the hind legs of some of the bees.) Bees carry pollen back to the hive in "pollen baskets" on their hind legs. At this time of year, they might be collecting pollen from pussywillows, or possibly maples, other willows or even pine and spruce. There's not a whole lot out there for them yet.

Here's a video of the fun:


Yes, I stood right next to the hive and took all that footage without being bothered. Came back half an hour later without my camera and got stung just under my temple while I was standing quietly behind a hive! Honeybitch! ;)

I'm fine! I barely react to honeybee stings apart from a little redness and pain right after it happens. If you are stung by a bee, the most important thing is to get that stinger out as soon as possible!! I scrape them out with my fingernail. The stinger usually has a venom sac attached to it and will continue pumping venom for a surprising amount of time after the bee has detached herself from it (subsequently dying, having left her innards behind on you!) So if you get stung by a bee (or wasp or hornet), your first priority should be getting the stinger out. Just use your fingernail or a credit card and scrape along the surface of your skin until the sucker is out.

I then put ice on the sting for half an hour. There are many ways to treat a sting, but I find ice works very well. If you swell up (but not in an allergic way!) you can take antihistamines. I have some homeopathic "apis gel" my friend gave me that I always use, because it feels soothing. A paste of baking soda and water is also supposed to help, but I do fine with an ice cube.

I think I've mentioned before that honeybees are usually quite gentle when out foraging. They can be gentle at their hive too, but you never know. Sometimes they're defensive. They were ignoring me today until that rogue bee decided to fly behind the hive and nail me!

And in other farm news...



I let the chickens out to mingle with the ducks in their run. Errol Flynn is looking fine!



As is Beaker, the sexpot Silkie-cross rooster.



We've been putting Eugenia's cage outside so she can get some fresh air. She is holding her splinted leg out behind her. It seems to be doing okay. She had been standing on her good leg and attempting to put some weight on the splinted one, but not much progress there yet. Barring any disasters developing, I will check what's going on under the splint after three weeks. Jane from the Maple Syrup Mob has given me some very good advice for Mama duck. Thanks Jane!



Two of Eugenia's girls sunbathing. I haven't named these two yet.


This little girl is particularly sweet and enjoys me petting her. She even seems to like me stroking the top of her noggin.

I'm slowly recovering from my walking pneumonia but it's really worn me out. I'm not used to being short of breath and feeling weak.  But I managed to talk through that whole bee video today without coughing! And I went for a slow walk with Gordon today, which is progress. I am feeling very out of shape and it's driving me nuts. I haven't been to a yoga class in a month and I miss it. I'll see if I can get to one this week.

Happy early spring!


25 comments:

  1. Knatolee, I hope Eugenia is feeling less pain...poor thing. It's no fun having broken bits.
    Jane x

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    1. I keep checking on her and she seems her usual self, so let's hope she's feeling okay! Poor honey. Her duck friends keep sticking their heads in the cage and visiting. I'm sure she wishes she could have a nice swim.

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  2. Excellent account of bees and their behavior. As you said the best behavior is to be quiet and they go right past you. amazing that your weather is that warm?

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    1. Red, the weather is absolutely crazy. THe mosquitoes were out tonight!! It;s technically still winter!

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  3. The bees are nice and all, and I hope the best and a quick recovery for Eugenia, but I just couldn't get my eyes off of that red rooster, Beaker! What an adorable guy he is :) I just love roosters.

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    1. I have three super-nice roosters. We got them as chicks, and I figured they'd fight and we'd have to rehome some, but almost two years later they are still co-existing very well! THey've worked out a pecking order: Lord Gaga is boss, Errol is #2, and little Beaker is #3. :) I have to trim their spurs soon. THey are all very good with humans, too.

      EUgenia seems to be doing well. We're giving her lots of TLC. Thank you for the good wishes!

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    2. I was just talking with Randy about trimming our roosters' spurs yesterday. We need to do it, too. How do you do it? I don't remember if you do it like we do (with plyers!!), but I know we talked about this in the past. I will post the whole nasty process when we do it. just thinking about it makes me shudder...

      ~Lynn

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  4. What a nice family you have. Poor Eugenia! I hope she can swim soon. I would do her so good. That's a great bee video. I was badly stung by a bee once when I was five. I was with my father in a country field, and I disturbed a nest without knowing it. It was very painful. Like you, my father knew what to do. He got the venom out. We were near a creek. He wet his handkerchief in the cold water, and applied it to the sting. (In those days, men always had a big, white linen handkerchief in their pocket.) I stayed clear of bees ever since.

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    1. Wise, Claude!! I never got stung as a child; maybe that's why I'm not afraid now! :)

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  5. You really should take it easy, slow walks sound good.
    We had 24C today. Two days ago, there was thunderstorm and hail in the forecast, and we got one thunder and one lightening, than it was over. Waited the whole day for it, and it happened at 10PM, almost missed it! :o)

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    1. We are supposed to get thunderstorms later today, but I bet you'll get them first! The weather always comes from your direction to us. :)

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  6. Bees... eek! I know that they're great little creatures but I just have this inbuilt run-for-the-hills reaction to them, it's all I can do to stay still and let one fly by. The shape and sound trigger horrible things in me. Why can't bees look like miniature flying teddybears (and why can't wasps not exist at all)?

    Weather in England is as crazy as yours - freezing cold, then Summer-hot, dry, wet, windy, still, cloudy, clear with no defined season to it. I blame the government.

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    1. Now now, what are bumble bees but little teeny-tiny black-and-yellow teddy bears (that can sting you repeatedly should they so desire, as their stingers aren't barbed.) So cuddly! So adorable!!

      And I blame everything on the government.

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  7. So many nice pictures. I'm more fond of birds then bees *smile*. Have a nice monday.

    Hugs
    Elna

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  8. And thought our temperatures were unseasonably warm

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  9. Happy early spring to you, too, Nat. I love it and am not complaining at all. Bring it! I love all the chicken and duck and bee pics and the video, too.

    I hope Eugenia heals up ok. The chicken that I had with a broken leg, Danni, died during the whole process. I think she re-broke it, after it was doing so well and was almost healed. I think she was hopping around (she has her own small coop) and I know it was rebroken - it was splayed out at an odd angle when I found her, And she was in shock and died. I so hope you have better luck than me. :(

    ~Lynn

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    1. Lynn, I've been thinking of Dani throughout this whole fiasco. I hope Eugenia has a better outcome, but you couldn't have given Dani better care. She was a well-loved chicky!!

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  10. We DO have full bee butt-baskets! I know, but is was so fun to say...

    Fingers crossed for Eugenia. Nature knows best so I think she'll do fine--and YOU--take it slowly. I had something similar about 20 years ago and it KICKED my butt all OVER again when I started doing things too quickly. I ended up being sick for almost eight weeks.

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    1. Bee butt-baskets, I muchly like that!

      I am reeeeeeeeally trying to take it easy but it SUCKS. :)

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  11. Looks like Spring is springing across most of the Great White North! One of our chickens was severely injured by a fox, but after about two weeks at death's door she perked up and became her old self again. Good nursing was involved then, too.

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    1. Okay, that gives me lots of hope! ANd Eugenia seemed to unscathed except for that wound and break on her leg. I will continue my campaign of TLC! :)

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  12. Best wishes for a speedy recovery from your not-walking-very-much pneumonia! I hate being sick too, when you're used to be active. I always feel like such a slug when I have to just lie around. But, pneumonia (of any variety) is nothing to sneeze at--pardon the obvious pun. Take care and get well soon!

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    1. Jim Henson died of walking pneumonia! But it sounds like he didn't listen to his wife and didn't go to the doctor in time. :( I did at least take Gordon's advice eventually... :) ANyway I went for a slow walk today and yesterday and was very happy to be up off my BUTT! THanks TTPT. oxox

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!