June 30, 2014


  • C-man has been begging for a phone. I have my old pay by the month one that I reconnected for him for just the summer. I decided now that he's roaming the neighborhood on his bike, it could be easier than trying to find him.
  • Oh my gosh, is he thrilled.
  • I got three text messages from him telling him he loves me.
  • This morning on the way to camp, he thanked me for trusting him with the biggest responsibility of his life.
  • That may have been the best $35 I've ever spent.
  • I read The Kitchen House on a recommendation. That may have been more depressing than the Fault In Our Stars. Not that I'd expected a slave story to be super uplifting, but it was a tragic story even about the non-slaves. Yikes. I do not recommend that one unless you like reading about bad things.
  • This weather has caused lots of pain for both Harry and me. This morning, I woke up and couldn't find Harry. Until I opened C-man's bedroom door and found them both curled up together on the floor. He was scared and feeling bad so went to find comfort in C-man. Adorable.
  • I'm getting a massage after work today. I cannot wait. Something has to help these puffy hands and stiff neck. Although it isn't going to be this impending storm.
  • I sure hope my bees are okay.

June 29, 2014

Weekend recap

It's been another busy, eventful weekend. After the A's sad loss on Friday night, I went to see my bees on Saturday. Both hives were quite peaceful and had laying queens. I even took off my face net and gloves. Unfortunately, Beatrix's hive was no more drawn out than the last time. I'm hoping the warmer weather will help out now and they will go nuts. Amelia's hive had taken to their new queen and built out a significant amount of comb. Nothing in the second brood box, as she's refilling the bottom box with eggs. I'd realized about 20 minutes from home I'd forgotten my camera, so you're going to be spared yet another bee photo.

Today, I finally replaced my muggled geocache and went to see the Brewers lose. At least we got 3 Gennett bobblelheads in the process. Now, I need a nap.

June 28, 2014

And that's that

The A's lost their final tournament game last night. It was such a nice season, that it made it so sad to have them all in tears at the end of it. (C-man won't even look at his "runner-up" trophy.) But the video is done, and the WEBSITE up and shared with the team.

And now, summer can start. (Do you hear that Mother Nature?!?! Summer can START NOW!)

So with sugar syrup readying on the stove, I'm going to spend my day in the car and with my bees. Let's all cross our fingers they are doing well and the rest of summer is going to be warm and fruitful for them.

June 27, 2014

One more game

  • The A's won their semi-finals game against the Rockies, and are headed to the championship game tonight against the Red Sox. C-man struck out and walked, but had a nice defensive play at third that saved at least one run. So it was good. Go A's!
  • Except for one kid, I have 20 decent photos of every kid on the team uploaded to the team website I put together. I hope it's enough. Or not weird. I always fret about this being weird.
  • I'd really like to take a Tramdol for this pain today, but know it would knock me out. Probably not the wisest choice while at work.
  • Every day, C-man is playing football, making movies, bowling, and building a wooden bench. I'm so jealous.
  • I'm starting to upload all my photos from 2009 to an online site so I have cloud backup. Not to be Captain Obvious, but I've taken a lot of photos.
  • I get to see my bees tomorrow. Here's hoping the queens are laying and the bees haven't fought each other to the death.
  • Oh, and Go A's!

June 26, 2014

Let's Go A's!

  • C-man's game got pushed to tonight because there was a rainout on Tuesday. If they win, they play the championships tomorrow. If they lose, they go home.
  • I spent most of my workday moving where I sit. I'm not going to lie, it was kind of nice and mindless.
  • It also made me realize I need to print out some different travel photos to hang on my walls. I've had these up for a while now, and it'd be nice to look at something new.
  • I sure hope my bees aren't dead. All this cold and rain... ick...
  • I have been HURTING lately. It's been so bad for so long, I'm starting to feel a little numb about it.
  • It's why I don't have a lot to say these days. It seems even talking hurts.
  • So with that, Go A's Go!

June 25, 2014

I need some sun

  • I wonder how my bees are doing? As each day shows up rainier and foggier than the last, I'm really losing hope that this is going to work out at all. What a bust.
  • It's the semi-finals of the baseball tournament at 5:45 tonight. A's v Rockies. Go A's Go!
  • C-man had batting practice with a private coach last night because he's been doing this weird batting stance thing again. Hopefully he corrects it for tonight's game.
  • Summer camp is in full swing with football, app building, cartooning, and woodworking. Except he isn't all that thrilled with cartooning, and all his friends are in bowling. So promptly at 9 a.m., I got a call from the school that C-man had been in the office requesting a switch.
  • Apparently he didn't believe me that I'd call to move him, and took matters into his own hands. Funny, funny kid.
  • I think this day is going to need a significant amount of coffee. That's been a pretty solid theme lately.
  • I need some sun.

June 24, 2014

Aren't I smarter than this?

I'm grumpy. My body hurts, and my mind is exhausted from the lack of sleep due to said pain. I'm fueling myself with caffeine and sugar, just exacerbating the problems. Sigh. I'm smarter than this. Supposedly.

June 23, 2014


I know part of it is the weather making me all puffy and depressed. And another part is C-man must be growing or something, because he's been acting like a teenage girl. But I've been so excited about my bee project this year, that it's so incredibly disheartening to think it isn't going to work out.

I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. I keep reading and researching and poring through message boards and asking questions. And it all comes down to - nobody really knows.

But isn't that just the way it goes? Even with the best of intentions, it can all still fall to pieces. Bummer. I need some sun to cheer me up.

June 22, 2014

A W for the day

Today has been a winner of a day. We spent the majority of the day at the ballpark. First, watching the A's annihilate the Dodgers 21 - 4 (And that was with the merciful 5 run per inning rule even on innings they didn't have to adhere to that). Then we stayed to see who they'd play on Wednesday. (A game that went an hour and a half past normal time with extra innings) And THEN, we stayed to watch the neighbor kid's team. So I'm pretty much crispy fried.

Meanwhile, my house is a mess with the laundry needing to be done and the floors cleaned and the front yard needing to be mowed. The good news is I'm feeling infinitely better than I did yesterday with much of the swelling going down. Also, C-man biked to a friends' house to watch US v Portugal, so we have a pizza on its way for the two of us to eat for dinner in front of the World Cup on our own TV, and my A's video got a few new cool photos.

I think it's safe to give this day a big win.

June 21, 2014

Whining alert

I hurt. A lot. I'm swollen and achy and, well, whiney. My feet hurt. My legs feel numb they've hurt so bad for so many days. Sitting hurts. Standing hurts. ARGH!

I did some house cleaning this morning because I knew my tolerance for this day wasn't going to last long. And by noon, I was done. What an awful waste of a Saturday.

At least there's World Cup and Brewers to watch. (On that note, who knew I'd spend a day rooting for Iran and Ghana?)

June 20, 2014

So I guess I'm a beekeeper: And I'm pretty bad at it

I took the day off work today and went north. I ordered a new queen, assuming Amelia was gone. When I arrived, right behind the UPS truck (Good timing on my part!), I opened the hive and realized I was totally right. So I installed Amelia II.

I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Or if I am, which is what makes this so maddening.

I've now had to re-queen both hives. And Beatrix II is laying like a champ, but her hive isn't drawing out any comb, which means she has no more place to lay new eggs. After a lot of thought, I made the executive decision to take frame 8 from Amelia and give it to Beatrix. There are no eggs in the frame, since they hatched while they were queenless, and weren't replaced (I actually did see 2 new baby bees hatch out today, which was amazing). So I figured they could use a few extra bees in the hive, but more importantly, the full frame of drawn comb.

It's been cool and rainy, which makes me think the bees haven't been foraging and therefore not making wax. But seriously, what the heck? I've got full gallons of sugar syrup on the top feeders for them, and they aren't really eating much of that either.

So now Amelia II is in place with 5 frames of drawn comb and lots of bees, since those 5 frames have mostly hatched out. (And the hive got super gentle when I put her queen cage in the hive) Beatrix II is laying, but has no good place to lay them. Although now she has at least one more new frame in which to lay her eggs. I'm really hoping I didn't just weaken Amelia's hive too much with that one frame.

Here's hoping that these hives get on the ball and start drawing comb and making this a good hive, or they won't make the winter. Because seriously, I can't re-queen every stinking month! Sigh. What am I doing wrong?

June 19, 2014

300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high

This rain has been oppressive. Of course, our basement was completely soaked when I got home last night. We must have a bad connection somewhere and it came through the floor, because it wasn't through a broken basement window this time. (Thanking God for small favors). Ahhh, home ownership...

Amelia II should be shipping today. I'm doing my best to clear my calendar to drive north tomorrow, assuming I need to install her. Which sucks, because I was really looking forward to a whole weekend at home.

If I do head north, I'll need to race home to make it to my own gathering I've organized at the local beer garden. I hope it doesn't rain.

June 18, 2014

Double first

The A's double clinched first place last night with their final game of the regular season win. It's always fun to be a winner. Doubly nice was that I got the two videos of kids hitting I still needed. Now the video sits and waits, all done, unless there is some spectacular photo I get in the tournament play. Whew.

The rain won't stop, which, of course, leaves me a nervous wreck all night long. Partly because Harry won't stop panting in my face and partly because I'm freaked out the basement is going to flood. Of course, while I'm at work, the heavens are opened up again. Argh!

C-man is really liking his Lego robot building summer camp week. He was kind of poo-pooing it before going, but comes home really happy each night. I love that, because he is going back to Discovery World for August. It would have been a hard sell if he hated this camp!

I think I need to find a new queen for my Amelia hive and head north this weekend. If she's in there, then I'll give the queen away. But if she's not, I really can't afford to waste any time in mid-June. What the heck is going on that I keep losing queens?

June 17, 2014

It would have been a good day to stay in bed

  • It's Tuesday. So can we finally talk Game of Thrones finale without someone having a spoiler conniption? Okay, good.
  • It's stormed all night and all morning. I think even if the rain does let up for game time, the fields are going to be too wet to play the last baseball game of the season.
  • Dang. I really need a few more pictures. At least next week is tournament play.
  • It's day 3 of not being able to bend my swollen fingers, for those of you who are counting. Maybe I need to go north and start my poor girl's version of the bee venom treatments.
  • I'm really worried about my Amelia hive. I'm convinced she's gone. Maybe the two weeks away is a good idea to let them do what they're going to do without my interference. Drat.
  • There's World Cup fever at the house these days. Beerman brought home a poster of the entire schedule and C-man is dutifully filling out each score like he wouldn't be able to find it elsewhere if he didn't.
  • My shoulders hurt from this weekend's yard work. Wow, I'm weak.
  • I'm wearing a bright pepto pink shirt today and I keep getting compliments. I sort of hate this shirt, and wore it because it was clean and had sleeves. But apparently it's not so bad.
  • Speaking of sleeves, why is it so hard to put them on shirts these days? I do not really want to wear a sleeveless shirt to work. But my options are incredibly limited when I go shopping when I request such a silly thing as sleeves.
  • It's been 20 years since we watched OJ and the white Bronco. I had just graduated high school and was alone in the house rehabbing my ACL repair, so bored I was weaving loomed potholders like a 12 year old Girl Scout. Mom and Dad were fishing in Ontario (Much like they are now, in fact).
  • It would have been a good day to stay in bed.

June 16, 2014

Funday Monday. Or something like that.

It's really hard to come back to work on a Monday after a weekend like we had. It's also hard because storms are coming in, and I can't even wear rings, my fingers are so puffed up. Ouch.

So C-man is in full World Cup fever, changing his jersey several times a day to most closely match the player or team he's rooting for at that time.

I made 4 jars of strawberry-rhubarb jam last night with some of the rhubarb I got from Grandma. I've never made that kind, and just used a recipe I found online. It's pretty darned delicious slathered on some nice Italian bread, if I do say so myself.

Today is C-man's first day at Discovery World camp. It's a week-long Lego camp. He's outgrown the Lego obsession, but I still think he'll enjoy it. At least I hope he does. It's the most expensive camp choice, and he's got it for an entire week!

Tomorrow is the last regular season baseball game. It's against the #2 team, which I'd really like them to play and win. The weather is supposed to be on and off storms all day, although not at game time. So we'll see what happens.

I keep thinking about Amelia's hive. I didn't find her, there were 3 queen cells, and they were angry. I wonder if something happened to her. I really wanted to take a week off, but am wondering if that's smart. Ugh. New hives weren't supposed to be this problematic.

June 15, 2014

Weekendy goodness

What a busy, but incredibly productive weekend. The weather was beautiful, I was feeling better, my arthritis was at a minimum, and I had two whole days in a row to take advantage of it.

So the gardens are mulched and weeded. I put out some annuals. (Boy, do I miss not having the school plant sale - Retail garden centers are expensive!) The patio furniture is out. I made some strawberry rhubarb jam (Who knows if I did it right?). And we even had our first s'mores of the season.

Tomorrow, it's back to work. But today, I'm going to just relax and enjoy the goodness that is the weekend.

June 14, 2014

So I guess I'm a beekeeper: And C-man is too

C-man and I both had the day off yesterday. I thought we were going to hang out at home, but C-man decided we were going to head to Coleman and make use of his new bee suit.

After he expertly used the smoker, we opened Beatrix II's hive. They hadn't drawn out much comb, but she was free from her queen cage (Hooray!) and laying eggs in the little comb her hive has made available to her. We saw her walking around, which was a nice lesson for C-man to be able to find the queen.

Then we moved on to Amelia's hive. The frames were really heavy with bees and pollen and honey. I couldn't see if there were any eggs in the areas where baby bees had emerged through my veil. We checked through each frame of the hive, spotting 3 different queen cells on 3 different frames. I don't know if the cells are to swarm, which I know is common in June, or if they are just being extra cautious, or if Amelia is gone. I removed the queen cells just in case, assuming Amelia is still in there, even though we couldn't spot her.

But then C-man decided he was getting anxious with all the bees (I thought it was impressive that he'd stuck it out through both hive inspections!), and wanted to let me finish up on my own. With him gone, I took off my veil to try to find Amelia and eggs, and whoa - Holy angry bees! They were flying at my face, trying to sting my hands, and being extremely cantankerous. (When Beerman texted to find out how the hives were, I replied, "Angry and stingy".) For the record, putting a full frame of bees back in the hive when dozens of bees are flying at your unveiled face is not simple! I did manage to throw the veil over my face, slam the bees back in the hive, and close it up without a real sting. (Two got my glove but not me). So much for thinking they are a nice hive - now that the baby bees are born, I think they have Amelia's aggressive nature!

So even though 2.5 frames are still completely untouched and undrawn out with comb, I decided that I'd add a second 8-frame brood box on top. This would be to make sure they feel there is enough space (to try to head off any swarming due to lack of space), and let me go two weeks between the next inspection. (After 3 visits in 7 days, I could use a break!) I left some sugar syrup in the top feeder on the top of both hives, as Beatrix II's hive has been eating it the past two weeks, and that it couldn't hurt with Amelia's hive to draw out more comb. (Conventional wisdom is it's 8 pounds of nectar to 1 pound of wax production, so they need all the help they can get with the wax building!)

As much as I love my bees, it'll be a nice break to take a week off next weekend. Here's hoping both hives will continue to do what they need to do in the meantime!

June 13, 2014

Starting the 3 days of weekend

  • The A's clinched the #1 seed in a huge victory last night. C-man had a couple of nice defensive plays. Thank God.
  • We went out for dinner and drinks after the game with some of the team, and had a nice night. C-man declared it the best night ever, running around in the dark by the river with his good baseball friends.
  • We have the day off today, which is nice. I'm missing JLo at work today, and I don't even care, because I'm planning on doing a whole a lot of nothing.
  • C-man came home with his best report card ever yesterday. A nice way to start the summer.
  • It's going to be a good 3-day weekend.

June 12, 2014

Last days

  • Today is C-man's last day of 3rd grade. He is thrilled. I am thrilled. Everyone raved about this teacher before coming in. But C-man didn't love him. And I didn't think he was that great. Honestly, I don't think he learned that much this year in comparison to other years. It'll be good to move on.
  • He only has to be there until 10:30 today. It's assembly, mass, a bit of extended care, and Beerman is picking him up. Being a 3rd/4th grader kind of rules.
  • He has a game against the Red Sox (#3) tonight. If they win, they clinch #1, and the easiest path through the playoffs. If they lose, they have to win Tuesday night to do so.
  • That means I'm on the hook for getting my last shots for this video.
  • My cough is getting marginally better. I got some sleep last night, which was a nice change of pace.
  • C-man's bee suit came yesterday. I think we're going to both go north this weekend to check out the bees together. I hope his enthusiasm isn't a one-time thing.
  • I also hope Beatrix II is now kicking butt and making baby bees.
  • Is it nap time yet?

June 11, 2014

Cough Choke Wheeze

In what feels like at least the third Wednesday this week, I do declare that I am totally exhausted. This virus nonsense has really gotten me down. At least I'm not coughing my way through the day so far... So far.

At least it seems that the bullpen is going to release another #WCWW video. Reports on Twitter are saying something is going on in the bullpen. This is really the only thing Twitter is good for, by the way.

Father's Day is Sunday. Beerman wants to go golfing. I haven't been golfing in ages. This could get really funny.

Oh, how I stress about this baseball video. Do I want this picture of the kid or that picture of the kid? Did I pick the right song? Did I miss a kid in something? Does anyone even care that I'll send it out? Oh crap, I need to get more pictures of this kid because he has fewer than the others. Every year I say I'm not doing it again. And then I realize I have to so I have an excuse to stay behind my camera and not yell inappropriate things at calls I don't like.

Speaking of baseball, because the A's have one more game played than the Royals, as long as their game tomorrow doesn't get rained out, they only have to win one of the games to stay in first because the winning percentage is higher.

C-man's bee suit is supposed to arrive today. He wants to go to Coleman with me to use it. I sure hope this isn't a one-time use thing.

I really don't want to have to make that drive again. 3 times in 7 days is too much. Especially twice while not feeling great. At least we have the Olde World Pastries Plus to look forward to along the way.

I really hope the Beatrix II hive is kicking butt and catches up to Amelia. After all, it's Austrians vs. Italians now.

Speaking of competing countries, the World Cup starts tomorrow. Every time this happens, I get so disappointed in FIFA and their shenanigans. But then get all excited about the event anyhow. I always feel that way about the Olympics, too. Stupid FIFA. Stupid IOC.

And really, anyone who has ever been to Brazil knew the stadiums wouldn't be ready, and everything would be rife with corruption, right? Fabulous country, but seriously predictable.

The good news is I have Friday off. One more work day to go!

June 10, 2014

Because I can say nicer things now

You know that rule about if you don't have anything nice to say? Yeah, that's where I've been. Sniffling and snotting and coughing and being ornery. Argh.

In other news, the A's lost on Sunday to the #2 team. It was a really, really good game that unfortunately didn't go their way. Thankfully, they won last night. But they have a game against #3 on Thursday and #2 again on Tuesday. So they need to win out to win it all. (Except they'll have played one more game than the #2 team, so I don't know how that works.) And then that'll be it for his first regular season as an A. You know... until tournaments.

I'm mostly done with the annual baseball video. I need to video one more kid getting a hit, and then just arrange the photos in their final-final spots. I've been so much smarter this year. I did a shot list and have been uploading photos to the blog on a pretty regular basis, so that piece will be all done by the time I can go live with the video. But it's still a crap-ton of work. I really need a Mac to do this stuff more effectively. You know, after I buy my D800 camera and 2 extra beehives.

Speaking of beehives, C-man and I have Friday off, since Thursday is his last day two hours of school. (Seriously, what is the point?!) I was thinking of heading north to see the bees since Beatrix II couldn't be bothered to free herself last weekend. But then the neighbor asked if C-man could hang with them for the day. I'll see how I'm feeling, I guess. C-man's bee suit is supposed to arrive tomorrow, though, so maybe he'll actually want to go.

June 7, 2014

Bees and Family and Sniffles

We headed north again today. My car seems to know the way without even telling it anymore. I checked on my bees. Beatrix II was still in her queen cage, so I removed a bunch of the fondant in the hopes she'll be free in the next day. I was hoping to go 2 weeks without a visit, but alas, I'll be up again next weekend. And this is why they said to keep the hives close... Oh well, it is nice visiting Grandma regularly. Amelia's hive continues to be strong, with many baby bees having emerged.

Then we headed to a family graduation party. where there was food, family, loads of new babies, and a quick storm. A lovely time, which would have been a lot better if I hadn't been hacking and wheezing. (I have some plague of a virus that is decidedly not awesome.) But we stopped at the Olde World Pastries on the way home, a bakery I see on a frontage road just off the interstate each week. We got some kringle and pasties for breakfast and a dinner some night. I'm hoping they're great.

Tomorrow, I rest. And go see some baseball. Of course.

June 6, 2014

It's National Donut Day

The A's pulled off another win. This one against the team who gave them their only loss. The team that is coached by his former coaches. I don't think he felt the victory was as sweet as I did. He was just thrilled he made a good throw home from third and caught the guy out. That was a really big deal.

I still have a loaner car. I got to the dealership last night and they informed me another car came in that they couldn't give a loaner out to. So here's hoping they actually fix the car today.

I'm getting sick. Oh, who am I kidding? I am sick. Scratchy throat. Dizzy head. And my "I don't give a damn" is running especially high.

I keep thinking about my bees. We're heading north tomorrow to go to a family graduation party, and I'll check on them before we head over there. I'm really, really hoping Beatrix II is freed and laying eggs and I can stop worrying about that hive.

Today is National Donut Day. I just ate one and now feel sicker. I make such poor choices about my sugar intake.

It's also Friday, which negates any bad feelings I have about being sick or my sugar intake or listening to the last half of The Fault In Our Stars on my way to work (really bad choice). Because it's Friday. So all is right.

June 5, 2014

Stuffity stuff

  • It's Thursday, which means it's baseball day. They play the team to whom they have their only loss tonight. And this team lost to the worst team in the league. So to say they are revved up for this one might be an understatement.
  • I have a loaner car because my car needed more parts than they originally thought. It's a hybrid. I'm so bad at driving a hybrid because I never know if the thing is on. Plus, the thing doesn't have a key which freaks me right out.
  • The bigger issue - What are the chances I'm going to find my non-car in the giant work parking lot?
  • I took this picture on the way home from Luxemburg the other day. At first, behind my lens and looking at a row of cows, I thought, "Oh, what a nice cow." And then I looked up and saw him. Him. And his big horns. At the end of a row of his ladies. He was not intending to be friendly.
  • C-man lost his A's hat. Again. I'm hoping it's in my car at the dealership. What are the chances it isn't just way underneath his bed again?
  • I'm really into quark these days. It's not as sweet as yogurt, and has more protein. It just leaves a gross aftertaste.
  • I need to think about getting off coffee again. I'm drinking way too much of it.

June 4, 2014

So I guess I'm a beekeeper: Emergency queen replacement

Yesterday, I called one of the apiaries I'd submitted an order for a queen bee on Monday. I hadn't heard back one way or the other, so thought I'd do one call to beg and plead for one of their queens. (Since nobody seems to have any ready yet.)

And the phone call went something like... Him: "Wait, Jennifer? From Wisconsin? I packed that up and sent that out myself yesterday. My brother Phil does all the tracking numbers. If it isn't in your junk mail, he must not have emailed you yours. Figures. Oh, and you overpaid on shipping, because you just needed a letter not a box, so I threw in another queen!" Me: Silent, because I'm simultaneously feeling excited I've actually found a new queen (a task I was beginning to feel was impossible), questioning how I'm going to get all the way to Coleman on a Tuesday to install her, and terrified I'm going to have to make a choice on which queen to kill because I only need one. Him: (He must have sensed my fear) "If you don't need her, then I suppose you can just find her a home. But I'll make sure Phil gets you the tracking number. It should be there today." 10 minutes later, I got a text from Phil with my tracking #, and my queen had left Marinette and was out for delivery. An hour later, I got a text from Grandma that my queens arrived and were angrily buzzing in their cages on her kitchen counter.

So there you have it. I wrapped up my meetings, texted Grandma to let her know I was on my way, downloaded a new audiobook, took a half-day off work, sent an email to my bee class asking if anyone needed a queen, and headed north. (Thankfully, the instructor at the UW Extension's apiary said she would take her, and then a classmate emailed saying she needed a replacement queen, so I have 2 good home options.)

So the beehive specifics - I got there, opened up the hive, and cut out the emergency queen cells so there would be no competition and no need to bother with anything other than accepting the new queen. I'd heard about a hive having a "queenless roar", but didn't understand what that meant until I started to cut out the queen cells. With each cell I removed, the hive got louder and louder until it was absolutely deafening. (I did see that there were growing larvae in the queen cells, so they would have actually raised a queen on their own. Beatrix I must have laid a few dozen eggs before her untimely demise. But I'm glad I decided to go with a new queen anyhow, because it takes about 3 weeks to get a new queen to emerge, and then I would be dependent on the few drones I have withing my new hives to fertilize her. Then once all that happens, it can take up to two weeks for her to start laying. Also, there is much debate over whether an egg not originally destined to be a queen (and therefore not fed royal jelly from day 1) is a strong enough queen to maintain a hive for the long-term. Being new at this, and it already being June, I firmly believe faster and stronger is the better choice for my new hive as long as I didn't have to kill Beatrix I.) So I placed Beatrix II (A beautiful Carniolan queen) in between frames 5 - 6, just like when I first installed the queens, shut the hive up, and said a little prayer this would work out. I'd debated putting a frame of capped brood from Amelia's hive into Beatrix II's hive, but decided to make things as simple as possible. And I always have that option at a later date if the hive doesn't grow fast enough. We're heading back Saturday for a family party, and hopefully Beatrix II will be released and accepted by her now strong hive by then.

Of course, I also had to open up my Amelia hive while I was there because I was super curious to see it. Baby bees have emerged, and most of the open larvae I'd seen on Saturday were now capped. I even watched Amelia walk around and lay some eggs. Everything seems to be fantastic. They're starting to store honey, even. They have 5 1/2 frames completely full, so I'm expecting to add a new brood box either this weekend or next. (You add a new box when they're about 3/4 full, or in this case 7 frames.)

So there you have it. A duel of an Italian queen (Amelia) vs a Carniolan queen (Beatrix II) is underway. Go, sweet girls, go.

June 3, 2014

More random crap

Last night was a beautiful, warm, summerish night, and the A's won again. Handily. C-man hit a giant bomb of a hit to left field. Unfortunately, it was mere inches foul and he got back up to the plate and struck out after running to third base before it was called foul. But the good news is he's hitting, and the new bat is working.

Harry and I went to the vet this morning. The vet was sick, so Harry went back home with some treats in his belly for our troubles. Nobody shoots Harry in the ass, Harry says. Nobody.

I know it's only Tuesday, but I'm really looking forward to the weekend.

June 2, 2014

It's National Leave the Office Early Day

Last night's baseball game got rained out. But not before we got there, they held batting practice, and C-man got a fat lip from getting bonked with a bat. (He's fine now) I'm suspecting tonight's going to be a wash out, too, but have my A's t-shirt packed in my bag just in case.

Finding a new queen bee is a tricky thing. Everyone is either sold out, or because of the cold spring, they don't have any available until the end of June. I cannot wait that long if I'm going to save this hive. I'm crossing my fingers that I've found one, but we'll see... I need a Beatrix 2 quickly.

Harry has been having a very hard time with these thunderstorms. We now have 3 separate beds set up for him to choose which makes him feel the best. And where did I find him last night? On the bathroom floor.