Saturday, March 24, 2012

parts of the hive

I thought that I would share the cost of my hives and the parts of the hives. 

The style of hives that I am using is called a Langstroth or a Standard Hive. Another type of hive is called a Top Bar Hive. Maybe one day, I will give this type a try.

The very board that the hives are sitting on is called the bottom board. This is waxed. I didn't think I was suppose to paint, so I left it alone. This board does not sit directly on the ground. You need a hive stand. You can either purchase them, or build your own. I plan on putting my hives on cider blocks.

Of course each one of these 'boxes' is called a super. But where the name changes is when it houses the brood. The super than is called the hive brood. So two of these supers, per hive, will become the hive brood.

This is an inside shot of the what will become the hive brood. Right now I have 8 frames, and a frame feeder installed. 

Here is a closer look at the frame feeder.

It is made from a more heavy duty plastic. And it hangs inside the super.

This board sits inside the frame feeder. The white mesh 'tubes' are called ladders.You insert them through the bottom of the board. The board is pre-drilled. The ladders are for the bees to feed from and to cling to, so they don't drown in the syrup. Some beekeepers use pieces of wood floating around on the surface of the syrup.

Each feeder comes with three O-rings, that get stretched from one side to the other. There are tabs for the O-rings to clip onto. You are suppose to use flat head tacks-which I don't have any at the moment. What  I don't like about these frame feeders-and I haven't used them yet-is that you have to constantly open up the hive to check the feeder. Every time you open the hive you are disrupting the bees's routine. I am most likely going to get a Boardman Feeder. These sit outside the hive, and are easier to view and to check. However, there are pros and cons to everything. Again, it comes down to preference.

 When the supers are about 2/3 full, it is time to put on the honey supers. But you don't want the queen laying eggs in the honey combs. This metal looking thing is called a queen excluder.

This board is called the winter/inner cover. It sits on the very top super, underneath the hive cover.

The prices for my three hives, (minus the nails, glue, and paint,) and including the gst, was $512.68. 

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Friday, March 23, 2012

condos are ready for occupancy

I have all three hives now ready for my tiny important pollinators that will become part of my 'livestock'.

The names that I ended up using to dub my hives are:

My son is into the sixties muscle cars. The '69 Charger being is fav. He gave me this suggestion.

I started calling young Frank OB1. O-for oil. He works for a company that contracts itself out to the oil industry. B-because he is a boy. Although he is 19. But all mamas know, boys are always boys, even when they are full grown. 1-one-well he is my only boy! Young Frank also suggested this one.

Now the hubby suggested this one. He kind of gets on my nerves, and I am always telling him to 'Leave me be'!!

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Hamburger Italiano

I find that I cook more stews, soups, chilis and 'oven' dishes through the winter. Comfort food. Good hearty meals to warm up your inards!! So here is another one.

Hamburger Italiano

Note:  It has been pointed out to me, that no one really knows what this is like a tomatoe cheesy sauce that is done in the oven.

2 tbsp cooking oil
1 pound of ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped

14 oz  canned tomatoes
10 oz can of cream of tomatoe soup
12 oz kernel corn, undrained
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-combine first 5 ingredients in a frying pan, cook till the beef is cooked and no pink remains
-stir in the next 6 ingredients, simmer slowly for 15 minutes
-add cheese
-stir to distribute through meat. Pour into 2-quart casserole. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

I serve it, over a bed of noodles or pasta. I also serve it with something green. For colour.

 It has been pointed out to me, that no one really knows what this is like a tomatoe cheesy sauce that is done in the oven.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

glorious trees...

A few weeks back, Frank and I were discussing trees as we flipping through the newest catalogue of Saskatoon Farm.  Shelterbelt trees to be exact. Where we currently reside, we are pretty much in the open. When the wind decides to blow from the west-southwest, there is nothing to slow it down. And sometimes those winds are so strong, you swear it will lift the roof off of the house.

I was telling my dear friend, Shannon this. She suggested to see if there is a shelterbelt program avaliable through the local agriculture office. In my case that would be North Peace Applied Research. I don't happen to like the lady that runs this outfit. So I let my pride rule. 

Today in the mail, I received an application form for Farmstead/Acreage Tress through the Alberta Shelterbelt Program. I love when things work out for me. I put an order in, for Lombardy Poplar (pictured below), and Manitoba Maples. 


Just about anybody can get trees: farms, acreages, commercial enterprises, municipalities, golf courses, resort areas, woodlots and urban landowners. 

There are all sorts of  tall trees, hedges/fruit, mid-size trees, and evergreen trees to choose from.

 If you are need of trees, check your area and see if there is such a program available to you. 

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Tarragon Chicken

Not much going on today. Just the normal chores. 
The path to the wood shed wasn't shovelled all the way. And pushing the wheelbarrow full of wood through that deep snow,  did my sore knee in. It was bothering me all day. Grrr! 
I have been working on a few sewing projects. When I get it all done, I will share with you. 

Tonight for supper I made this chicken dish I thought I would share with you all. I served it with canned green beans, frozen carrots tossed with butter and dill (from last years garden) and with couscous.

Tarragon Chicken

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinned, and halved)

10 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of sherry (or apple juice)
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced or left whole (totally optional)
salt and pepper
1 tsp tarragon

Place chicken in a small roaster. Mix next 7 ingredients together. Spread over chicken. Cover. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours until tender.

The sauce is excellent over noodles, rice or potatoes.
Maddie doesn't really care for sauces made with mushroom soup, but the boys ate it up with gusto. Their hunger was satisfied and that is all that matters!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

springtime in Alberta

During the night, we were given a precious gift. 

Six inches of snow!  
I had to dig the girls's feeders out from under the snow this morning.

And this evening when we went out do the chores, it was snowing again.

It is hard to believe, that on Tuesday, it is the Spring Equinox!

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