Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene passed/ now nectar flowing!

Yesterday we were just miles from the outer edges of Hurricane Irene. We ended up with maybe 1/4 inch of rain, nice high temps of 78 degrees. The winds we on for over 24 hours, the highest gusts were maybe 30 mph. Green leaf litter is the only damage we had and some dead wood branches that fell.

I went to the local bee supplier and bought the workings for anther hive. as I hope to collect a hive from a porch in Durham in the next week or so. On my way back I stopped at a BP station in Hillsborough and after paying for my gas a plastic BP sign exploded next to my car! The highway sign at the BP was made of 8 x 8 steel I beams the sign was twisting about 6-8 inches in the hurricane winds.

On to this post, I tried the top hive feeder and used up 15 pounds of sugar in 3 days, I'm told a strong hive can go throught a lot of sugar in short order. I'll be inspecting the hive to see if they can handle this much sugar, until I figure that out I'm back to the boardman feeder. Clare I did not find any losses in the top feeder.

I was delighted to see a lot of bees bringing in pollen this morning, excited in fact. I know from nearly 15 years of butterfly watching rain brings out pollen. I suspect this is golden rod pollen which makes terrible tasting honey, yet great food for the bees.

While stopping at the local lumber yard Friday I inquired about getting some 1 x 12 spruce to build hive boxes with, they said they did not stock it. I went back and looked at the lumber and found 24 foot of spruce 1 x 12 and was told since they did not have it as a stock item they would sell it to me as scrap wood so I got it for $10 maybe enough to built 4  deep brood boxes!


sweetbay said...

Randy I'm sorry you didn't get more rain from the storm. My FIL in western Wake didn't get much either.

I posted a picture of a butterfly that I'm not sure of the ID. Can you pop over sometime and take a look at it?

Karen said...

Randy, scary moment with the BP sign, glad you weren't hurt. I'm also glad Irene didn't cause too much damage in your area, too bad she didn't see fit to give you more rain, though.

Great news on the wood scrap for the bees, love to find bargains.

Appalachian Lady said...

That sign came too close for comfort. Glad you are alright.

I understand bees keep the pollen separate from the honey so any honey made this time is good at least that's been my experience. My bees are feasting on wingstem too which grows in pastures. We have a lot more of that than goldenrod. Be careful of robbing with the boardman feeder (can tell if bees are fighting). I just use it for water since I saw other bees trying to rob from the boardman.

It's great that you are going to make your own hives--can't wait to see them.

Ginny said...

I'm so sorry you didn't get more rain from this storm. The final measurement here was 5.25 inches. We had some wind gusts around 60 and many neighbors have trees down, but fortunately, we don't - just many limbs and lots of debris. Clean up is in progress with the sound of chainsaws and blowers.
The swallowtail cats were still clinging to the parsley this morning - did my heart good to see they survived the storm.

FlowerLady said...

Glad that sign didn't do you or your vehicle any damage.

Sorry you didn't get much rain from Irene.

They sure did hype up this storm that's for sure.

Hurricanes are dangerous, but the hype is rediculous.

Hope you get some rain soon, and it's interesting reading about your bees.


Lola said...

Glad you are ok from the sign situation.
Good deal on the spruce. Loved the video. Wondered why some honey was bitter. Guess wildflower would be good.

Carol said...

Randy, I am glad that you were spared the wrath of Irene but wish you might have gotten more rain. Here the eye is just passing us I think . . . it is calmer at least. We have had 70 mph winds with horizontal rain and flooding for those in the lowlands. For us it could have been so much worse. We only lost power for a few hours. I am very thankful. I had no idea that rain brings out pollen. I fear for all the butterflies and tiny cats out in the garden and fields. You are so clever . . . great spruce find. I am fascinated by your beekeeping.

Town Mouse said...

So glad to hear you didn't yet hit by the storm. It sounds pretty scary - I'm sure there'll be some rain some time soon.

Kelly said...

...great buy on the "scrap wood!" Have fun building the brood boxes (I have no idea what they are and look forward to seeing them). Glad Irene went easy on you (and glad the sign didn't hit you!), but it sounds like you could have really used the rain.

Patsi said...

Glad to see you're happy with the bees. Hurricane did hit ground here in NJ but we're fine.
60 mile hour gusts,8 inches rain, many lost power but not us.
So glad the roads are open again...get nutzy trapped in the house for 3 days.

Shady Gardener said...

I can assume YOU weren't hurt by that exploding BP sign, but how about your vehicle??

It was your day - and now YOU will be busier than a bee trying to make your new hive!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing you were not hurt by the sign explosion. I can not imagine the devastation of Irene, but saw so much on the news.

You are putting in a new hive? How do bees get in it? Do you build and they will come? Or buy bees?

Kim and Victoria said...

Glad to hear Irene left you mostly alone.
Your bee pics are great, by the way.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Glad to read your screened hive top feeder worked without drowning bees Randy. In late fall we'll probably feed fondant (it helps to absorb excessive hive moisture), but in early fall we feel we really should be feeding syrup, and our bees are almost out of stores (so glad we didn't take honey this year). Hive top for us will probably be the best option, as here the Boardman feeders are notorious for triggering robbing, and they just don't hold enough. I can't believe you got that spruce for scrap, nice find!