Friday, November 12, 2021

Views from my Garden and Yard

 Hi everyone. Happy Friday. 

Today I am going to share some photos from life in my yard and garden. These are for Leah's Art Every Day Month, day 12. Right now the hubby and I are out visiting in the California desert for the weekend. The desert, obviously,  doesn't look anything like my photos of New Hampshire. Smile.

Here's the morning sky off my back deck when I got up the other morning.

And last weekend we finally got around to hanging the new bird feeder that I bought  way back on my trip to Boothbay, Maine in September. It's a very solid wooden acorn shape made by a local Maine craftsman, and since the store was going out of business, I got it for 75% off.  Funny how we hung it from a maple tree when there are so many oaks around the yard.

Before we left for this trip, I went into my  garden and cutback all the tall dead plants. I raked out the first batch of leaves, and I gave the roots their winter fertilizer. You can see around my garden how many oak leaves were still on the branches, so when  I image when I get home  there will be a lot more of these leaves down in the yard and garden. 

By the time I finished this job there were already some more leaves in the garden. There's no avoiding falling leaves at this time of year. I am happy to get it done though. 

The other chore I did a few weeks ago was wrap the beehive for the winter.

You shouldn't open the hive when it falls below 55 degrees F (12.8 degrees C), as the bees work hard to maintain a temperature of around 95 degrees F (35 degrees C) inside. To help them out when it gets cold , I bought this  insulted bee blanket.  I really like it because it is like a giant tube with a seam already down the front, and it just slides down over the hive. In spring, I can just slide it off and save it for next year. It puffs up too, like and air filled  comforter for the bees. 

I could have bought roofing paper instead, but this seemed like it would be a better insulator. When we get home, before the real cold sets in, I am going to put some insulated boards around the bottom legs of the stand. I just didn't get to that before we left.

You may wonder why the top isn't wrapped.

The top piece is an insulated hive box. Basically it is filled with insulation, and there is a screen between the insulation and the hive so the bees don't get trapped in the insulation. There is also a moisture pad at the very top under the cover. This is like a bee hive attic, and they need some air circulation so  moisture  doesn't build up and then drip down onto the bees below. Therefore it stays uncovered and sits just slightly above the covered part of the hive. 

Here's the hive without the blanket and without the insulated box. I put in more of the bee fondant ( not shown in this photo), but that was difficult because the bees were all over the fondant that was already there. 

It was a warm day and the bees were going crazy. I really expected to end up stung that day. The bees were everywhere, and when I walked up towards the house, still in my suit, my husband had to brush me off as I had bees all over the suit.

I think the bees must have cared less about me though. Even though I didn't wear gloves (it is easier to work that way), I didn't get a single sting. 

The bees can access the food from inside the hive and also through the vents in the insulated box. They would fly down if they entered through the vent and fly up from inside the box. 

Here's the main hive opening.

The Popsicle sticks are there to be sure the hive blanket doesn't slide down and close off this opening. You can also see the metal circles on the left. It is part of a mouse guard so mice don't crawl into the hive during the winter, which they would like to do to stay warm.

Too bad there isn't a window so I could look in and see that the bees are doing OK or need food during the winter.  That would be nice thing to have.  I just have to remember that bees are really capable of taking care of themselves, but it you job as a bee keeper just to be sure they have what they need to do that. 

That's it for me today. Have a wonderful start to the weekend, and Happy Friday!


Angie's Recipes said...

What beautiful views!

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning I really enjoyed this post-we have leaves "raining" on us too and Loved seeing more about your bees.
Enjoy your trip hugs Kathy

DVArtist said...

Great shots, especially of the bees.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Interesting post about how to keep the beehives protedted in the coming colder months, Erika. Enjoy your getaway.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Enjoy your stay in sunny CA. The leaves are just starting to fall here. Yours will be falling for awhile, I suspect. I am always fascinated by your bee photos and the extent to which you go to keep them safe and give them what they need. These are fabulous photos and wonderful shots of your back yard, too. Hope you have a super day, dear.

craftytrog said...

Wonderful photos of your garden and the bees Erika!
I hope you're having a lovely time in the desert.

NatureFootstep said...

it is a good thing having them :)

Iris Flavia said...

A bee blanket, now this is really interesting! And an attic!
They sure have a great home with you!
I just cut an old T-shirt with a bee. It says... "Bee bad" and shows a mean bee. No idea why ever I bought this shirt and no idea what to do with it now.

Boy, oh boy, you sure are brave - with bare hands!
A window would be great! To see what they do must be really interesting.

Do you get honey then? And maybe you can tell me why bees love beer!
When we still went to the pub and sat outside you saw me jumping all the time cause the bees wanted my beer. All the sugar or just in for a party? ;-)

Thank you for the update! And have a nice weekend in the desert.

ashok said...

So beautiful!

LA Paylor said...

beautiful shots and I learned about bees!

pearshapedcrafting said...

Beautiful photos and a great insight into beekeeping! I hope you're enjoying your break, hugs, Chrisx

Jeanie said...

I am TOTALLY fascinated by your bees! I had no idea!

Divers and Sundry said...

You have such a nice spot, great sky view and lovely mature trees. Nice!

I'm fascinated by the bees and your bee hive and winter care. 95 degrees?! Wow!