Thursday, August 18, 2022

Lots of Summer Photos

 Hi everyone. Happy Thursday.

I'm home again after a couple of days away in Western Massachusetts. I grew up only a little over an hour away from the Berkshires and never had really explored them much at all. I am making up for it now I guess. My friend and I had a wonderful trip. I haven't had time to go through my photos since I just got home last evening, but I will have some photos to share of our adventure.

I thought today I would do a low key  post and share a few photos from some adventures I had in the past few weeks. These are not from this week's M-W roadtrip to the Berkshires in Massachusetts. 

I'll start with a few photos I snapped with my phone when I was away for my niece's wedding in Maine . These are what I discovered on a morning walk along the road where our rental was.

I really liked the hay bale in the upper window and how it adds so much interest to the front of the barn.

Too there was a fence cutting off the  face of the bovine looking at me. I'm just not tall enough to be able to look down on him over the fence.
And this bump sign should have said hole, and it was a big one too.

And here's a few photos from the adventures in my yard and gardens, starting with this sunflower seed that somehow made it into one of my deck potted plants. I let it grow, since all the sunflower seeds I planted in my  garden either got eaten  or nipped off once the plant started to grow.

 This Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly completely ignored me so I was able to snap close up photos.

My yummy blackberries are starting to ripen. 

The bees are buzzing everywhere in the gardens, and they are busy in the hive too.
 I like how you can see the smoke from my smoker on this one (from when I opened the hive one day). You use the smoke as it helps mask the bees alarm pheromones.

I'll also answer a question CJ asked me quite a while back. She wanted to know how you tell what is what inside the hive on the frames where the bees live.

Honeycomb is white.  Brood comb (the babies) is more yellow. At first the brood is not capped, and then as the larva grows, then it becomes capped. In this next photo most of the comb is yellow brood comb. You can see the white honeycomb on the top right corner.

 This peanut shaped comb (above) could be a new queen comb. It could also be burr or bridge comb that is growing off the "grid" of the frames. Wherever there is extra and  enough empty space in a hive, bees will put some comb there.

Newer brood comb isn't quite as yellow. If you look carefully you can see the uncapped brood to the right side of the photo. They look like little comma shaped worms almost.

Lots of brood comb.

Honeycomb is forming on the top of the frame in this next photo. 

You can see a bit of uncapped honey right in the middle of this next photo.

And more brood comb. The little pinpoint looking indent on each hexagon is a good way to tell it is brood.

More honey making.

Here in this next photo is some more capped honeycomb with some brood comb slightly out of focus in the lower right corner. You can really see how white this honeycomb is.

And here's your test. In this last photo, is it honeycomb or brood com? 

If you scroll down through the white space gap, I'll give you the answer to your test question. Hopefully everyone gets a 100%.

And since it is Thursday, I am  linking up to Rain's Art and Dinner Date.  This week her theme was Figure Drawings, which as you can tell, I never had time to do. 
Thanks for visiting. And have a wonderful rest of the week.

And the answer is: honeycomb.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Some very arty shots!

Christine said...

Fascinating bee culture, thanks for sharing Erika.

Angie's Recipes said...

wow That sunflower looks really gorgeous and those bees are working really hard to give you some good honey :-)

Divers and Sundry said...

The bees continue to fascinate me :) Your yard is pollinator heaven!

DVArtist said...

A truly beautiful post. The photos are wonderful. Have a lovely day.

Carola Bartz said...

It's fascinating to learn more about bees. I have always found bee hives very interesting, but I wasn't exactly aware of all the different brood combs and honey combs and how you can tell them apart. I also like the pictures from your walk, it looks peaceful. The cows are lovely and I especially like the barn with the hay bale in the window. What a gorgeous sunflower - lots of food for the birds when the seeds develop.

Iris Flavia said...

The hay bale is an eye-catcher!
Being small, I know what you mean...
My first sunflower is in full bloom! Greetings to yours! And Charlotte´s web. Butterflies and bees!
Will hopefully meet a colleague of you in person, soon, ma teamleader who has a hive, too.
Fun last words ;-) Hugs!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Thanks for this really interesting explanation of the intricacies of the hive, Erika, and especially for the wonderful set of pictures. I learned quite a bit and had some existing knowledge reinforced. In fact, I know more about wild bees than the conditions that prevail in a hive. I can see why beekeeping holds a fascination for you. And you get honey too! Such a reward for the effort. Hugs - David

kathyinozarks said...

welcome back home Erika, I enjoyed your rural photos very much, glad the bees are doing well too, and sunflowers-I need to plant some of those next summer. Hugs

Valerie-Jael said...

Lots of beautiful natute photos, but the bees are really the stars today, it was great looking into their hive and seeing what's going on. Thanks for all the explanations, too. Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

Soma @ said...

Lovely place and you photographed it beautifully. How did they get the hay bale up there I wonder!


carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful series of nature photos ~ the bees are amazing and the sunflowers awesome ~ Xo

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,

A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Tom said...

...lovely honey bees and swallowtail. Here cattails are being overrun by phragmites.

Andrea @ From The Sol said...

Very interesting and I admire that you have your own bee hives. I did guess honeycomb because it didn't have the little mark in the middle so I was right. Even at my age, I love learning new things. Enjoyed this venture, Erika and all of your wonderful photos.

Andrea @ From the Sol

Fundy Blue said...

This is so interesting, Erika! Thanks for sharing your knowledge about bees. I especially liked the hay bale photo. The hay makes the photo. Have a great weekend!

Let's Art Journal said...

Looks like you had a fun adventure with your friend! Loving the views and wildlife close ups 😊. Wow, the bees are doing really well too! Enjoy and happy wishes! Hugs Jo x

NatureFootstep said...

you are right about the hay bale, it does ad interest to the barn. Love the buttefly. One we don´t have. :( And bees are great. and really needed. :)