Monday, December 17, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

West Virginia Trip

What a great trip we had! We went to West Virginia for the weekend for the WVU/Mississippi State game with our friends the Grahams (MSU grad/fans), and my mom and dad.

New River Gorge Bridge, WV

It was a gorgeous drive through the mountains in fall, with the mountains in full spring color!

US Route 19, Webster County, WV

The trip up was uneventful. We left on Thursday night, and camped in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Wytheville, VA. We arrived at our campsite at Stonewall Jackson State Park & Resort, an excellent campground, with a golf course and spa attached!
The picture above is of the kids, both ours and the Graham's, getting ready for gameday!

Following are some more pictures from the trip. By the way, West Virginia won! 6-1!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mystery Flower revealed!

The mystery is solved! I contacted a former college roommate of mine that is a botanist, and he said that this flower is a passion flower.
It's also known as a maypop. So thanks Brett! I need to get some for next year to plant near the house and hives!
I did a mini-inspection yesterday, and put a hivetop feeder on the third hive, which appears to be low on honey. Both hives have a nice brood pattern going, but I noticed that the small hive beetles were moving around pretty good. But I still felt like I needed to feed Hive 3.
I took apart the hive that had died out. I should have gotten to it sooner. The wax moths have made a complete mess of the deep and shallow. So I now have a big cleanup job to look forward to once my classes end next week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Trip to Callaway

We spent our Labor Day weekend camping in Pine Mountain, GA. Erica had won some tickets from 104.7FM (The Fish) for a day pass at Callaway Gardens. If you've never been, I suggest you find time to go! We had a great time there!
For my beekeeping friends, they had a nice little apiary set up, with a tall screen in front so the bees had to fly up and over instead of at the viewer. They also had some nice vintage bee hives (no, I didn't get a picture!).
I also need some help: What is this flower?
This flower was growing on a vine in Mr. Cason's vegetable garden at Callaway. I have to admit that it is one of the coolest flowers I've ever seen
I did see several honeybees on it, but every time I got close enough for a picture, they took off! How rude!

Here's a picture of my butterfly kids at the butterfly conservatory:Here is Owen & I at the beach at Callaway with our game faces on:

Speaking of game faces, WVU is 2-0!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

It's Hot...

I mean, really hot. We've had a record number of 100 degree days in a row here in Georgia. I haven't been out to touch the hives in about 3 weeks due to the hives being COVERED in bees. I have observed them from the outside, but they've been too irritated over the weather to bother them. Today, we finally had a good hard thunderstorm! We're supposed to get some rain all week, so hopefully that will help!
I've noticed that the goldenrod is starting to bloom, which is good news! I have smelled it around the hives, so I am going to hold off feeding the bees for awhile.
hive number one has finally died out. I tried all year to keep them going, but they never raised a viable queen, and even killed the one I tried to introduce. So I know of at least one package I will need to purchase next year. However, if my other hives survive the winter, I may try a split instead.

One more thing:
6 more days until West Virginia football!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Honeybee Websites for Elementary Teachers

Well, here it is! In an earlier post I had promised to post this list of websites that would be helpful for elementary students to view to learn about beekeeping. Enjoy!
If you know of any others, let me know and I'll add them to the list!





Students/ Teachers

The Beekeeper's Homepage

This site contains a lot of information on what BAD beekeeping is, as well as information on good beekeeping, beekeeper jokes, and a list of famous beekeepers.

This site would be very useful for finding info on beekeeping, especially in Canada. The list of famous beeks* would be good for a research project or two.


National Honey Board Page for Kids & Teachers

Website from the National Honey Board.

This website contains info on bees, kid tested recipes, and a free downloadable teacher’s resource manual (with accompanying video series for purchase) to introduce these amazing creatures to your students.


Honeybees resource guide for teachers

North Carolina Teacher’s printable PDF

This PDF is useful for ages K-5. It is full of more information than there is room to type here. It also has several activities that students can engage in.


Africanized Honeybee Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans from the University of Arizona for K-12

These lesson plans have been divided into grade groups. They cover everything from bee biology to the emergence of Africanized honeybees in North America. Each lesson plan is divided into daily units.

Students/ Teachers

Brainpop - Honeybees

Educational Animated Movies for students about honeybees.

This website requires a subscription, which many schools have. The video is very engaging for students to watch either in a whole-group or individual setting.

Students/ Teachers

Honeybee information with matching quiz

Pelotes Island, FL site about bees.

Short website which contains information on bees, a sound clip of bees in the hive, and a fill-in-the-blank drawing of a bee’s anatomy.


Printout of Honeybee Anatomy

Enchanted Learning Label Me! Printout

This site is a labeled picture of a honeybee anatomy. There is a link on the page to print out a blank bee anatomy picture for students to fill in.


Honeybee Trivia

Texas A&M Dept. of Entomology

This site is a quick list of unusual facts about honeybees.


NOVA - Tales From The Hive

Website of the PBS program NOVA

This site is great for students to learn about several different aspects of hive life. A good companion for the NOVA video of this episode.


Brief History of Beekeeping

Southeast Texas Honey Co. website

Contains a brief history of beekeeping in Egypt. Useful for research projects.

Students/ Teachers

Becoming a Beekeeper -Info

Article on what a beekeeper does.

This article would be useful for students that want to know about what being a beek entails. Students can either view this site on their own, or the teacher can use it to answer questions students may have.


Bee Basics

An introduction to bees by Dr. R. Iacobucci

Short site, full of information. Has some GREAT pictures of bee development from egg to adult.


Lesson Ideas on Bees

4 2 Xplore Pathfinders site

This site has an extensive list of online activities for students. CAUTION: A few of the links were dead. Be sure to double check all sites listed before using. Pay close attention to the yellow box.


Hivetool - Live Hive Cam!

Flash-based web cam from inside a hive!

This webcam is neat to watch, as it streams in real time. This site gets viewed a lot, so be sure it is working before you send students to it.


NATURE - Alien Empire

From the Nature PBS series.

This is by far the best, most interactive site for students! It is extremely interactive, and easy to follow. The graphics are top notch. CAUTION: Be sure the volume is turned down, as this site insists on playing a drum rhythm as you watch it.

Students/ Teachers

Beekeeping Webquest

Internet Treasure Hunt on beekeeping

This is a good Webquest to do with students, however several of the links were dead. Teachers: Use this as a model for your own Webquest!

Student/ Teachers

Save the Honeybees Webquest

Webquest for grades 3-5

This is a very well-done Webquest. Students are required to draw a flower diagram, and then write a persuasive essay.


Michael Bush's Bee Site

Website for Bush’s Farms

Probably the most knowledgeable person I know of in the field of beekeeping. The answer for just about any question a student can ask a teacher, as well as how-to construction tips.


Article on Africanized Honey Bees

Scientific article on AHB.

Very well written article on the history and introduction of AHB in North America. Can be used to educate the teacher about the reality of AHB, so they can then educate the students.


Another Bee Cam

Draper Bee Company web cam

Another live bee cam. This one is a single image that is updated every 14 seconds. A good cam to fall back on should the Hivetool cam be down.

*beeks – short form of “beekeeper”

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Finally! An inspection!

Yay! I finally made an inspection today! The first time in three weeks! And it was time! I brought out some empty supers to add, and this hive needed one...

I opened up the third hive today, and found about seven fully capped frames, and some brood, so I put a shallow with Pierco foundation underneath this super, with hopes of pulling the super when it's full and the brood are gone.

Here's a cool pic of my hives as they were this afternoon:

Solar Wax Melter? Not without the sun!

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted. I'm nearing the end of my summer classes for my MAT, and the papers have been EXCRUCIATING! I haven't checked on the bees since July 4th! I was able to pull a fully capped shallow super of comb honey back then, and have bottled it. I was able to get a couple of frames of sourwood! It amazes me that we have any down this far south in Georgia.
The picture above is of my homemade solar wax melter. I got the idea from Linda, although I haven't painted it black. But isn't it my luck that as soon as I put this thing together, we start getting rain every afternoon here!! We're in the middle of a drought, and as soon as I need the heat and sun, it gets cloudy for three weeks! This is the second filtering of this wax, and it's been in there for two weeks, due to the rain cooling it off! You can see in the picture above that I have two Venus Flytraps, one that is going through rehab right now. I rescued it from Lowe's, where it was stuck in the darkest part of the plant section. In our part of Georgia, these plants can be grown outside. Remember, they come from swampy North Carolina, lots of heat and humidity, but they also go through a dormant winter period, and can survive low temperatures in the winter.
Anyway, back on subject (aren't I strange? I keep bees, and I keep plants that can eat bees!).
This solar wax melter has been pretty low maintenance, but the lack of sun has made the going S-L-O-W! I know, we need the rain....

Here are three different honeys that have been pulled by me this summer. What kind do you think they are?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dr. Fever's Coffee, please!

Does anyone know where I can get a coffee mug replica of the one that Dr. Johnny Fever used on WKRP in Cincinnati?

We just finished watching disc 1 of the first season, and I really want a coffee mug like that!

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." - A. Carlson

Friday, June 22, 2007

Honey & Webs & the Little Red Hen!

Well, it's official. I have just turned in my last assignment for my online class. I am SO glad it is over. You can check out my mock classroom website at The Hive. I have also finished my observation of the third grade summer school class at Cogburn Woods. Now I have to finish my write ups for it, which aren't due until July 23rd. So now I need to start focusing on catching up with the work for my children's lit. class I'm taking on Tuesday nights.


It never ends....

On another note, I did extract about 2+ gallons of honey from hive #2! Riley was a great helper, but Owen couldn't have cared less about helping, even though I tried several times to get him to help! When Riley and I had about two frames left to do, he finally came out to see what we were doing. When he saw Riley picking honey and wax from the freshly extracted frames, he wanted some too. Not so fast buddy!
I reminded him of the story of the Little Red Hen that I had told him around the campfire last weekend. I told him that he was like the animals that wouldn't help the hen with the bread, so he couldn't have any of the honey yet. Oh, you would have thought that I had just broken his favorite toy! He asked me if I was kidding, and when I said no, I got a very reluctant "Yes, Daddy."
(He got some later as I was straining it! He helped me get the strainers and the bucket.) ;)
I'll post some pics of the honey when I get home. It is very dark! It has the color of molasses, and you can't see anything through it. But it is still quite tasty! I'll have a picture of it compared to the last super I had extracted.
Anyone have any idea what would make such dark honey? blackberries?

Edit: Here's the picture of the honey. Ignore the fingerprint on the jar, Linda....

Here's an article I found about dark honey. I have a new selling option it seems....
Dark Honey v. Free Radicals

Friday, June 15, 2007

Teaching About Bees

This week I've been doing observation in a third grade summer school classroom. I have to get 48 hours of observation/teaching time in for my Masters. So for my lesson I have to teach, I'm teaching them about, what else? Bees! So today I brought in my veil, smoker, hive tool, and a frame of capped honey, along with some pictures of my hives and my bees. Let me tell you, it has been a blast! The kids seem really excited about it! I only wish I could get an observation hive to bring in and let them see the bees up close.

Michael Bush's observation hive---->

I'm also working on a website for my ED 630 Computer Literacy for Teachers class. I had to pick a topic, so I picked (drum roll!) honeybees! I have been gathering a collection of about 20 websites that I can direct both students and/or teachers to. Once I have this website (and collection of websites) available, I'll post a link here so other beekeeping teachers can have access to it. I'll also be attaching my webquest for 5th graders that I developed.

On another note, I went to the opening night of the Rush tour Wednesday! It was awesome! I'm planning on writing a post about it soon, and will include some pictures that I took. I must say, the 11th row from the stage has a nice view!

In the meantime, have a great day!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mmmmmm....Pepperoni Rolls.......

Ok, every now and then I get a craving for pepperoni rolls. So I'm cheating and I'm thawing out frozen bread dough now to make some.

Man, I love pepperoni rolls.

What's a pepperoni roll?


Only one of the best snacks on Earth! They are like manna from angels in Heaven sent straight to EARTH!

Go visit Bob's Pepperoni roll site for more info.

According to his site, and the recipes there, the best ones have cheese and pepperoni sticks in them. I put slices in mine (because it's more available and cheaper!) and rarely use cheese in them, although they are quite good that way!

The picture to the right is from Bob's site.

I can't wait for the dough to thaw!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

The End of a Hectic Week!

It's finally here!

We've had VBS this week, and I've been teaching the kindergarten class. We had a good class, and a good turnout for the week, with our biggest day being 304!

On Monday, I needed to start my observations of the 3rd grade summer school class at Cogburn Woods Elementary, so Erica filled in for me at VBS. Isn't she great? I like her. I think I'll keep her...
So I spent Monday from 7:15am until 2:oopm sitting and observing the first day of school. My plan is to do the same thing every day for the next two weeks. Then hopefully I'll have finished my 48 hours!

The church that is affiliated with the school I work at was also having their VBS this week. They called me Monday and needed me to drive the bus for their afternoon Camp Alpha sessions. On Tuesday, I took them to the Braves v. Marlins game, on Wednesday we went to the Georgia Aquarium, and on Thursday we went bowling at Stars & Strikes in Cumming. It was quite busy, as we would leave from our church, eat lunch in the truck, and then be gone until about 6-7 each evening. It was a lot of running, but I think the kids had a good time!

On the bee front, I was finally able to get out today after VBS and check the bees! In the ongoing saga of hive 1, I found the queen today. She was in the deep, and had several bees following her around. I was surprised to find that there were only a couple of cells with eggs in them, so I'm hoping she's just getting geared up for work! She looks like she has mated, so hopefully she'll get with it soon.

Hive 2 is still going gangbusters. I removed the queen excluder, as there are now two mediums full of almost capped honey on the deep! I've already removed one medium super from this hive earlier (see pictures below), and they have filled two mediums in about two weeks! And we're in the middle of a drought! The queen is a Kona queen from Hawai'i, so I'm very pleased with her daughters right now! I plan to pull the top super next week, and I'm going to leave the other super on for their own usage. I'm planning on putting a shallow super for cut comb on in place of the medium.

Hive 3 looked good. This is the hive I installed in mid April with a Cordovan queen. They are doing well, and have almost filled the medium super I put on a couple weeks ago. They seem to be working hard, but they aren't going anywhere near as hard as #2!

Well, that's all for now! Keep praying for rain! (I just heard thunder!!)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Profiting from CCD?

I thought this was an interesting twist on the news about CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder).
I find it oddly macabre to think about profiting from it..
Profiting from the Plight of the Disappearing Honeybee from

Here's a bit of it:

"Whether this is a world disaster or not, we at Stockpickr are tracking the Disappearing Honeybee portfolio, a list of stocks that could benefit from CCD.

First off, look for plants that don't require pollination from bees. Corn and soybeans fit the bill. The obvious play here is Archer Daniels Midland (ADM - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating), the "supermarket to the world." "


"All sorts of explanations, from pesticide spraying and falling queen-bee fertility to cell-phone pollution (they're alleged to interfere with bee radar) and fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, have been offered as possible causes...However, if the Biblical prophecy angle turns out to be correct, buy the streetTracks Gold ETF (GLD - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) on the way to Armageddon." (I don't care who you are, that's funny right there! - Steve)

I guess if we're going to have a worldwide shortage of a species, better make some money from it!

(Don't get me wrong! I'm as capitalistic as the next guy! Love the free market! I just thought this was odd!)

I thought this sounded good, though:

Bill to protect Bees

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Where are the bees?

Well, I guess this is a blog with "bees" in the title, so I should post some pics of my bees...

Here's a frame of honey from the super I just extracted....

And here is a pic of my three hives (as yet unnamed).

The hive on left just killed the Buckfast queen I tried to introduce, and I noticed yesterday that there is a new queen roaming around on the comb with a retinue. I must keep an eye on her. The middle hive has a queen excluder and two supers on it now. This is the hive that the above picture is from.
The third hive has one medium super on, and is in the process of being filled as we speak.

Now if we could just get some rain!

l8r, t8r!

Day 2

Ok, this is day 2 of my blog.
Today was the last day of school, and I am out for the summer!

I am still taking a class online (ED 630) and am going to be doing observations in a third grade classroom over the summer at Cogburn Woods Elementary. I also have VBS coming up next week, so the hits just keep on coming!

Some good news, though, is that we have Owen signed up for soccer this summer at Stars Soccer Club and Riley is going to be taking gymnastics at the Alpharetta Community Center. They are both very excited!

I have to keep this blog going through the end of summer, so we'll see if I like it enough to keep it going 'til then!
L8r, T8r!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

First post

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog! I guess it's time I joined, eh?
More to come later!