Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 3: Winter is Coming, but Today -- Pollen Coming In!

Since we got back from our Canada trip in early October we've fed our three hives three times with three quarts each. So far we've used about 50 pounds of sugar to make syrup and the girls eat it up lickity split. Today I fed another three quarts each and broke down Bianca's hive to three boxes for the winter. All three hives have lots of bees and were all bringing in pollen -- orange and yellow. The weather the past few days has been warm and mostly sunny so they are active and still out working.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Frustration of the Backyard Beekeeper

We got back from our trip a week ago and on Sunday I fed two of the hives 1/2 gallon of sugar syrup each: Queens Madeleine and Bianca. I went out today to feed the other two and Anya's hive is pretty much finished. It had a small clump of bees but certainly not enough to get through the winter and the boxes were so light I suspect the other hives have been robbing. So I didn't feed those bees. I gave Rachel a bag and a second bag to Bianca. The top box in Rachel's hive is very heavy and I went down to the bottom in Bianca's hive -- lots of bees, lots of weight, so they appear to have plenty of stores. The feeding bags in both Madeleine and Bianca's hives were drained dry and I'm happy to say no dead bees. So status on feeding is:

Madeleine -- one bag
Bianca -- two bags
Anya -- nothing and we will take that hive down
Rachel -- one bag

I'll feed again at the end of the week.

We don't seem able to get beyond three hives. It will be interesting to see how things go over the winter and what our status is next Spring. Well, one good thing -- we don't need to buy any more equipment at present.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Surprise! And Count Your Blessings!

Hopewell Rocks at low tide
Do you like surprises? If you do we can cure you of that. We've been travelling for a week with our camper on what is supposed to be an extended trip to Canada and back. And it has been a series of unpleasant surprises. The first was opening the camper and finding the refrigerator door open and a bottle of beer that popped open when it feel out onto the floor. I suppose we can consider our camper baptized in beer. And it didn't make the surprise more agreeable that it was my fault since I didn't check the latch on the door.

Our second surprise at our next stop was a tipped over quart jar of honey that dripped down into the cupboard and onto the floor. I was as agitated by the loss of our precious honey as I was by the mess. We will be cleaning up honey forever I think. I keep finding more places covered with the sticky stuff. So far no ants thank God, but I expect to find that surprise sooner or later.

Prospect Harbor and a Lobster Boat

We took a drive down to check out Prospect Harbor. What fun! Lots of Lobster boats anchored there and one unloading and sorting the lobsters. A fun peak at Maine's lobster trade. While we road the tourist bus around we talked to one local gentleman who rides the bus almost every day to talk to the driver and the tourists. He was a wealth of information about the lobstermen. The trade is much more controlled now because of over trapping. Each lobsterman is limited to 800 traps max and they can't trap for two months when the lobsters are shedding. I think the months were July and August. Every trap has to be registered and have a tag showing its registration number. Folks with vacation homes can get a license for five traps, but the lobstermen don't like it and the man said often the buoys that mark the traps will be cut loose. I hope he was exaggerating and that's a rare occurrence.

lobster boats in the harbor

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Biking the Schoodic Peninsula

 Acadia really is glorious. Yesterday we biked the Schoodic Peninsula and then drove to Schoodic Point after dinner to watch the sun set. The weather here has been beautiful -- sunny but cool with a pleasant ocean breeze that is sometimes pretty blustery.

Our collapsible bikes are easy to take in the back of the car and even with the smaller wheel base, work very
 well for us.

We met some tourists from Virginia at one of the auto pull offs. I love to chat with people when we are out and about and always pray for them and everyone else whose lives we touch. Sometimes people share their challenges and what a gift to be able to pray for them when we stop to say our rosary.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Winter Harbor Maine and Acadia National Park

We arrived at Schoodic Woods Campground in Winter Harbor on Saturday and set up camp. This morning had us setting off for the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph's in Ellsworth about 40 minutes away. It wasn't the gong show but it was depressing: almost all elderly with a handful of children, a wandering priest walking up and down the aisle during the homily who wore no chasuble and changed words in both the proper and common of the Mass. The church has an organ but mostly the "organist" played the piano and a keyboard and, oh the insipid music. Why, O Lord?  The Mass wasn't exactly irreverent -- just -- what can I say -- as dismal as the rainy day. Ah well, I prayed for the priest throughout the service. A parish with few children is a dying parish. I always pray we will find wonderful vibrant churches when we travel, and I can't say this is isn't one from a single visit, but it was a depressing start to our day. Jesus deserves better.