Saturday, May 28, 2011

What's New?

I've added something a little different to the shop this week...Postcards! For years now I've been making cards of some of my doll photos to send to friends and family and they've been telling me I should think about selling them, so I took a tiny step in that direction. I had a couple of sets of postcards professionally printed and I have to say I think they look gorgeous...but I may be a bit biased. There's a garden fairy set ...

and a set with storybook characters.

But we'll have to see how these do before I commit to having more made. In the meanwhile there's also a new bunny hanging out here at the Nest. She likes to have tea parties with the wooden bunnies...

and she loves the garden...which is lovely this time of year.

And she can also be just a little naughty...

See? :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Adventures in Beekeeping Part 3

So at the end of April our bees (or "the girls" as we like to call them) arrived. They were in a Nuc box, 5 frames full of buzzing activity!

We let the box sit on top of the hive for two days so the girls could get orientated to their new home and by the afternoon of the second day they were already coming home loaded with pollen.

Then came the moment of reckoning..we had to open the box and move the frames into their new home. I think getting the smoker going correctly was probably the hardest part. In fact the darn thing never did seem to work right until we had actually finished. Obviously this is a skill we need to work on...

Overall it went really well and putting my hands into all that buzzing activity was quite a rush! Sorry there are no pictures of the actual transfer...I was having too much fun!
Here you see a few stragglers that didn't want to abandon the box...but they all made it into the hive overnight.

Skip ahead to one week later and we're ready to open the hive and see how things are progressing. Once again the smoker was an issue...yeah it doesn't LOOK hard does it? But getting smoke with no fire is harder then it appears.
The girls had obviously been working like gangbusters! The five empty frames were completely filled up and they had pulled out so much comb that we could barely get the frames out of the box to inspect them! Note the drips of honey...yes we're amateurs and yes we did taste it...

...also note the hands without gloves? Not mine I might add. The little buggers have stung me twice already so I'm wearing every piece of protective clothing I can find!

Luckily we had a super ready to go so that the girls have more room to do their thing. This weekend our experienced beekeeping friend is coming over to give us some much needed advice on things like..."how to spot the blasted queen in the milling throng" "what to do about nasty hive beetles" and "how many supers do they really need?" ...important stuff, I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Magic in my Garden

I've noticed that the flower pixies are out in abundance lately. Just today I spotted this one hanging out in the Maple tree...

and a bit later I saw that she had befriended a ladybug.

That maple seems to be a favorite place to hang out...

but the clematis makes a very dramatic backdrop!

Have the fairies been in your garden recently?