Busy, Busy

Lughnasa                                  Waxing Back to School Moon

Whew.  The new queen came today in a perforated UPS box, complete with a court of five worker bees.  After spraying them with sugar water, I took them out to the honey queen-bee-mdhouse where I pushed in the cork at the end of her wooden home, inserted a marshmallow (tiny) into it firmly, then opened the divide, took off the honey filled top hive box and inserted the queen in the middle of the second box.  This is called a slow release.  The queen and her workers eat away the marshmallow from one side, workers in the hive from the other.  Over the time this process takes, so the theory goes, the new queen becomes less threatening to the workers, who then allow her to come out and become their new monarch.  If it doesn’t work, they kill her.  I won’t check for another week.

With the queen in her new castle (hopefully), the grocery store was next on my list since Kate has a cold and she likes my chicken noodle soup when she’s sick.  While I made the chicken noodle soup, I also cooked lunch.  After we ate lunch, Kate went back to rest and I went outside and picked yet another several cups of raspberries.  Our bushes have been prolific this year.  The chicken noodle soup had our carrots, onion and garlic.

When the raspberries were inside, I worked downstairs answering e-mails while I waited for the soup to finish cooking so I could add the egg noodles and the peas.  At the end of that.  Nap.

After the nap I had to sort out a vote on legislative priorities for the Sierra Club and respond to a few more e-mails.  This took me up to the time to leave for the Minnesota Hobby Bee Keepers Meeting at the University of Minnesota.  The man who runs nature’s nectary, Jim, was there with a refractometer to measure moisture levels in honey.  Our capped honey was 16.9%, a little thick and the uncapped honey was 18.3%.  Since honey is anything below 18.6%, both of our batches were fine.

Home again where Kate and I ate some soup, watched a little TV, put the dogs to bed and then headed there ourselves.

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