Category Archives: Bee Keeping

Spring Beekeeping

Hey honeys!

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

As sad as I was to do it, I liberated myself of a couple obligations this week.  Sometimes, even though I care SO MUCH about SO MANY different things, you just have to take a step back and make sure you still have time to do the things you enjoy for yourself, ya know?  One of those things is beekeeping.  I just adore these honey bees, no matter how many times they sting me.  ;)

Sunday, Wheat and I opened up our hives to check on the girls.  We didn’t find what we expected to find, exactly, either.  Our strong hive, the Killer Millers, which we expected to split this spring, we found was weak.  So weak.  They had tons of new honey and comb (pictured above), but so few bees.  The mean old queen was still there though, which was odd.  When a hive swarms, they normally take the old queen with them and leave the new queen (or sometimes, no queen at all).  So the only thing I can figure (because so few bees did not make all that honey) is that the hive already swarmed (which is CRAZY) and they took the new queen with them.  Le sigh.  You never know what those bees are gonna do!

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

My “sweet bees,” our original bee capture, were stronger than EVER!  I’m telling you, bees and honey everywhere! We spotted this queen, too, and she was just laying away.  A bottom box in our double deep (meaning two deep hive boxes without a queen excluder) was chock full of brood.  We even spotted a lot of drones!  So if we don’t do something, this hive will swarm pretty soon, too.  We even found a few in progress queen cups we nipped off.

In these pictures, you can see the white, freshly capped honey.  Fresh wax is pale and light, almost white.

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Just looking at these pictures again makes me so, so happy.  I can’t wait for Spring!

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Bees on bees on bees. :)

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Now for a quick game of (unmarked) Queen Spotting:

Can you find her?

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Did you spot her?  She’s right above the word “spot!”  I didn’t exactly manage to center her in the picture.  The sun was so bright I had trouble seeing my phone screen.  She’s a champ!

Then we spotted our marked, mean old biddy of a queen in the Killer Miller hive.  She’s been laying a little, but she’s got her work cut out for her.

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

Queen Bee, Honey Bees and Beekeeping on Oysters & Pearls

We plan to harvest honey as soon as it warms up, give the sweet bees some room to expand without swarming and take away some space from the Killer Millers.  I love that just when you think you understand the bees, they show you that you don’t actually know much at all!  Kinda sounds like life.

I hope everyone has a very happy Valentines’ Day weekend!  I’m helping throw my little sister a baby shower tomorrow (that sounds crazy even saying it), then retiring to a steak and a bottle of red at home with my very patient, kind, lovable husband.  We are seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, MoFro, with friends on Sunday, and I plan to relax with a day off on Monday.  Cheers to a wonderful weekend, friends, and don’t forget to hug the ones you love!

Until Next Time

Back to Reality

Normally I would be super bummed to be back to reality, but I’m pretty glad to come back to some semblance of a routine.  Kinda.  If you haven’t been following along on Instagram, let me get you up to speed:

 I’ve been attempting to detox from two to three weeks of boozing and celebrating, catch up on sleep and work, and settle into a less hectic schedule.  So far, so good.  I’ve eaten lots of salads, drank tons of water, been doing yoga every day, walking more (love my fitbit!), and drinking lots of juices.  I even spent a day drinking nothing but juices. That’s about as far as I can get on a cleanse.

I’ve been eating clean, which to me includes one slice of whole wheat bread a day, either turned into avocado toast or almond butter toast with pomegranate.

Almond Butter Toast with Pomegranate | Oysters & Pearls

We’ve dined on shrimp skewers with onions and tomatoes, sautéed baby bok choy, and grilled baby eggplant.

Shrimp Skewers and Veggies  | Oysters & Pearls

And I’ve eaten a lot of delicious salads from Grassroots while working in Thomasville.  They can’t be beat.

Salad from Grassroots Coffee Shop in Downtown Thomasville | Oysters & Pearls

And that cleanse I mentioned?  I drank juice all day long on Saturday.  And then I roasted a chicken when I got home from the Shop.  I feel better – I really do!  Find the recipe for the perfect roasted chicken from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc At Home here.

Ad Hoc at Home Roast Chicken | Oysters & Pearls

Another clean thing we’ve been eating: MORE PHO.  Pho real.  With pho real pictures, too!

Faux Pho at Home | Oysters & Pearls

We basically wanted nothing but broth and vegetables when we got back from wedding-stravaganza, so pho it was.

Shitaake Mushrooms and a Heartwood Forge Knife | Oysters & Pearls Sliced Radishes, Tiny Eggplant, Limes, and Thai Basil for Pho at Home | Oysters & Pearls Quick Pickled Onions and Bok Choy | Oysters & Pearls Pho Ingredients | Oysters & Pearls

Make your own faux pho – here’s how I make my pho.

It’s amazing what a week of yoga, walking, and eating healthy and not drinking will do!  That being said, I had a glass or two of wine last night for my mother-in-law’s and sister-in-law’s birthdays Sunday night. ;)

I gave a presentation to the Lady Banks Garden Club of Thomasville Friday morning on backyard beekeeping.  It was the first time I had given a presentation on bees, and the first time in a long time in general!  I think there are a few more bee-lovers in Thomas County now.

Pictured: Top left: a worker bee (female), top right: a drone (male bee), and bottom is a Queen Bee.

Bee Diagram | Oysters & Pearls

Bee Diagram nabbed from Instagram @girlnextdoorhoney

I also shared a little tidbit I learned from @girlnextdoorhoney (one of my favorite instagram accounts) with the group.  Rather than paraphrase, I’ll just share the screenshot.  Just more proof that bees are divine little creatures.

Girl Next Door Honey Bee Facts | Oysters & Pearls

Amazing, no?

I haven’t been knitting much lately, sadly.  I’ve just been too busy!  I did finish up a hat for Fuzzy Goat as a sample.  It’s the Tin Can Knits Barley hat pattern in Swan’s Island yarn from Fuzzy Goat.

Tin Can Knits Barley Hat in Swan's Island Yarn | Oysters & Pearls

Just before Christmas, I took the plunge and ordered myself my own yarn ball winder!  I got some yarn for Christmas, too, so Sunday I got it out and figured out how to use it and got winding.  I wound up my Malabrigo Rasta and Sweet Georgia (in English Ivy) and look forward to winding center-pull balls for years to come. Malabrigo Rasta and Sweet Georgia in English Ivy, Wound at Home | Oysters & Pearls

Yarn Winding at Home | Oysters & Pearls

I made a sad attempt to start the Ishbel Shawl with that Sweet Georgia yarn (green), but my oh MY it might be over my head.  It begins with a Garter Tab cast on, which is precisely as far as I got.

Garter Tab Cast On for the Ishbel Shawl | Oysters & Pearls

Pure talent right there… le sigh.  Maybe by next Christmas I’ll have a shawl?  HALP.

And that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to!  Cooking more this week, but it’s pretty much been oldies but goodies.  Pho, Quinoa Pilaf, and plans for a venison pot roast this week.  What are y’all cooking?  I need some (healthy) inspiration!

Until Next Time

 

Lately

I haven’t posted many posts about the random stuff going on in my life lately.  I usually save Mondays for those types of posts, as they are usually iPhone pictures from the weekend… but I’ve been completely slacking in that department.  So, I thought I would throw some together to update y’all on the random stuff that’s been going on.  Warning: if you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen all of this.  Or at least, a lot of it.

As suspected, we cannot get enough of little Miss June.  I mean, can you?

June the French Brittany | Oysters & Pearls Sleepy June, French Brittany Pup | Oysters & Pearls Wallace June: Best Friends | Oysters & Pearls

I just die.  Wallace is such a great big brother.  He is constantly playing with her, tolerating her, and giving her kisses.  Harold is still mostly ignoring his new sibling.

I will spare all of you the selfies I took of my swollen-shut eye.  Our very aggressive hive of bees kind of got really mad at us a couple weekends ago, and I ended up getting stung approximately five times on my left eye… not to mention the plethora of stings I got in my hair, on the rest of my face, and the rest of my body.  I ended up breaking out in some serious hives, but nothing emergency-inducing.  No pain, no gain, I suppose.  We are going to re-queen that hive and see if a nicer queen makes nicer bees.  The good news is, they make lots of honey.  And uncapped honey held up in the sun reminds me of my other favorite hobby: stained glass.

Honey Bees and Honey | Oysters & PearlsWe went to a wedding this past Saturday (Congratulations Logan and Clay!) and the neat lodge they had it at outside of Thomasville (Owl & Moon in Dixie, Georgia) had the most beautiful stained glass panels in it.  I was obsessed.

Snowy Egret Stained Glass Panel | Oysters & Pearls

Speaking of stained glass, I made my mom this hummingbird fan-pull.  It turned out really well, and she really loved it.  We love our hummers!

Stained Glass Hummingbird Fan Pull by Oysters & Pearls

I also made this little hanging wall vase, and I’ve been enjoying these succulent flowers over my nightstand all week.

Stained Glass Wall Vase | Oysters & Pearls

My sweet friend Lauren Dunston of LGDunston sent me one of her practice gyotaku fish prints last week, and I can’t get over how awesome it is to have a gyotaku print that I watched her make.

Shrimp Gyotaku Print fron LGDunston | Oysters & Pearls

Speaking of awesome friends, check out this unreal tobacco slat skateboard that Marc of Southern Restoration Furniture made!

Marc Ventry's Southern Restoration Furniture Tobacco Slat Skateboard | Oysters & PearlsThey aren’t currently for sale yet, but you could always email Marc and say pretty, pretty please

And my friend Will of Heartwood Forge is making me a knife… with my initials in it.  I am already so excited and cannot wait to start using it in my kitchen!

Heartwood Forge Custom Utility Knife for Oysters & Pearls Heartwood Forge Custom Utility Knife with Stamped Initials | Oysters & Pearls

I’m constantly amazed at the skill and talent of so many of the people I’m fortunate enough to call my friends, so many of which are completely due to writing this little ole blog.  I’m grateful every day!

We took June and Harold home to my parents to have supper with my dad last Sunday while my mom was at the beach.  June went for her first swim in the pond behind my parents’ house.  She loved it!

Bristol Pond | Oysters & Pearls June the French Brittany's First Swim | Oysters & Pearls June the French Brittany's First Swim | Oysters & Pearls

And for your ultimate viewing pleasure:

All kinds of things are always blooming in my parents’ yard.  This is a native plum azalea that I noticed blooming.  My dad said it was the first time it had!

Native Plum Azalea Bloom | Oysters & Pearls

 His night blooming cereus was about to bloom, too, but unfortunately we didn’t spend the night to watch the evening show.

Night Blooming Cereus Bloom | Oysters & Pearls

I can’t wait for ours to bloom so Wheat can see it!

A few evenings ago, Wallace brought us a juvenile banded water snake, which was 1) weird because we don’t exactly live in a swamp, and 2) they are really aggressive normally, so it was odd that he didn’t try to bite Wallace!  Don’t worry, their bites are supposed to hurt, but they are not venomous.  They’re often killed because of their resemblance to a Cotton Mouth, though.

Juvenile Banded Water Snake | Oysters & Pearls

Catch and release in heels before work. ;)

Speaking of work, Maiden South’s location is coming along.  Or at least it’s a bit cleaner and prettier!  Exposed brick makes us swoon.

Maiden South Renovation | Oysters & Pearls

 I stopped by a sweet gal’s house after work Wednesday to meet her chickens and learn a bit about them.  We chatted birds and bees and swapped pumpkin for eggs.

Chickens in Bainbridge | Oysters & PearlsDon’t you fret.  I’ve got coop plans in the works!  I’m sure you’re all shocked.
Any recommendations, tips, coop plans, etc. for me?

And to end on a flowery note, sweet Wheat sent me a beautiful orchid this week at work.  It is gorgeous!

Orchid from Singletary's in Thomasville, Georgia | Oysters & Pearls

Happy weekend, y’all!

Shop this post:
custom forged knife: Heartwood Forge Knives
gulf shrimp print: LGDunston Gyotaku
tobacco slat skateboard: Southern Restoration Furniture
native plum azalea: Native Nurseries

orchid: Singletary’s Flowers

 You may also enjoy:
Southern Makers: Heartwood Forge Knives

Southern Makers: LGDunston Gyotaku
Southern Makers: Southern Restoration Furniture
Meet June

Meet Wallace
Maiden South

Until Next Time