Monthly Archives: April 2022

No Mow May

Our first dandelions have started to blossom so I thought it would be a good time to tell you about a pollinator conservation campaign that I recently learned about. It’s called No Mow May. According to Bee City USANo Mow May is a conservation initiative first popularized by Plantlife, an organization based in the United Kingdom, but which is gaining traction across North America. The goal of No Mow May is to allow grass to grow unmown for the month of May, creating habitat and forage for early season pollinators. This is particularly important in urban areas where floral resources are often limited.”  (Click link to learn more.)

Now I’m guessing that there are a whole range of responses to this – from people who would love any excuse to not have to mow the lawn for a whole month and those who will be happy not to spend the money on gas for the lawn mower, to those who would never consider not having the perfectly groomed lawn. Even if you are in the latter group the Bee City article is worth reading. It offers alternative ways to support pollinators such as planting flowering lawns (I love this idea), planting flowering trees and bushes or planting patches of native wildflowers. It also tells of a study done in Massachusetts that found that mowing every other week seemed to be as beneficial, if not more, than mowing every three weeks. That’s good news for those who, like me, think that letting the grass grow for a whole month is a bit too extreme – every other week’s not that bad.

Being a beekeeper, people often mention to me their concern about the decline of bees. However, they often don’t realize that honeybees are not the only pollinators that are in jeopardy. The difference is that honeybees are the pollinator that we humans attempt to manage. It’s not necessary to be a beekeeper to promote the wellbeing of pollinators. Simply creating a pollinator friendly environment will help.

Thanks for reading.

Time Is Flying

It’s hard to believe April is almost over already. This post contains some of the things that have happened in the past two weeks.


After a week at the farm my husband decided it was time for the chicks to learn what farm life is all about. He opened up just one side of their pen so they could roam and learn to forage. It is amazing how they instinctually know how to find bugs and worms and grubs. Some breeds are said to be better at foraging than others. It’s a trait that we look for when choosing what breed(s) of chickens to raise.

It didn’t take long for them to spread out and begin scratching and pecking. They didn’t wander too far from their pen, or the coop and they mostly stayed close together or split into two smaller group.

They also learned quickly (within one day) how to find their way back into the coop which makes closing up the coop at night very easy.

They have been very entertaining to watch (Chicken TV). It’s always funny to see when one finds a big grub or worm and the rest of the flock begin chasing it to try to steal it away. At night they all huddle together in one or two of the nest boxes. It’s a tight fit but they seem to like it that way.

This year there was also a new star in the show. It was quite comical watching Ranger trying to wrangle those young chicks. I’m not sure what he was trying to do with them, and I don’t think he knew either. He would follow them trying to keep them all together as if herding them (he never tried to hurt them). If they went into the coop through the small chicken door, he would follow them in and as they exited through the big door, he was right behind them. If one or more of the chicks went under the coop, where he could not go, (it sits about 6 inches above the ground) we would hear BaROOOO. Again, I’m not sure of his intention. Was he trying to tell us that a chick was where it shouldn’t be or was he telling the chick to come out of there? I’ve not yet become fluent in beagle. LOL!

Bee Day

Our bees came last Saturday. This year we decided to try raising Carniolan bees, a breed we have not raised before. I didn’t go with my husband to pick up the bees or to the farm to hive them, so some of these pictures are from a couple years ago. We ordered three 3# packages like the ones in the picture below.

Most of the bees that you see in these clusters are worker bees and a few are drones. In the middle of the cluster is a small separate cage like the one in the photo below. Inside the cage is the queen bee and a couple of attendant worker bees whose job it is to feed and care for the queen.

Once the bees are in the hive my husband uses a nail to put a hole in the queen candy. That is the white stuff that you see in the end of the queen cage. He then places the queen cage in the hive. Over the next few days some worker bees will eat a hole in the queen candy that is big enough for the queen to get out of the cage. The reason for leaving the queen in the cage is that the bees will stay where the queen is and there is less chance that the colony will abscond from the hive.

This year rather than feed sugar water my husband had some frames of honey that he had saved from last year’s hives. Each new hive was started out with a couple of frames full of honey for food.

It was Wednesday before the weather warmed up enough for the bees to come out of the hive.

These pictures (above and below) were taken on Thursday.

Today, Friday, my husband opened the hives to be sure the queens were out of their cages. In two of the hives the queen was out, and all was well. In the third hive the queen was still in the cage and many of the workers were still trying to free her. She was alive so he opened the queen cage and released her into the hive.

First Flowers

We began seeing our first blossoms this week.

These mini daffodils are always the first to open.

Some of the larger daffodils have begun to open as well.

The chives are not blossoming yet, but I could begin harvesting them any time.

These primroses have begun to blossom – I do hope the chickens leave them alone.

I spotted this crocus in bloom. Last year we had more crocuses, but this is the only one I have seen so far.

The forsythias are taking their time but one bush has a few flowers that opened this week.

Tie Dye

One of the things I have have been doing is sorting through my clothes and getting rid of some that, for various reasons, I no longer wear. I came across a pair of white denim capris that I haven’t worn in sometime because they had some stains on them. They still fit and were in good condition, so I decided to tie dye them make them new again.

I’m quite happy with the way they turned out. Quite stylish.

Thanks for visiting.

Do you find that time is flying by?

Heaven Smiled At Me

It was shortly after 3:00 A.M when I heard Ranger stirring. I quickly got out of bed and slipped on my robe, hoping to relieve my husband of his early morning chore of letting Ranger out to go potty. After I let Ranger out, I used the restroom and got a drink of water. When I returned to let Ranger back in, he had not yet come back on the deck so decided to see if I could hurry him along. As I stepped outside my attention was immediately drawn to a bright white cloud in the sky. The only cloud visible, it was thin but stretched across much of the eastern expanse. While the top of the cloud looked flat the bottom edge was curved – hanging low in the center but curving upward on both ends. A smile from heaven I thought.

I then turned to my right to look for Ranger in the courtyard. In doing so I noticed many stars, shining in the dark sky; some were bright, some were faint, and some I viewed between the bare branches of the tall trees behind our home, looking as if they were a string of white lights woven amongst the tree branches.

I thought to myself, “What a Wonderful World”.

Moving Day and More

Hello and welcome!

Tuesday afternoon the sun came out and the weather warmed up. It was a good day to move the chicks to the farm.

My husband had set up this small, temporary enclosure near the coop. The sides are made with 24-inch chicken wire to keep the chicks in and then netting is put over the top to keep overhead predators out.

He gave them food and water and left the crate in case they needed shelter.

They seemed happy.

He also sectioned off a small area inside the coop for them to spend their nights. (I didn’t get a picture of that.)

Ranger (on the other side of the pen) was quite curious about them. I’m sure he still does not realize that these critters will grow into chickens like the ones that roam around the farm. After being told to leave the babies alone and that he could not get in their enclosure he decided to move on.

He knew there was a rabbit hiding in the rock pile, so he spent a lot of the afternoon trying to flush that bunny.

You should see how fast that tail is wagging.

Despite his best efforts the rabbit stayed put.

The cabbage seedlings that my husband started a few weeks back are doing well. Since it’s too early for planting we put them in bigger pots and then put them in the small hoop house my husband set up (sorry I didn’t get a picture of the hoop house).

Other seedlings were started a bit later than the cabbage but are most, if not all, have sprouted.

They include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, parsley, petunias and believe it or not stinging nettle. I have been trying to establish a stinging nettle bed for some years now but for some reason the few plants I have do not spread. This year I purchased some seed and will start a bed in a new location. If you think I’ve lost my mind you can check out this article which explains both the nutritional and medicinal benefits of nettle. They are a very healthy herb.

These seedlings will remain in the house for a while yet while they continue to grow and temperatures continue to warm up.

I did a bit of clean up in the prayer garden on Tuesday. Our daffodils and other flowers are taking their time. No flowers yet, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. We often get late spring frosts and freezes which can be detrimental to anything that flowers early.

While I am awaiting the first blooms of spring, I am thrilled that the geranium that I over-wintered in my living room has begun to blossom.

Its bright pink flowers make me smile.

Thanks for visiting.