Monday, September 7, 2009

Camping, Chickens, CCD, Coop Changes, and a Snake

My creativity has been completely sucked dry lately by another small project, so I'm going to make this another boring old update post.

1. Ethel
Ethel is doing great and has finally moved back in with the other chickens. She is so happy to be back with her friends. You can see the wound on her left thigh is healing still. It gets smaller every day.

2. Bees
Our hives have been doing well, too. We opened the hives to taste the difference in the honey flavor. Our first hive produces a much sweeter honey. The bees are not actually strong enough for us to rob large amounts honey from them. We are looking forward to next summer, when we can bottle some.

This pretty lady fell into the sugar water. She looked just like a cat, cleaning the sticky water off her body.

3. Chicken Coop Renovation
Glenn and my dad opened up and enlarged the coop. Glenn made this cool before and after picture so you can see the changes.

4. We spent a wonderful weekend in the Sierra Nevada Mountains camping a couple of weekends ago. Here are three of my favorite shots from the trip. The adorable boy is my nephew, Reid.

5. CCD is Here! :(
Our neighbors recently lost their hive to (what we think is) Colony Collapse Disorder. One day the bees were a healthy, active group, the next every bee was gone. Being the annoying bee lady that I am, I asked if I could photograph the empty hive. It was really strange, no bees, no honey, no nothing. It was as if the contents had been suctioned out. Beekeepers, do you think this is really CCD?

6. Aracauna Chick
Our friends gave us five Aracauna eggs to put under our broody hen. Only one hatched-isn't she cute? She is now a couple of months old.

7. And a Rattlesnake for Good Measure
Sorry, I didn't want to do this, but I can't help myself. We met this friendly guy on our hike this evening. I promise not to publish a picture of the next rattlesnake I find. I'm done, I swear.


  1. What wonderful pictures.........except the snake. Ugh. Yes, please....leave it out next time! Besides, it RUINED the C day!!

  2. Hey guys,

    If it was CCD, the stores would be there still. CCD would have many dead bees in close proximity to the hive also. Now I'm just guessing from the limited info but it looks to me like the bees just up and left! the hive was being robbed of what was left the day before.

    I would freeze any frames to kill off any wax worms or Small hive beetles, and put them back into other hives. save the girls a considerable amount of work.

    Best regards,
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
    National Hunting and Fishing Day

  3. More incredible photos!

    As far as the bees are concerned - was the hive healthy literally 24 hours beforehand? Had there been brood present at that stage? Did these also disappear overnight? Sorry to answer your question with another...

  4. That happened to my hive a few weeks ago. I'm pretty sure the queen had died, so once all the existing brood had matured all the workers absconded. I hope they found another local hive to beg their way into. My comb was similarly destitute. With CCD, the adults are all dead, but sealed brood and honey will still be there.

  5. WOW!! to the Rattlesnake. ANd Amazing photos. Sad to hear about the bees. I have been trying to learn as much as I can this year and surprisingly we had tons of honeybees visit us this year. I wish there was something that can be done about CCD.

  6. I heard the total opposite on PBS and from other CCD experts. They say, unlike with mites that kill the bees, with CCD there are NO dead bees, they're just gone - abandoning their young...and that's the mystery of CCD.

    Nice photos, even the snake, but how do you know he was a "friendly"?

    that chicken with the furcoat is really fancy ;-

  7. Those two photos of isolated bee cleaning herself are excellent. I may want to paint one of those...great!

    If you are interested about learning about CCD from experts, then why don't you take a look at this film. It's very informative and explains why there are no dead bees around the hive in CCD. They are vanished - they simply abandon their young - as in flying off to die because that's what bees do. When they're sick, they sacrifice themselves by flying away from the hive.

  8. Keep the snakes! They have a part to play in the whole drama as well. They're part of the story.

    Great stuff - sorry about the bees.


  9. Thanks for the great info everyone! I love the PBS movie Doris, very informative.

    The neighbors never treated their hives, checked them or took honey. They just have two hives for their garden. He told me the bees were busy (on the outside) the day before they vanished. Two or three swarms have left from the same hive this year. So, not at all like CCD? I'm happy if it is not.

    The snake was friendly becuase my mom walked right by him and he didn't rattle and didn't seem to mind photographs! :)

  10. Love the photos. The chick is so cute and wow what a cutie your nephew is. I always enjoy looking at your photo's. They are so interesting. Thank you for sharing them. Sorry about the bees as well.

  11. Trust me, your posts are never boring. Great photos as always. I really enjoy them.

    Re the bees being gone, it could be CCD but usually the classic symptom is that a very few bees remain in the hive with the honey but no one, other bees or insects will rob it out. I feel for your friends. It's disconcerning.

  12. this is a good project, I congratulate you on the effort and dedication you put on, I saw the pictures and I loved how it looks, you are good at this!