Thursday, March 20, 2014

Rabbit setup

Set up the rabbit colony with 3 does and our sweet buck March 9th, 2014.  It's certainly an experiment since they're likely to dig out.  We are hoping once they start some burrows toward the center of the pen or shed that they'll focus the digging there and not so much on the perimeter.  Meanwhile, lots of concrete blocks are being put wherever they dig in the wrong place.  So far they are seeming content.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Genus is vernonia, haven't look up which species on oklahoma plant database yet.  A common name is Ironweed.
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Krameria Rhatany Ratany

Still working on figuring this one out.  Let me know if you recognize it.  Jackie found it in one of her books - Krameria genus, or Ratany, or Rhatany.  I found several patches of it on the land (in central OK)  It's low growing and viny.  Growth habit resembles purslane.  Leaves are alternate and it's hairy. 

Found a great write up on this:   In summary:  The flowers produce not nectar, but fatty oils.  Apparently bees of the genus Centris use the oils and pollen for their larvae.  There are other oil producing plants as well!  (who knew?) Also, these plants are "obligate semiparasites, forming haustoria on the roots of a broad range of host plants." 
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Queens are laying!

Checked all the hives this morning:
Both the splits from Lloyd's hive had eggs and hence their queens must have mated properly and returned!
The queen right split will need a new box in a week or so.

The queenright split from the Observation hive was booming, so I gave them the second box.
The swarm from the observation hive had several queen cells (from the brood I gave them last Sunday) so I guess they didn't like the queen that came with them.  Will check again within 3 weeks to see if they end up with a laying queen.

The OH queen started laying yesterday!

All is good in beeland.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Queen cells!

Saturday, April 28th, I check the hive that I'd made queenless a week earlier.  Found queen cells on 2 frames, so I split them between 2 hives.  Hopefully not destroying all the queen cells in the process.  Gave the new location some extra frames of brood from the queenright split from the previous week.

So far the new split isn't flying, of course, but no robbing either.  I worry about queenless splits.  The OH that was split Wednesday took 2 days for its first queen cell to appear and 4 days for the second (and several more.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

bee increase part 2

Low this morning was 71.  Took the observation hive outside and managed to accomplish my plan!  Took all the bees out, cleaned it up (thanks hubs) and only put back the freshly drawn frame with eggs and larva.  I wasn't sure I had the queen in the new hive, so I just put ALL the bees in there and put the one frame back, plus 3 empty frames. (Hope that there's enough nurse bees that made it back in to raise their new queen.)  So many bees make it hard to spot her, so I hoped I had her.

We put the OH back into the house and before I removed the barrier to the outside entrance I looked around to make sure the queen wasn't just hanging out somewhere out there.  There was a small clump of bees near the ground and sure enough, the queen was right there in the middle.  Got her scooped up and put into the new hive!  Yay!  Put the queen and the 3 packed frames into their new home and now I'm just waiting for the mass migration of the foragers to return to the OH.  Only ended up with 3 bees in the house. ;)  So far so good.

Current status then:  Two outside hives with queens, one outside working on queens and the OH working on a queen.