After an Easter weekend filled with ham and turkey (at different parents’ homes), back to the mostly-vegetables diet. Made a delicious mashed-potatoes and beet and mushroom casserole the other night that was great, and had steamed broccoli with a cheddar Bechamel sauce for a side. Tonight is grilled salmon (not technically a vegetable, I know…) with rice and a broccoli souffle.
This is another list of “Stuff to Look Up” that I found. Like the previous one, I’m guessing it’s rather old, since some of what I put on here are things that I now know. This list is probably from Foucault’s Pendulum, or something else that’s Templar-related (Holy Blood, Holy Grail?). It’s an interesting look into what I was curious about and what I didn’t (don’t) know. This list was likely also created long before Wikipedia—or possibly even the interwebz, when looking up all this stuff would have been a lot more time-consuming. Now, between Wiki, Google, and Google Earth, I could probably knock all these off in a half an hour. I’ll type this list just as it’s handwritten on my notebook paper, side notes and all…
Peak of Bezu, a few miles to the SE of R-L-C, topped with ruins of a fortress of the Templars
Chateau Blanchefort, 1 mi. E of R-L-C, home of fourth Grand Master of Templars
Knights of Christ - Portuguese Templars
Hollow columns in church
Patee cross - Columbus’ ships
De Molay Society
Anthroposophy of Rudolf Steiner
The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz
Templar graveyard at Argyllshire, Scot.
Charles Nodier/Eta Hoffman - writers
Gisors (France) - Fortress and subterr. Chapel of St. Catherine
Nag Hammadi Scrolls
King Athelstan (GB)
Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement
St. Sulpice - depository of Compagnie documents
Fronde - French war
Pitois (Paul Christian) History and Practice of Magic
The kilt is made of 8 yards of fabric, with 27 pleats; all handsewn. The edge of the kilt is never hemmed; it’s the woven edge of the fabric. Kilt should be worn about an inch above the knees. The origin was the filleadh-mhor, where you laid a belt down, pleated the fabric on top of it, laid down and folded the fabric over you, belted the belt, then swung excess fabric over your shoulder. The filleadh-beag is the version without the shoulder part. A kilt pin should only go through the top layer, never both, as it would ruin the hang of the fabric. The skene dhu is a utility knife; the teeth on one side are a fish scaler. The dirk has a fork and a knife in the scabbard and is worn on the hip belt; it’s just ornamental. The jewels in the handle were transportable wealth.
Okay, so Tuesday I opened up the hive for the first time since putting the bees in there.
I think my feeder clogged, because it doesn’t look like the bees drank much of the syrup. I poked a few holes in it, hopefully that will work for them. It’s been really cold (hail last night!) and rainy pretty much since we got them, so they haven’t had much of a chance to go out and forage.
Moved the now nearly-empty package out of the hive; brushed the few bees that were on it into the hive or onto the front, where they all climbed in.
Took off the queen excluder from the bottom; I think we shouldn’t need it from now until when we put the super on (the queen excluder keeps the queen from going up into the super to lay eggs. Thus, the only thing in the super frames is the honey that we harvest.)
Put the remaining eight frames in. Build, girls, build!
Looked for the queen by lifting out one of the frames, but didn’t see her. This is why it would be good to mark her.
Got one sting, right on my Adam’s apple. Hurts a bit a day later, and is kinda swollen. I didn’t get the stinger out for some time, so plenty of time for the venom to get in. Eh. Maybe I’ll try a veil next time.
Putting the bees in the hive the first time wasn’t intimidating at all, but this time it was. I was just surrounded by hundreds of flying bees, trying to figure out what to do with the frames, deciding if I should look for the queen, that sorta thing. I don’t know what it’ll be like later in the season—there will be more bees in the hive, but on a nice day, most of the bees will be out foraging.
Next time, I’ll wear rubber bands on shirt and pants cuffs. Didn’t get stung, but some tried to crawl up my sleeve; bands would stop that.
I think I’ll give them a couple days more, then open it up to check the feeder again and maybe look for the queen once more. Hopefully they’ll be spread out over more of the frames and thus less crowded, and it will be easier to identify her. Also, I would love to see if they’ve actually started to build cells on the frame’s foundation. At Saturday’s installation demo, the instructor told us about a package of bees she had once that built out (made wax cells and then filled them with eggs/pollen/honey) a whole box in like five days, and then did the second box in another five. I can’t imagine ours would be that efficient, especially since the weather’s so crappy, but that’s a pretty cool possibility. I had thought it would take them half a summer to build out a box; another half for the second box, and then maybe in the fall we’d put the super on and get a bit of honey. It still might turn out that way, but it would be cool if the bees actually built out a lot faster than I thought they would…
I know it’s a bit early—conventional wisdom in this area is to wait until Mother’s Day—but I think it’s been above freezing for a while now, and I’m anxious to get the first stuff started. My mom started super-early, and she’s already ready to harvest her first radish crop.
Yesterday we got our package of bees! It’s so cool having bees in the hive, watching them flying in and out…it just feels so…I don’t know the best word. Productive? Fertile? Agricultural? I wonder if there’s a word for “the pleasure one gets from growing things or raising things (like bees, chickens, etc.).” Not so much the pleasure of having all the veggies, or the pride of a well-grown garden (though those may be factors). But it would be more about the joy of being in nature, even if that nature is one you’ve created in your own backyard…
The bee installation went really easily. Fortunately, we’d been to an installation demo earlier that morning, so we knew how it would go. And stuff we saw at the installation made it easier than the books would have had us do.
We got our package of bees, which is a wooden box with screen sides, about the size of a large shoebox. I think there are about 3,000 bees in it, but over the summer they’ll increase to around 60,000 in the hive. There’s a metal can that holds sugar water to feed them while they’re in the package (it has a hole in it with a rag stuffed in; the bees sip the water off the rag). The queen is in a small wooden cage inside the box; her cage is like a miniature of the larger box. This way it’s easy to track the queen, and also for the bees in the package to get used to her scent.
Anyway, we brought the package home, wrapping it up in our bee veils so any loose bees wouldn’t fly around the car. Got them home, and it was really easy.
First, I put the queen excluder at the bottom of the hive. I’d never heard of this before the installation demo, but apparently it makes sure the queen doesn’t decide to take off on her own for whatever reason (the queen excluder is a wire mesh, with gaps big enough for regular bees to go through, but too small for the queen, who is a bit bigger). Then I took out all but two of the foundation frames from the hive box. I pulled the can out of the package, and slid the queen cage out from inside the package. It was covered with bees that were clustered around it to keep the queen warm. I had to brush the bees off the end, and used a small nail to pull the cork out from the end—then I had to stuff a marshmallow into the hole. What will happen will be the bees will eat through the marshmallow to free the queen, which gives the bees enough time to get used to their surroundings. Anyway, I put the marshmallow in, put the queen’s cage in between the frames, and then just placed the open package in the hive. The normal way to get the bees from the package into the hive is to knock them all out of the package, but at the installation, she said that that way is unnecessarily stressful, What will happen is that the bees will just work their way out of the package; in a couple days, I’ll go in and pull out the package and add the rest of the frames, so the bees can start building comb onto them.
I can’t tell you how cool it was to just sit next to the hive after the bees were in, watching them take off and land, getting used to their new place. The hum of the hive, knowing that we’ve got these new “pets” that will pollinate our garden (and our entire neighborhood!) and just knowing that now we’re “beekeepers,” it’s all just so cool!
The bees were also really docile. I expected to get stung at least a bit, but I did the whole thing without gloves or bee suit or even a veil, and I was fine.
Anyway, pictures of the bee installation to come as soon as I can get them off my camera.
Yeah, sure, garishly pastel hen ova are fun and all, and it’s reasonably diverting to run all over hell and gone looking for them. But then when you’re done, what do you have? Maybe a dozen hard boiled eggs. Either these have to be eaten—no small task for those of us who consider hard-boiled eggs to be just this side of inedible—or chucked into the trash, which hardly seems to be an appropriate fertility-rite-cum-resurrection-tribute. C-
I like plastic grass, and I’m not sure why. I also like plastic flowers and the little plastic leaf thingy you get with grocery-store sushi, so apparently I’m pretty positive towards all forms of plastic vegetation. Not as a replacement for regular vegetation, mind you. I enjoy plastic plants in the same way that I enjoy tribute albums: as an educational, interesting, and sometimes embarrassingly laughable reinterpretation of a classic. B
I’m not going to get too baroque here: it’s chocolate and it’s sculpted. Nothing to complain about there. A
The Easter Bunny
I think we need to funnel more tax money into holiday pooka research. Modern science has yet to come to a consensus on many important Easter Bunny issues: Is he a big human-sized rabbit or a small more-or-less rabbit-sized rabbit? Is he white or pink? And, perhaps the question with the most potential social fallout, does he or does he not lay eggs? These are important questions, and they’re being virtually ignored. Oh, and what exactly is a “bunny trail”? C+
Borderline fluorescent edible farm animals are my thing. I don’t much care for the recent rabbit-shaped additions to the Peeps line, but that’s only because they’re shaped like greeting-card cartoon rabbits, not actual pellet-munching mammals. If they managed to make them look like doe-eyed bunnies hunkered down and awaiting their grisly fate, they’d be much more fun to eat. A+
From: Brunching Shuttlecocks/Book of Ratings, neither of which is up on the ‘webs right now…
President Obama has authorized the use of armed Predator drones to attack Libya government forces fighting the rebellion against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi as NATO struggles to regain momentum since taking command of the operation from the United States.
Can we call it a war now?
I’m so fucking happy that we’re pouring even more fucking money into this fucking pit of a civil war on another fucking continent while Americans continue to fucking struggle. Well, excuse me, let me clarify: while only the bottom 99 percent of Americans continue to fucking struggle.