Building Our Beehive

2016-04-10 14.36.23We were very excited when our beehive finally arrived – about a year after we had decided to go in jointly on a beehive. We were very excited to build it and decided to work on it together as a group. Amazingly, it wasn’t long before we found a time that all three families could get together to build the beehive. 

Jon is our master builder, so he got out the tools and parts needed to build the hive. Elise, Randi and I scoped out a place to put the hive.  We decided the best place to put it would be where I currently had two compost bins, so they helped me spread the ready compost on the garden and move the rest to a new location. 2016-04-10 14.44.06

With seven children in the yard, ranging in age from 15 months to 11 years old, Joe and Jeff kept an eye on the kids.  

Once Jon had things pretty well organized, he had the children help him, 2016-04-10 15.06.26holding parts, putting in screws and applying glue. The project wasn’t hard, but it was very important that all the parts were put together squarely so that everything would fit exactly right. Randi explained to us that it’s important that the beehive is level and square so that the bees will build the honeycomb square, which will allow you to take it in and out of the hive easily. 

While only the bottom, or brood box, goes on now, we built both the bottom and top box. We learned that bees use the bottom one or two boxes to lay their eggs and raise their young and the top box is used to store honey for the winter. Beekeepers keep the queen, and therefore the eggs, out of the top box using a “queen excluder.” The queen and drones are quite a bit larger than the worker bees, so they can’t get through the separator, while the other bees can. We will need to install the queen and worker bees we buy in the lower box and give them several weeks to a month to get established before we can put our flow hive on top!

It was a fun afternoon and gave the families a chance to get to know each other better as well. 2016-04-10 14.49.48
Next step, install the bees!

Happy greening,

Alicia

Dogs and Doughboys

Talking about Dogs and Doughboys

Talking about Dogs and Doughboys

This year on our annual camping trip I was sitting with my young friend by the fire making doughboys and discussing why some people like dogs and some don’t.  She’s a huge fan of dogs and told me she likes them so much because they are soft and cuddly and always like to play. I explained that I don’t actually care for dogs because they are like kids that never grow up. They never learn to talk and you always have to pick up their poop.

Some people think you can teach them to poop places like the woods and not have to pick up after them.  Unfortunately, their poop isn’t actually good for the environment, because they eat manmade food and can pick up parasites and diseases it can also contribute excessive nutrients to local waterbodies unbalancing the natural ecosystem. It’s not good to just leave it, even in the woods or buried under the ivy where no one will step in it.  You always need to pick it up and throw it in the garbage, no matter how old they get.

I told her I like kids, because you can teach them things and as they get older, they can do things for themselves and you can be proud of yourself for teaching them.

I pointed out to her that this year she was pretty much cooking her doughboy by herself,  but last year, when she was 5, someone had to make it for her over the fire.

Now, you might be wondering what a doughboy is.  It is one of our favorite camping treats for the past few years.  A doughboy is where you cook a crescent roll over the fire on a stick, and then roll it in cinnamon sugar.  It’s seriously awesome!

Hear are our directions for making a dougboy.

  • You need a think stick, like 1.5 inches wide, or the kind of marshmallow stick that has two prongs on it.
  • Wrap the end of your stick in heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Rub the foil with butter
  • Wrap the crescent roll dough around the stick and make sure it sticks to itself well.  You don’t want it getting warm, separating and falling off the stick.
Stick with aluminum foil on it

Stick with aluminum foil on it

crescent roll dough on the stick

Crescent roll dough on the stick

  • Toast the roll over the fire.  It’s good to have good coals and stick it where it is fully over coals so the whole thing gets evenly warm.  If you get one end cooked, and the other is raw, it’s MUCH worse than a half-cooked marshmallow!  This is one of the things my friend and I were working on.   

    IMG_1429

    Roasting the doughboy

  • Pro-tip:  My young friend pointed out that she could take the cooked part off the stick and we could then cook the other half better.  This worked much better than it would with a marshmallow.
  • Once cooked, roll the whole thing in cinnamon-sugar
  • Let cool a little, and eat!  
IMG_1440

Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and sugar

IMG_1446

Enjoy!

Happy Camping!

Alicia

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