Good morning! This post was planned for two Saturdays ago but where we were staying in Florida I had terrible internet and I could not get my pictures to load up. Now that I am home they loaded up quickly and for this Saturday Snapshot I thought I would share what I did in Florida.
I was working with my friend Amanda and her husband Tim. They own a bee business here in Brainerd, Buck’s Busy Bee’s. The bees go to Florida every winter as the Minnesota winter months are too hard on them. Amanda needs to go to check on them once a month and asked if I would like to come along and help and I said yes, it sounded like a nice break from the cold and I am fascinated by what the bees do.
November turned out to be a longer trip than initially planned. We initially were going to be a week, but weather in Minnesota prevented us from completing some things here that had been planned out so we had to do that in Florida instead. Our trip was 16 days of working sun up to sun down – and many days later than that.
One of our main focuses was to split the hives. Splitting the hives makes more hives and when you have a strong healthy hive it is easy to take a few splits off it. To split a hive each new hive must have:
- A brood. Brood are babies and what the worker bees work hard on to keep warm and protect.
2. Honey. The frame of honey goes up against the frame of brood so the worker bees can feed the babies. Preferably you would like two frames of honey one on each side of the brood.
3. Drawn out frames. (You can see what a clean frame looks like at the bottom of each pic. They are yellow and that is what the bee works off of). A drawn out frame, as seen above can be dark like this one or could be light like the start of a honey frame.
4. BEES. You want lots and lots of bees to go with each hive to start their own. The hives are actually moved at night as that is when all bees are back in the hives and the forager bees are home. These are the bees that go out and bring the pollen back to the hive.
5. A QUEEN. Each hive needs its own Queen. I wanted to take a picture of a queen on a frame but to do that would have involved me to take my big work gloves off and well… it was a bit risky so instead I have this little video to show you the difference between the Queen and the other bees and how to find the Queen (yes I know I don’t have to capitalize “queen” but it seems like I should…LOL, she is royalty after all!)
What takes the longest in this process is that you must find the Queen before you start creating splits as she needs to remain in the bottom box as an existing hive. The other splits will require a new Queen to be placed in each of their boxes/hives.
So how do you keep the Queen in the bottom box once she is found and you are not ready to move the rest of the hive yet?
A Queen Excluder allows the regular worker bees to crawl through the tiny slats, but the Queen herself is too large to fit through. That way, once find the Queen and ensure she is in the bottom box, you put the excluder over the top of that box and then add the rest of the boxes of that hive on top of that.
I enjoyed finding the Queen although it can be frustrating when you go through each frame three or four times and can not find her. Sometimes I felt that I was “Queen blind”. Finding her though brought out the gamer in me, like I had passed that level. She is actually fun to look at and watch. She moves a little slower than the worker bee, but amazingly she is the bee that keeps the whole hive working. Without her the hive will die.
Another thing we did in Florida was we went through and put in each box a small tray of this Beetle Trap Oil which I liked to call Beetle Juice. The Beetle Oil (juice!) attracts beetles that can get in the hive and kill the bees. The beetles which are tiny and black fall into the oil and are killed. Nasty business.
We moved bees at night – over night actually. They were loaded on to a semi truck after dark as that is when the bees are in the hive. I did not do, but Amanda and Tim would then haul the new hives 3 1/2 hours away to host home yards, which are people who had agreed to have bees on their property.
It was a lot of work. We usually started our day between 5:30 and 6:00 am and ended around 6 – 8 pm. I pretty much just worked, ate dinner, and slept. My hands hurt from all the lifting of the hives and frames each day as well as the stings on my fingers (even through the work gloves). My hands are still swollen and I can not get my rings on yet.
That’s pretty much the basics of where I have been and what I have been doing. I am in still recovering now that I am home (arrived Thursday evening). Today I am just hanging around the house doing a little reading, a little audio, just chilling out. My body is exhausted.
Happy Kick-Off to the Re-Read Readathon for Harry Potter! This Re-Read happened to coincide with my son and my annual Florida trip to Universal Studios… more importantly Harry Potter World. If you are a Potter Head, such as myself, you are probably aware – or at least heard Muggle mumblings of additions being made to the park…. most specific – A Hogwart’s Express that you can actually ride from one park to another. There was also mention of additional shops, Diagon Alley, and a Gringott’s Bank ride. All of this…
definitely worth checking out.
Join me now… for my thoughts on the additions to the park and what you should know before you go.
For the whole “Look I have been accepted to Hogwart’s and am going to the school on a train!” experience, it is important (vital really) that you enter from the Universal Studios side of the park. *Note – it is two parks adjoined together, you can pay for the Adventure Island park pass and be able to walk into Harry Potter World but for the full experience with the train ride and Diagon Alley you will need to buy the park pass for both parks…expensive – yes. Worth it? You bet.
Once you enter the King’s Cross Area you will have your ticket checked by a Train Conductor (I like to use the word Keeper) but my son says that is not correct… sheesh… like he is Magic born or something…)
While on your way to the train you get to experience some super cool effects. Do not miss out on going through the wall to get to platform 9 3/4 (it is easy to miss – you have to watch your friends go through to see it.. if you see other people stopped and looking at a wall – you should too!) I have a cool video of this on my Facebook page (Sheila McKinney DeChantal). Here is a sort of picture of it:
Once you get to the train area (oh yeah it is awesome!), you will wait to be seated and you will go in a very authentic looking version of the Hogwarts train – even the fun little compartments to sit in with your Hogwart friends.
Then you are off – it is actually a smooth ride and you may not even think the train is actually moving – but it is because the doors open up and you are in the other park (Island Of Adventures) and you are at the entrance of Hogsmeade, the town near the Hogwarts School. This is all the original Harry Potter World park so if you are new, be sure to check out all the amazing detail in the shops, listen for the show on the stage, and perhaps grab a bite to eat in Three Broomsticks, a beer in Hogshead (very cool and authentic) or – for the whole family… you must try the Butter Beer – either on ice or frozen:
If you are new to the Harry Potter Wold or a repeat offender such as Justin and I, you must go on The Forbidden Journey ride. Walking through the Hogwarts building is a treat in itself with amazing detail, talking pictures, the whole works. Even if you opt out of the ride, you are able to walk through this part and check it out. However - do not opt out of the ride! It is mainly simulated, you are in a seat and get the feeling of flying through the air. There are no sudden drops and you are not really shook up as in some rides. I personally LOVE IT.
But now… where is the new stuff? Well, we were not sure either but we looked at the awesome sauce park map and discovered it was back in the other park…
Nicely played Universal, nicely played…. utilizing both parks so well.
Note – this is perfect. YOU want to ride the train into Hogsmeade and go to Hogwarts BEFORE you go back to Diagon as the train experience is a bit different. When you get off the train back in the Universal Park Diagon Alley is not obvious where it is. Come off the train and go to the left… you will receive a few hints… for instance, the Knight Bus is there along with the Shrunken Head (be sure to check out the back of the bus, you can step into it.)
If you look across the road from the Knight Bus you will see a large brick wall and you can see an area to go in. It looks as though it may be a way to bathrooms… there is nothing identifying it… but step in and around the corner…
AHHHHH AHHHHHHHH! It is DIAGON ALLEY! Sweet Mother! It is a while new world hidden behind a wall! Seriously, this finding… took almost the rest of our day! There is so much to see!
Many of the shops you could walk into… of course they are selling everything from chocolate frogs to Quidditch gear. Scarves, gloves, hats, t-shirts, gowns, Weasley sweaters, key chains, Christmas ornaments… you name it.. they probably have it.
The Leaky Cauldren is a restaurant but they told us it had a different menu than the Three Broomsticks which is found at Hogsmeade. Florrish and Blotts had notebooks, diaries, pens, note pads… there was so much to see and do! Justin even was chosen to be tried for a wand…
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes was a cool shop of candy and gags, great looking building inside and out.
Kids… ok people, can purchase wands and in certain places in Diagon Alley you can stand on these cool areas that tell you what spell to use and how to swish your wand and things will move. It was brilliant and the kids… err…. people, loved it.
Of course… the real highlight of the new Diagon Alley area is the Gringott’s Bank ride. This ride will be discussed in a separate post so not to make an already long gushing post longer. :) Hopefully I will get that post up today.
My overall rating on a scale of 1 – 10, a 10+. For all Potter fans this is a must do trip. It was absolutely awesome to see all the people wearing Harry Potter gear, ties and gowns were everywhere.. this is truly a franchise that is not going anywhere soon and kudos plus to the amazing J K Rowling for creating such a phenomenon that captures the imaginations of children of all ages.
This is as I mentioned the kick off date the The Harry Potter Re-Read Readathon. Check out the details… there are giveaways and house points and all sorts of fun for those who decide to join in. :)
This Past week I had the pleasure of attending the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference in Mankato Minnesota. I went, representing the Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library, 4 Librarians from our Library attended as well.
I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and joined the rest of the Brainerd Group for what was called Parlor Games. A series of fun games from 6:30 – 9 pm. A mix of Balderdash, Apples to Apples, and a fun team game where we split the 90-some people in the room into two groups and we had to follow a series of clues to complete a task. It was fun!
On Thursday, along with hour-long sessions for the Librarians to choose from, there was an additional amount of sessions that were Friends Of The Library related. I had a list of choices for each hour, and spent my first hour of the day at the Library Friends Idea exchange. I picked up ideas there like a 5k, scholarship offering for seniors, character events for children, and more.
I spent the second hour of my day in the same room listening to the author of Beyond Book Sales, Susan Dowd, speak about the things the Friends groups can do to raise finds beyond the books. How to build membership, how to be listed in a will…
At 11:15 I went to a different room, a room where I would be speaking. Our local event that started in 2013 was up for an award for Best New Friends Event. This was exciting! I was up against a group who added on to their children’s area at their library and a Great Gatsby Event that raised $47,000. I was sure Gatsby had it. There would be two runner ups that would receive $250 each, and then the winner, who would receive the plaque and a thousand dollar check for their friends.
Each of us had ten minutes to talk about our project. In the end…
Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library took Best Project! I could not believe it!
Holy Smokes batman!!!!
The day then went to lunch where Tod Bol,the creator of Little Free Libraries spoke. It was really interesting to hear how this wave of little book exchanges have popped up all over the world! I did not realize Tod was from Wisconsin.
After lunch, Laurel from our Library spoke on Social Media and her talk was very interesting! After listening to her, I have some work to do. :)
All in all, a great couple of days hanging out in a Bookish World, just the way I like it ;)
I am adding this to Saturday Snapshot. Please check out what others are posting in pictures this Saturday. I am off to work with bees this morning and then home to work on my house… tomorrow, starts another adventure ;)
Good morning. Saturday is here and it looks like it is going to be a nice one. Which is good as the two big projects from yesterday – the picking of the apples and the mowing of the lawn did not happen. And I have since found out that we have a wedding to attend this afternoon….
Life – never dull.
I was looking at old posts and I saw that last year at the end of summer I posted pics for Saturday Snapshot of what I did with my summer. I do not even recall doing that….lol. I thought today for Saturday Snapshot I would do that again. It has been an odd summer full of huge life changes both scary and exciting and I think a walk through what was fun will do me good:
Those are the highlights… bike rides and mud runs, playing with the bees, author events, sunny days… friends. :) Stop over at Saturday Snapshot to see what others are taking pictures of this week :)
Good morning. EARLY morning here…. 4:12 am to be exact. I am helping my friends today at the Little Falls Craft Fair. Should be a crazy time – it is one of the biggest if nt the biggest craft fair in Minnesota. I was there all day yesterday helping set up – from 8 am – 9:30 last night. Yes… I am tired, but I love this stuff. I have never been part of working the fair before and they expect that 100,000 people will come through between today and tomorrow. We are meeting up at 5 am to go and get ready.
A couple of days ago I mentioned e were having some extreme rain here. I don’t know why but I just thought that is was a windy rainy storm. When all was said and done I had a few branches in the yard but that was about it. However, when I drove through town I seen it was a different story.
Roads were closed due to trees down. Up town on one of the main streets the light pole was down. Heading out-of-town, a billboard was tipped over and so on… Turns out – it was 70 mile per hour straight line winds and Brainerd was a direct hit.
Today’s pictures are not my own, but pictures that my friends took around the area of the damage. For today’s Saturday Snapshot I thought I would show you that storm of September 4th:
To my knowledge no one was hurt. After the storm, the sun came out and the clean up began. The local schools did not have electricity or running toilets for about 6 hours. Local companies hauled in outdoor portable toilets. I heard yesterday that local restaurants and fast food places are not selling coffee at this time as the water due tot he storm has been tested to have bacteria in. We are in a “you must boil water before you drink it” for the next week warning, but we are on well water so we are ok.
Anyhoo – got to go. Check out the other Saturday Snapshots here. :)
Happy Saturday! My hubby and I are heading for our cabin this morning which will be the last “hurrah” of Summer for us and then I will officially consider accepting Fall. :) Maybe…
Last Friday was our second annual Wine and Words event hosted by Friends Of The Brainerd Public Library. Earlier this week I posted a few pictures about it but thought for today I would give you more of a feel for this event and connect it to Saturday Snapshot.
Before we get started a little background of the event: I invite normally 4 authors to speak about their latest book, writing and their connections to libraries. This year we had 5 authors plus our emcee, Lorna Landvik. A local liquor store provides free wine tasting during our social hour, which really seems to be a social hour and a half as people start to trickle in around 5:00 and social hour starts at 5:30. We have a silent auction, this year of 114 baskets. AT 6:30 we start dinner and at 7:15 we start our presentation of authors with a goal time of ending by 8:15 – 8:30 pm.
This year we had 210 people in attendance.
This years event should have cleared us a little over $7,000. I still have a little figuring to do with the credit card payout, on-line sales, and we receive a 20% kick back from our local book store for the books we sold.
Stop by Saturday Snapshot at West Metro Mommy and see what people are taking pictures of!
Last weekend I went with fellow Bookie and awesome friend Amy to the Muckfest in Wisconsin. This is an annual mud run to raise money for MS… my 3rd time doing this one, her second. We brought with us two rookies…. Jennifer and Jody who did MARVELOUS!
For this weeks Saturday Snapshot I thought I would bring you some of our pictures from that muddy event.
Check out other Saturday Snapshots from West Metro Mommy Reads. You never know what people are taking pictures of :)
Good morning! Happy Saturday. I have some fun pics to post from last weekends bike ride for todays Saturday Snapshot. My friend Amy and I try to do the Tour Of Saints every year. It is a 50 mile bike ride that takes places in St Joseph Minnesota, a beautiful little town about an hour and 15 minutes from where we live.
Normally, by the time we do this ride in July we have a few rides in for the season… not this year. We have both been so busy that the first time I was on my bike this year was the night before the ride when I took it a couple of miles down the road and back to make sure it was riding smooth.
So… off we went:
This above pic is at the first pit stop. We were a little over 11 miles in, it was already becoming WARM out and there was some annoying wind happening.
The next pit stop was at mile 25 and by this time it was HOT but the direction we were going was with the wind to our backs so it was a nicer leg of the ride and we were feeling pretty optimistic.
Just about every year I brag about the fruit on this ride. They always have beautiful strawberries. This year for me it was more about the grapes (which were delicious!) and of course, I did not take a picture of.
This fun little straw (twig?) house was here last year too. It is pretty cool. Last year we walked through it but this year we just stopped and took a couple of pictures and took off again, the wind was once again in our face.
The last 20 miles of the ride were tough. It was pretty wide open fields we were riding by and the sun was baking us like ants under a magnifying glass. Between the sun and the wind we were moving pretty slow and by the time we were done we were really DONE.
It is always a good time but it was a tough ride this year probably also because we had not trained… but we are stubborn so we did it. :D
Check out other Saturday Snapshots here.
The winner of the book and coasters is: (using random.org)
YAY! Please send me your shipping info and I will pass it on to have the coasters sent to you and I will email you the code for the book. :)
That’s it. Have a super rest of your weekend. I am at the cabin until Sunday later afternoon and have no internet there so will be back in touch after I return.
Happy Saturday! Ok ok… my title of this post might have been a ploy to get you click over thinking “Oh my word Sheila… what is going on?”
Maybe not. Read on to find out. ;)
This weekend is the BIG Moondance Jam in our area and many of the Brainerdites and people all over Minnesota have gathered in Walker Minnesota to listen to a weekend of awesome bands, eat super bad for you but delicious food, and drink lots of beer and camp on site. There are a couple of bands I would not have minded hearing: Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, STYX, The Wallflowers…. but honestly I can only take the big crazy crowds for so long and I would want to just go, listen to some bands and leave (not camp) and it is a long drive… so anyway….
Another group of friends are having their Class Reunion this weekend….
basically, Brainerd is pretty empty. :)
I tell you all of this… leading into my Saturday Snapshot this weekend, it is all about where I am thrilled to be this weekend… at home, hanging out on my deck which is my favorite place to be when the sun is out and the breeze is gentle. So this morning, I took a little walk through my yard taking a few pictures of some of the things that make me smile:
For more Saturday snapshots… check it out here!
Ok…. you have been patient, listening to me babble, looking politely at my pictures and smiling and nodding… I can now tell you about people slut. I seen to be going through a sentimental season. I am trying to connect with family and friends and spend time with them. In other words – I am working on SLOWING DOWN. Yup.. I said it. I love being with people – all people (thus the people slut title, which I believe a friend once called me (affectionately – not mean) because I can talk to and enjoy talking to … anyone.
Anyhoo… maybe that did not hold up as well as I thought it would when I thought of it this morning. :) Oh well… still nice to hang out with you.
Today… I am reading California by Edan Lepucki. I am listening to I Don’t Know What You Know Me From by Judy Greer. I am trying to line up a lunch date with my cousin. I may go to a movie later with Al. And tomorrow morning, I am going on an annual 50 mile bike ride is St Joseph Minnesota with my friend Amy.
What are you doing with your weekend?
Good morning! How did everyone survive the 4th of July? We had a fun time with friends but wow… it wiped me out. :D
As I mentioned yesterday morning, we were going to a parade about 30 miles from here in a town called Hillman Minnesota – population 38. Apparently, I was told, they do an amazing job, and me, not the biggest fan of parades but all about adventure….
was curious. :)
For todays Saturday Snapshot, here are pictures from the Hillman Minnesota parade:
The parade was about an hour-long. There was a lot of old cars, souped up trucks, of course – people running for offices – Sheriff, etc…, lots of candy for the kids, and just a good time over all.
Afterwards we went to a friend’s home for hanging out, grilling, and catching up. There were about 14 of us. Al (hubby) and I came home around 6:30 pm, I sat down with a book and promptly fell asleep by 7:30 pm. *embarrassing*
It was a great way to spend the 4th.
Please stop and see other Saturday Snapshots here.
What did you do with your 4th of July?