Spring Bees

I literally only have a few minutes, but I wanted to share some pictures of the bees.  I have been seeing a lot of action in and out of the hives and a lot of pollen being taken in but I have not taken the opportunity to do an inspection.  This afternoon I allotted a few hours and did inspections on four of the six hives.

Bee box

Bee box

Each colony lives in a bee hive.  I am using the Langstroth system, so I can add and subtract as many boxes as I want to each colony throughout the year.  Last winter I made sure that each colony had at least two deep boxes full of honey to get through the winter.  A few of the weaker colonies died off leaving me six colonies this spring.  Each of my boxes contain nine or ten frames in which the bees fill with honey for winter, or lay eggs in during the spring and summer.

Honey comb

Honey comb

Here is a picture of a frame in which the bees have consumed the honey in the middle and are now preparing to use that area to lay eggs.

Brood

Brood

The above picture is of the “brood” or eggs that have been laid by the queen and have been capped over waiting for them to emerge.

New born bee

New born bee

Here is a picture of a new born bee.  If you are able to zoom in on the picture you will see that she is very fuzzy.  The fuzz will be worn off as she gets older by the other bees.  She happened to crawl up on my hand as I was doing an inspection, so we talked a bit before I put her back into the hive.

This weekend I will look in on the other two colonies and see at what stage they are in.  A few of the colonies have started laying drone(male) cells which means that swarming season will be with us soon.    I will try and answer any questions and take some more pictures soon.

 

 

Five Frame Nucs

I am sure that all of you have been waiting in anticipation for my next blog, so this time I am not waiting six months like I have been.  I have been doing quite a bit of work on my sun room/green house.  I imagined myself getting it done in December so I could then use it during the winter to build some bee boxes.  As we all know, that did not happen.  I got the roof sheathing on it this past weekend, so now it should be fairly well protected from the weather.  I still have a ton of more work to do on it, but today I thought that I would start to pick up a little bit.  I can now move my tools underneath the roof and not have to worry about them getting rained on.  Also, I have a lot of plywood scraps left over that look bad just laying where I threw them.  I figured that as I was starting to pick up that I should go ahead and use some of the scraps for building some bee boxes.

5 frame nucs

5 frame nucs

I managed to build three small boxes.  These are called “nucs” which is short for nucleus boxes.  Normal boxes fit ten frames of comb in them, but these only hold five.  My goal is to make between 25-30 of these over the next couple of weeks.  The green house might have to be put on hold for a little bit because the weather is getting pretty nice and I am expecting the flowers to start popping out any time.  I want to put some of these boxes around the area with some lemon grass oil in them and try to attract some natural swarms.  I also want to use these boxes to do some splits of my overwintered colonies.

As you can see from the next pictures, I did not get much cleaning up done.  However, I did make some progress on setting up shop with some tools and also managed to accomplish a few bee boxes today.  There is always tomorrow for yard cleanup!

green house progress

green house progress

setting up shop in the greenhouse

setting up shop in the greenhouse

As my wife will point out, there is not a ton of light in our new room.  I need to put some holes in the roof to make it more of a sun room but I have not yet decided what kind of material to use for the roof.  When that decision is made and the time is right, this room will have as much natural sunlight as we can stand.  Until then…. stay happy!

Project Update March 9, 2015

I have been trying to get some updates done for a while, but as always things never seem to slow down in my world.  At the moment I have decided that updating the blog is more important than doing the dishes.  Hopefully the dishwasher is full of clean dishes because otherwise it would mean that I am making a bad choice.  I am sure that the biggest question out there is regarding the long overdue pictures of Jill’s bathroom.  Is it finished?  Not quite but I will show you a picture none the less.

Jill's bath tub

Jill’s bath tub

As you can see the only thing that is not done for the tub is putting the shower door on.  Because I waited so long for that last part I lost the seals that go with it.  I asked Jill to order me some new ones which of course she did not do.  The project set for quite a while and I had a built in excuse that I was waiting for her.  As I was waiting, I ended up finding the seals in my overstuffed garage and then could not find the directions.  The online directions from the manufacturer has been taken off of their website because it is out of date.  Fortunately I feel fairly confident that I can make it all work when I am once again inspired to work on it.  Jill has now decided that she does not like how the vanity looks and will be asking to change it out with the one in Shea’s bathroom soon.  For now it will all just sit.

Spring Bees

Spring Bees

The project that I am having the most fun with at the moment are my bees.  The weather has been off and on good and the bees are taking advantage of it when they can.  I can see activity in six hives.  Pollen is being brought into the hives so I am imagining that the queens have started laying eggs for the expected pollen flow of the fruit trees.  I will try and talk more about my beekeeping and take some pictures as I open up the hives for my spring inspection within the next week.more spring beesThe other big project that I am working on is my green house.  I have been talking about starting this for a few years now and have finally collected all of the windows that I need.  The final piece of the puzzle was to find a sliding glass door.  I had to replace one on my rental house this winter and am hoping that I can clean it up some and have it work for me.  If not, I will go against the greenneck rules and purchase a new one.  I am planning on expanding my bee apiary and was hoping that I could make some more bee hives in my green house this past winter.  As you can see I am not quite done and winter is close to being over.  Oh, well that is the story of my life.  I purchased some new bee boxes this winter from some local people that were getting out of the business, so I am not as far behind as I would have been otherwise.  I might still be able to finish the greenhouse in time to start some seedlings next month.  If I don’t then it will still be a nice sun room to enjoy this summer.

framing for green house

framing for green house

sheathing up

sheathing up

from th ehouse

from the house

Until next time!  Have a great day.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Okay, so it’s been six months since I have blogged.  Time just flies by in my world and here it is the start of 2015 and once again I am trying to make a new plan for this year.  Basically my goals from last year were to spend more time with the people that I love, to live a healthier lifestyle and to end the year with less debt than I started with.  As a whole I would say that I achieved these goals although there were certainly different parts of the year where I was flailing over all aspects of them.  I started to write down my goals for the week again which is something that I know works for me if I can remember and take the time each week to do it.

This week I gave myself five goals to accomplish in addition to my normal chores.  The first one that I am accomplishing is to blog and update everyone on the last six months (really the year) that I have been gone.  I think it would take me a book to write everything down that we did over the summer, so I am going to bombard you with pictures instead.  Like “they” say, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.  I will also do my best to keep more pictures coming over this next year.

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Getting to go rafting

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Jill and Zack goofing off before rafting

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Shea showing me her smile on the rafting trip

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Me and my girl sharing a raft

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Shea passed her swim test at the local pool!

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Went to New York for a wedding and took a limo to see Cinderella on Broadway!

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Zack and Shea on top of the Empire State building

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Zack and Shea dressed up for the wedding

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The groom Karan entering on his horse

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Traditional Indian wedding. The groom’s party before hand

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Boat trip around Liberty island

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Shea and I dancing at the wedding reception on Ellis Island

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My tired girl at the wedding reception

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Zack and Shea in grandpa’s model T in Vermont

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Shea and the Model T

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At my dad’s 75th birthday party in Vermont. My sister, mom, dad, me, Zack and Shea

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At Currier’s Market in Glover, VT. Zack loves the moose but Shea is a little freaked out.

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The model T blew a gasket before the 4th of July parade, so we just put it on a trailer so my dad and the kids could show it off.

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Shea in cheer leading camp. She then went on to cheer at football games all fall

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Zack turned eleven.

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Fun at the drive in.

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Zack and I at Arthur Bryant’s bbq in Kansas City

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Zack at the World War 1 museum in Kansas City

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Zack and Jill roller skating

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Getting pretty good Zack!

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Almost all of us together at the roller skating rink

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Shea helped to finish our bathroom project

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Shea got her ears pierced. Unfortunately we will have to do it again someday.

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Beekeeping took up quite a bit of my time this summer

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Made it to a Rockies baseball game with some college buddies.

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The three Vincent boys in Arizona in the spring to watch spring training.

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Zack, Shea and their “beast” Sadie.

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Shea turned six. This was at her party in April

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Jill and I managed to get away for a few days to Arches National Park

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I love my bees!

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Zack got the Principle’s award in school as he was finishing up 5th grade!

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Over the summer Zack participated in the community kids production of Peter Pan. He was an absolute “Darling”

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Our little trumpet player. 6th grade band concert.

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Shea and a friend loving Jill’s new bathtub.

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We went to the Telluride horror film festival to watch “The Box Trolls” and had a neat presentation afterwards.

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Shea and I had a wonderful time at the Daddy Daughter dance.

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Jill and some friends being silly at her golf tournament this summer.

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Shea did two out of three legs of the kid’s triathlon this fall.

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Shea and her friend Ava after the triathlon. Shea did the swimming and running and Ava rocked out the biking.

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Zack and cast in the elementary school’s Shakespeare club.

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Getting some sledding in. Here are Jill and Shea.

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This is Zack’s idea of sledding. Nap time!

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No slowing this girl down.

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Us boys at the World Series

Zack at the World Series in Kansas City

Zack at the World Series in Kansas City

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Zack and Dad

I got tired of putting them in chronological order, but you will all get the idea of how much fun we had last year.  The goal is to enjoy as much time with the family as possible before the kids grow up and this year we managed to do just that!

 

Fixing The Roof

This post is primarily for two purposes.  First it is for my wife to prove to her that I can start and finish a project within a three day time period, and second for my mother who always feels bad that she can not see what I am doing first hand.

big hole in the roof

big hole in the roof

This roof project has been on the list for a few years now.  I try to never rush into a project, but I also wanted to get it done before this winter.  On Sunday I started to tear it apart and found pretty rotten decking.

wpid-20141005_135626.jpgThe problem area continued all the way up to where the green flashing is.  Basically the roof needs gutters.  It has never had gutters and therefore, all of the snow and ice sits on this spot after it falls off of the upper roof.  It is on the north side of the house, so it does not melt off quickly enough and over the years the water has penetrated the screw holes in the metal roof.

new decking

new decking

Yesterday I replaced all of the decking.  Today I put down new ice and water guard, new roofing felt, new asphalt sheets, new flashing and drip edge and then put back the metal roofing.

finished roof

finished roof

The house still needs gutters, but that is not going to happen until next spring at the earliest.  I still need to haul the garbage to the dump and fix the drywall roof under the porch, but I consider those different projects that can happen at a latter date.  So, for now I can say that the roof is finally fixed!

 

Today’s Accomplishment: Gymnastics Bar.

Shea's gymnastics bar

Shea’s gymnastics bar

I have just a few minutes to share with you my accomplishment for the day.  The rain has finally stopped (at least for a few days), so I was able to get outside and try and get something done.  Earlier in the summer I told Shea that I would make her a gymnastics bar.  She loves gymnastics and is getting quite good.  Unfortunately the bars are pretty expensive to buy, so I told her that I would create one for her.   The summer has passed quickly and she has let me know over the last few days that her patience is wearing thin.  In fact she made me promise her that I would work on it today.  Being the good dad that I try to be I was unwilling to let my promise go unfulfilled, so I purchased one 8′ 4″x4″  and used scraps left over from other projects.  A few hours later this is what I came up with.  I am now pretty excited to have her come home and try it out.  I just need to find something to use as a mat in case she falls!

We are planning on going rafting/tubing down a river tomorrow with some friends.  We have never done this so it should be worth blogging about next week.  Have a great weekend!

Fun Weekend

This weekend we had lots of fun things planned.  We were going to go to Lake City, Colorado and camp on the second largest natural lake in Colorado.  We were going to fish, kayak, have a camp fire and of course make smores.  I had planned to get up early on Sunday and take Zack to hike his first fourteen thousand foot mountain.  We had so many plans that it would be virtually impossible to not have fun.  The only thing we did not plan on was the rain!

The weather has been a little rainy for a few weeks and in the mountains it is down right wet.  Now, we all like to fall asleep to the sound of rain on our tent, but when you have to set up a spot in the mud we draw the line.  If it was an absolute necessity we could do it, but when you have a nice dry house that is an option, then sometimes camping in the rain has to take a backseat.

So what is to be done when the kids are excited about camping and we have to tell them that it is off?  The easiest thing to do is to listen to them and talk things out.  Most of the time our kids have great ideas and every once in a while they are even feasible to do.  The biggest things that they were going to miss were sleeping in the tent, having smores and spending some time outside with the family.  We had to improvise, but everything worked out just fine.

camping in the living room

camping in the living room

We made the deal that we would fall asleep in the living room as long as anyone could go to their bed if they happened to wake up before morning.  Zack is the only one that made it the whole night.  We even had “wild” animals trying to get into our tent!  In fact we had to forcibly remove Cortez the cat and lock him in the laundry room so we could get to sleep.

smores in the oven

smores in the oven

smores

smores

smore face

smore face

The smores came out perfect using the broiler.  In fact everything melted together even better than if we had done it over the fire.

biking the next day.  look no rain at the moment.

biking the next day. look no rain at the moment.

We all went to the park the next day and took the dog for a walk while the kids biked around.

Another Greenneck camping trip in the books!

Back To School

I started this blog a year ago to help distract me from the reality of having both of my children in school all day.  Over the last year I have discovered some new things about myself, one of the major things is that I am not that good at blogging consistently.  I enjoy blogging very much, but it seems to take quite a bit of my time from doing the greenneck projects that I am usually neck deep in.  I decided that I would take the summer off from blogging so I would not lose any of the precious time I had with my kids and I am glad that I did that.  We had a wonderful summer full of trips, swimming, parties with friends and some amazing family time.  I will try and catch everyone up with some of the events of the summer and will also try to upload some pictures that we have taken over the last several months. 

The kids are now back in school, and once again I am having trouble transitioning from full time dad to full time project guy.  I am going to try and blog more consistently, but chances are not good that it will be every day. 

We are planning some fun family activities for the weekend, so my next blog will probably be next week.  I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I am back at it for the school year and I look forward to sharing my new adventures.

Project Update

I have been a very busy boy lately and therefore, I have not taken the time to update everyone on what is going on in my life.  Even today I am running a little bit late, so I will give more pictures and less explanations.

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bee swarm

My bee suit finally arrived, but not before my bees ran out of the food I had given them.  The weather has been pretty bad, so they did not have many outside options.  The day before my suit arrived, I found my bees just outside the hive.  I did the best that I could and got them back inside the hive with some more sugar water, but I lost a lot of them to freezing that night.  Things looked alright for a few days, but then the weather turned bad again and they were not flying very much again.

Don the bee keeper

Don the bee keeper

One of my really good friends came to visit me and together we checked in on the hive periodically.

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bathroom floor

For the week that my buddy was here, we worked on several different projects.  I managed to get the bathroom floor tiled and grouted.  We also took a trip to Denver to watch a baseball game.

Met's vs. Rockies

Mets vs. Rockies

Our college reunion

Our college reunion

We gave another one of our friends a call that still lives in Denver and the three of us enjoyed a fun game.

prom at the Rockies

prom at the Rockies

I try to never go someplace new and not meet some people around me.  At the game there was a young couple enjoying the game instead of attending their prom.  I think everyone around us had a good time.

more bees

more bees

At the end of my buddies stay I bought some more bees.  I friend’s brother was selling some of his hives…… so I bought another seven!  It looks like I am in the bee keeping thing for a little while.

This week has been pretty occupied with trying to figure out what to do with the sewer at one of the rental houses.  It needs to be replaced and I think everything is set to get it done tomorrow morning.  If I think about it I will try and take some pictures.  I have been able to fit in some workouts between activities which has helped keep my stress level down.  It has been raining, cold and windy for a few weeks now, so I am hoping that after I get the sewer done the weather will turn for the next week and I can finish up the bathroom project.

Got to go.