Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Hut

Well I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, almost done.

Window all in and framed up.
Door installed.  This was a door that I bought one day when I was down to pick up Annie and it just seemed to be perfect for this building. 


It was easier and cheaper to use solid pine boards for the roof instead of plywood.  Total wastage was about 2 inches off the end of each board.

Looking down across the hives.

Just need the roofing shingles and then it is all done except for the battens.

On my drive home across Hockley Road I stopped to try and get this guy off the road and he ended up biting the toe of my work boot.  So I got my work jacket and grabbed him by the back of the shell.  They can almost reach their hind legs with their mouth I learned.  Any way got him off the road.  A older gentleman who stopped to help out said that they will leave a mark in a  iron bar when they snap down on it,  So I can see where a little thing like a finger would just be gone.  Glad I had my work boots on.  The reason the gentleman stopped was in my rush to pull over to get this guy off the road I sled off the road on a soft shoulder so he just hooked up to my hitch and pulled me out.  So I guess what goes around comes around.

Finally got smart and cut all my tar-paper before I left the house where it was nice and flat with a built in knife guide in the sidewalk. 

Tar-paper and metal edging all done.

Mitchell helping out with the shingles.  He nailed and I cut.

All Done

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Squirrels...Pests or Providers.

Squirrels drive a gardener crazy. This is Jesika's bonsai that she had planted early in the summer. The squirrels just keep digging all the dirt out.

Anything that's not caged, is dug. That includes any planter or my veggie patch. I do have a couple of surprises though. Chris was very happy to have them plant an acorn & a hazelnut that are both doing very well & will be transplanted over at Many-Hues Acres in the fall. I have no idea how long it takes for a nut to sprout once in the ground but I'm sure in this case we've just been saved about $200 worth of nut trees.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Groundhog Day

For the first time ever I had a groundhog visit my back garden. This little guy was actually cornered by my dogs & had wedged himself into a hole around some of my garden art behind this patch of raspberries. I had to move all kinds of stuff to free him.

After about 15 minutes, he emerged.

I've been spotted & he took off under the bunkie for about another 1/2 hour.

Sunday, 10 August 2014


This has been a very cold summer for Ontario Canada. I'm not complaining after the horrible winter we had but it's not so great for my veggies. Heat lovers like peppers & tomatoes aren't doing so great depending on where they are in the garden. I've had a small harvest and it's always enough to keep a gardener going. Kale lettuce and beans are all in abundance. One great thing is that I haven't had to water all season.

 Always a rarity...getting to the raspberry's before Chris, our dog Nessie and the birds.

My first cucumber from the driveway garden boxes.

A few cherry tomatoes from the front garden planter. I'll serve these up with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The honey Hut

We quickly found that we needed our bee equipment closer to the hives so we started the honey hut for our bee equipment etc.
Starting the floor of the honey shed.  Built it in two pieces so I could move it on my own

Why is none of my building ever on level ground?  I keep hearing my wife's voice when we were first dating. "I want to own sculpted land".   Well sculpted land we have.

Deck blocks as well as braces all installed.

Widget likes it because she can get out of the rain.

Floor all down.

Door and back wall up.

Window wall all framed up.  We found a brand new window at the restore so I built the wall to fit the window.

When you work alone you have to use what ever you can.  Tie down to level up the wall.

Last wall done.

Starting the small porch.

6 inch by 1/2 inch lag screws.

Deck done.

Rafters all installed.

Picking up the pine boards for the back wall.

This car had no roof racks so I had to get inventive.

A new saw table combo I was gifted to me by my dad.  12 foot boards handled with no problem at all.

I call these our Redneck dining furniture.

Back wall all boarded up.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Change of Plans

Saturday was not how it was supposed to be. This is a long weekend for those of us in Ontario Canada. The boys were both scheduled to work Saturday so my plans were supposed to be in the studio Saturday, Sunday & then recovery on Monday with a good book...that's not what happened.

On Friday night Chris & I went north to pick up a Queen for one of our hives.  Because we both work full time we are considered weekend beekeepers & last weekend we discovered that a hive we thought was strong was without any eggs. Queenless. We picked up the queen from a Dufferin Bee Association member who has been bee keeping for way over 30 years. This wonderful gentleman has been mentoring us because there is only so much you can get from books. They selected a wonderfully laying queen and 3 attendants & put them in a little cage with a candy block.

At 6:00am Saturday morning I woke up to Chris saying oh SHIT. Forgive the language but I sat up in bed & said what. He said that the bees had eaten there way out of the cage & were loose in the house. I came out of the bedroom to Chris in the kitchen with a glass covering 1 attendant and a bowl over another one up on the cupboards. We got a jar & like we're 5 again, punched holes in the lid & put the attendants in the jar. But where is the QUEEN?? Several hours after Chris had left for work, I found the queen on the kitchen floor. I trapped her under a glass & got her back into the jar....So now I called our bee mentor to find out what we do next. 
Well...his advise is nothing that you will find in any bee book. My instructions were to purchase some Johnson's baby powder. It must be Johnson's because it's the only one that smells like flowers. Take the lid off the hive & coat the frames, without lifting them, in a layer of baby powder. Put the lid back on for an hour. After an hour lift the lid again, put in more powder, open the jar UPSIDE down over the frames & insert the queen & the attendants. Special note...try & get some of the powder on the queen as well. Put the lid back on & in 4 to 5 days we go back in & see if there are any eggs. OMG...get some powder on the queen if you can? Then he gave me some can do're good. lol

Here's the jar with the Johnson's baby powder.

The aftermath of the powder

I'm sitting on the porch of the unfinished bee hut waiting out the hour with my dogs.