Monday, 16 May 2016

A Bit Of The Grape

This morning is blustery and cold in my neck of the woods. In fact, snow flurries have been reported in the Ottawa area. I'm not bothered about low temperatures. Simply adding a layer or two of extra clothing solves that problem. But high winds make me prefer to putter about indoors. One of these putterings produced new jelly feeding trays for my Baltimore Oriole guests. The bottle caps were just too small so I replaced them with honey sample cups.

This afternoon I'll be picking up two new honey bee nucleus colonies from local bee breeder and provincial bee inspector, Brent Halsall. It will be so good to see and hear honey bees once again foraging among the flowers.  

A male Baltimore Oriole enjoying the refurbished grape jelly tray.

This female Baltimore Oriole also appreciates a bit of the grape.

"Oh waitress, same again here please!"

Nesting above my deck, I hope the robins won't scold when I relax there.

A wild turkey takes a stroll in our field laneway. Perhaps shopping for a nest site?

Jimmy skunk made a rare daytime appearance when he smelled roast chicken.

9 comments:

  1. I am so interested in this, Florence. I spy only one Baltimore Oriole here and get so excited when I do. Is that regular grape jelly you are offering? Beautiful photos as usual and having your bees back will be wonderful. We had snow flurry warning for overnight and freezing with wind chill last two days. Worry about all the nesting things.

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    1. Jocelyn, the orioles prefer regular grape jelly (or jam). Last year I gave them a variety of jams and they preferred grape -- hands down, no contest. They want what they want. And the beautiful songs they pay me with are well worth my role as hostess. This morning my thermometer read minus 5 Celsius. My tomato plants were nipped but I think will survive despite my forgetting to cover them.

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  2. Love that little skunk....don't have any here. A neighbor but a swarm catcher in a tree near my hives....there is activity there....don't know if it's from my hives or wild bees. We've had many swarms so high we just let them find their own home...so could have a few hives in nearby trees.

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    1. Carol, I think your bees may have an advantage over the varroa mite problem here in the North. Your bees can swarm more often, possibly avoiding mite build-up. I'll watch for your updates on your neighbour's swarm catcher.

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  3. What a great feeder, and a robin's nest, this will be one to watch.Skunks, do you worry about them with any other animals?

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    1. Nancy, the skunks and the other animals seem to get along just fine. I find the skunks here peace-loving and gentle. Last year, one even held his fire while I freed him from the live trap, intended to capture and neuter a young feral tom cat. As a girl I used to wander our freshly cut hay fields in the evenings and I would often encounter foraging skunks. They completely ignored me and I would respond in kind. I think baby skunks are as cute as any kitten. I'm a fan.

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  4. Isn't that funny, your skunk!
    I'm so happy you get some bees. With the bear around, I am reluctant to put out jelly. I'll just have to enjoy the birds near the house!

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    1. Oh Jennifer, I can see your point in withholding sweet temptations from the bears. It would not end well. I picked up my bees yesterday and feel so much happier now. I chatted with beekeepers who also had mite woes. It's a major apiary problem.

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    2. I'm so sorry! I just popped back and read about it being cold. We are sweltering now. Crazy temperatures. sigh.

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