Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bean's Date

Our scheduled date was Thursday, but we're all on Fall Break or vacation around here and Thursday's forecast was storms and more storms.  Not the best weather for fishing or observing bees.  So, we moved it up a day.
Today was another perfect fall day.
Pap and Bean headed for the lake at noon time.  They spent a couple of hours there.  Bean caught the first bass of date days and that was all.

 Bean swears that fishing is lousy when a cold front is pushing through.
While they were gone I got things ready for our visit to the bees.
If you remember, back in the winter Bean and I did a big science project on bees, so he knew what he was looking at and for.  He's all about anything having to do with fire and was happy to help with the smoker.

 Ahh, the top bar hive. I don't know what the deal is with that hive.  The queen lays eggs hand over fist.  Almost every bar has a large comb, but they just won't stay.  It is frustrating.

Anyway, there were few bees and a double comb, which I took off.  The Langstroth hive has decreased population, which is supposed to happen in fall. Those boy drones are given the boot.  There is lots of honey there for winter.
After looking all around we came inside and I showed him how I cut out the honey and leave it to drain in a strainer.

Next, we were off to the woodshop.

This has been as interesting to me as it is the kids.  You know the woodshop is Handy Man's world and I don't go there unless invited.  I've enjoyed seeing how all this stuff works.  We decided that the ten year olds were big enough to start lessons on the lathe.  Bean was surprised how all the woodchips flew all over him.  He decided on the design for his candlestick and used the tools to make it happen.

You do the sanding and finishing, all on the lathe.
He wanted his work finished with "bee farts"  after hearing about Baby Boy's experience.  He got a piece of wax we'd just taken from the hive and rubbed it on the wood while it was spinning.
Then, way cool, Pap showed him how to take a piece of steel wool and rub it on the wood.

It creates heat which allows the wax to penetrate the wood. Bean loved the new color and you can see the progression.

Next, we headed back into the house to make beeswax candles.  

Oh my, we so loved the smell.  Then the very beautiful finished product.  He made additional candles for later use.

We had candlelight, time for his supper. He fixed the salad, Pappy grilled the steaks and I finished off the shrimp, rolls and purple baked potatoes.  It was a lovely dinner.

We had playdate all day Monday.  By 4 most everyone had headed home.  I told Bean to find a movie he and Giddy-up would enjoy.  He decided to introduce Giddy-up to his three to five year old passion,  Davey Crockett.  I wonder if Giddy-up will love Davey as much as Bean did.

There isn't a craft he isn't interested in and he and I can hardly wait for the next Hobbit movie. What a fun grandboy!

He said between the dog, bees, rabbits and chickens, did I have a favorite?  I told him it was hard to pick a favorite, but between scrap disposal, free fertilizer, delicious eggs and child entertainment, the chickens certainly provided a big bang for my buck.
This is the chick he named Black Thermostat.  Here is another one of those pictures that about squeezes the breath out of me.  Love that boy!


  1. So handsome. I love that picture with black thermostat. Another successful day!

  2. love the bee pics and the woodshop is fascinating!

  3. Such wonderful pictures -- all of them! I really think these individual play dates are an awesome idea!