Save The Bees, Part 2

save the bees in lights

“Save The Bees.” by NTLB North Texas Light Brigade.
Photo credit: Linda Cooke – via BEE STRONG and SCOUT BEE

Pruning 101

Great post about pruning!

The Garden Diaries

After the hustle and bustle of the growing season, gardeners have more time to pay attention to pruning and shaping of their trees and shrubs in late fall and winter. Most people are very intimidated by pruning, but there is no reason to shy away from this necessary job for a healthy and groomed landscape.

The biggest thing to consider when pruning your woodies, is the time of year that they bloom. If you have a spring bloomer, like an azalea or lilac, then you want to prune right after it blooms, in the late summer. If you pruned an azalea in the early spring or late winter, you would be trimming off next season’s blooms. You can still shape and trim your spring-flowering shrubs in the winter, which I do all the time, just be aware that you will get less flowers in the spring because you are cutting off…

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Les Abeilles – The Bees of Paris

This reblog was inspired by this comment…
bebefreed says:
November 29, 2013 at 9:13 am
I read an article about a beekeeper who left his apiary in the country to take a job as and executive in a high rise in Paris. He was bereft to leave his bees behind. But since he was a big wig, he managed to keep a hive in his penthouse office, why high up in a high rise. He built a little tunnel that went from the hive to the window so they were actually housed indoors, yet they had a great distance to cover to find water, nectar and pollen. Yet, surprisingly, he reported that his high rise bees produced over three times more honey that his bees in the country. Consistent, prodigious yields! Go figure!

Romancing the Bee

Bees and beekeeping have a long and treasured history in Paris.

In the nineteenth century, many people left the French countryside to live in the city of Paris, and some of them brought their beloved bees along too. They soon discovered that their bees loved Paris as much as they did.

A century ago, there were more than 1000 hives in the city of Paris. The bees almost disappeared in the decades after World War II, but a new generation of beekeepers has brought them back to the city. Today, it is estimated that  there are close to 500 hives in the City of Light.

One of the first of the modern beekeepers was Jean Paucton, a retired accessory designer for the Palais Garnier, the baroque Second Empire opera house best known in the U.S. as the home of the fictional “Phantom of the Opera.”

Twenty-seven years ago, Monsieur Paucton…

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Plant a Bulb – Save a Bee

So true!!

The Forget-me-Not Cultivation Blog

I know what you are thinking – it’s far too cold and windy to be outside planting anything right now, but let me tell you this is exactly the right time to be planting the only set of flowers that will guarantee you a big fat smile in the darkest, coldest days of January.

When you see the tiniest clean growth of leaves popping through frost encrusted soil nothing lifts your spirit more, knowing that Spring is just around the corner and winter is coming to an end.

There is one more, very good reason for planting bulbs – you can help the nectar loving insects, especially the bees.  By the middle of winter bees, especially bumble bees and other solitary bees are very hungry, having lost most sources of nectar by late autumn they are in need of desperate help of food by February and March.  If…

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Thanksgiving 2013 – Alton Brown’s Honey Cranberry Sauce

Alton Brown is my favorite Celebrity Chef, and this is his recipe for Honey Cranberry Sauce. He likes to mold sauce in a can, complete with ridges. I think it’s hilarious.

He’s my favorite because he LOVES to cook with honey! Also, all his recipes work!

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail

1 cup honey

1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups

Directions

Wash the cranberries and discard any soft or wrinkled ones.

Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator, overturn the mold and slide out the sauce. Slice and serve.

Cottage Gardening – Forcing Tulip Bulbs In Glass

Reblogged from http://www.woolygreen.com

forcing bulbs

 

Select one or more top-quality, early-blooming, large, tulip bulbs in one or a mix of colors. Not all varieties of tulips can be forced. Packages of bulbs often state whether they are suitable for forcing. If you are in doubt, check with a salesperson at the garden center.

Condition your tulip bulb or bulbs to prepare them to bloom. Place the bulbs in a cool, dark space for 15 to 17 weeks. The temperature needs to be a constant 38 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit. The vegetable bin in your refrigerator likely provides ideal conditions.

Place pebbles or small decorative stones into a waterproof bowl. Fill the bowl about two-thirds full so that the stones don’t tumble over the rim. The depth of the bowl needs to accommodate at least 4 inches of pebbles to allow room for the tulip roots as they develop.

Set your bulb on top of the stones so the pointed end stands straight up. This is the part of the tulip bulb from which the leaves will sprout. Make certain the bulb is sitting securely and won’t topple. If you group several bulbs together, leave an inch of space between them to allow for growth.

Add water to the bowl so that the level is beneath the bulb but does not touch it. The pebbles initially wick the water upward and feed the bulb. This allows roots to grow into the water without rotting the base of the bulb.

Place the bowl in a cool, dark area for an additional four to six weeks. This encourages the roots to develop first, which allows each tulip plant to develop stronger leaves and stems.

Set the bowl in a sunny, warm spot after roots have developed. Maintain the water level so that it covers the roots but not the bulb. Colorful tulip blooms will appear within a few weeks.

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

Reblogged from http://www.buzzfeed.com

Give them a chance, you guys. They just want to eat all the bugs and pollinate tequila plants.posted on October 23, 2013 at 1:13am EDT

Sara Bee

COMMUNITY MEMBER

Look at this bat. That’s a nice bat.

Look at this bat. That's a nice bat.

Nobody really likes these guys, though.

Nobody really likes these guys, though.

(Sorry, bat friends.)

Because people think bats are terrifying little sharp-toothed bundles of flying hate.

Because people think bats are terrifying little sharp-toothed bundles of flying hate.

And rabies.

But here’s the thing.

But here's the thing.

BATS ARE ADORABLE.

BATS ARE ADORABLE.

THEY JUST WANT TO BE LOVED.

THEY JUST WANT TO BE LOVED.

And give love in return.

And give love in return.

Poor, misunderstood bats. See this one?! It’s like a little hamster with wings! Oh my god!

Poor, misunderstood bats. See this one?! It's like a little hamster with wings! Oh my god!

And they’re big fans of watermelon!

And they're big fans of watermelon!

But wait. There’s more.

But wait. There's more.

Doesn’t this strangely kind of resemble…

Doesn't this strangely kind of resemble...

THIS?!?

THIS?!?

Answer: pretty much.

Answer: pretty much.

And not only are they the cutest. Oh, no. Bats are wonderfully useful creatures to have around.

And not only are they the cutest. Oh, no. Bats are wonderfully useful creatures to have around.

Someday, this guy will be able to eat 600 mosquitoes in an hour. This is a mosquito-killing MACHINE.

Someday, this guy will be able to eat 600 mosquitoes in an hour. This is a mosquito-killing MACHINE.

Say these people here.

(Don’t pretend like mosquitoes aren’t the worst.)

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

And if it weren’t for bats, we might have fewer bananas, mangoes, almonds, peaches…

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

and TEQUILA.

and TEQUILA.

These people say that bats pollinate a bunch of different plants and/or spread their seeds. Seed production of the agave plants used to make tequila drops to 1/3000th of normal without bats to pollinate them.

I mean, don’t get me wrong.

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

THEY ARE THE NIGHT.

THEY ARE THE NIGHT.

But also friends.

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats

Squeaky-clean friends.

Squeaky-clean friends.

(Apparently, bats groom themselves like cats.)

Which makes it sort of less awful if one of them beelines it for your hair.

Which makes it sort of less awful if one of them beelines it for your hair.

The end.

This Is Why We Should All Love Bats