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Friday, March 18, 2005

Photo Friday (Vol. XIX) [distraction edition]

Sorry this is up so late in the day... you see I somehow got distracted.

If you look at this shot of the view from our back mirpesset (balcony) which overlooks West Turdistan and the Arab vineyards in the wadi, you may notice a small white thing in the lower right hand corner.
Beeview1

Hmmmm... Let's zoom in a bit and see what that could be.

Beeview2

I can't quite make it out... maybe zoom in just a tad more...
Beeview3

In case it isn't perfectly clear what I spent much of my day doing, here is a much closer look:
Beeview4

A few months back I wrote a post about a growing obsession... beekeeping.  I devoured every book I could find on the subject and decided to give it a try.

Yesterday evening after work I picked up two 'nucs' (half-sized beehives) from a commercial beekeeper in Kfar Bilu (near Rechovot) containing the nucleus of two well established colonies (yes, it's always about colonialism with us settlers).  Each 'nuc' contained a queen, approximately a gazillion female workers, a few drones (males) and 5 frames of brood comb (honeycomb with developing bee larvae). 

This morning I weed-whacked the tall grass in West Turdistan and made preparations to transfer the colonies into their new home; the two full sized hives I built a few weeks ago.

A good time was had by all (and nobody got stung), and now West Turdistan officially has its first bit of economic activity (frankly, its economy was in the sh*tter).

Yes folks, my wife is a saint.

Shabbat Shalom!
221_2_5

Posted by David Bogner on March 18, 2005 | Permalink

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Mmmm.... This, of course means honey glaze for barbeque ribs!

So, not only are you a carnivorous BBQing gun toting settler, you're pro-nucs. Excellent!

Shabbat shalom.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Mar 18, 2005 4:38:37 PM

So, now everyone can yell "Honey, I'm home" when they walk in?

Don't blame me, I haven't gotten any sleep this week...

Posted by: efrex | Mar 18, 2005 4:42:29 PM

Holy toledo. What a view.

Sorry. Yes. Bees. Congratulations! Do you have to plant clover or lavender or something for them? Or do they just find their own nectar? And if they use flowers from something odd, like potatoes or radishes, does it change the flavor dramatically?

Posted by: Tanya | Mar 18, 2005 4:59:15 PM

David Bogner, you are an inspiration!

Posted by: Harry | Mar 18, 2005 5:18:05 PM

you are a handful David.
Zahava is most patient.

Posted by: lisa | Mar 18, 2005 7:22:48 PM

I recognized it in the first picture! We used to have them on the achzut - but somebody else came and took care of them. What are you going to do with it?
I do like your view!

Posted by: timna | Mar 18, 2005 7:57:56 PM

Wheeeee! This is so exciting!
As someone who has had a few, er, unusual hobbies in my day, I think this new development is fabulous.
BBQ sauce: good. Mead: better. A porter made of smoked grains and primed with honey: fantastic. :)

Posted by: Lisa | Mar 18, 2005 8:03:18 PM

Eccentric hobbies are in your genes, David. I've provided them. So, obviously I not only approve but am a little envious (though not to the point where I am about to establish Westport Honey Farm).
The only aspect of this new pasttime that worries me (and it should worry your family, too) is our ancient notion of Israel as the land of milk and honey. Now that we have the one, can a herd of goats be far behind????
Just kidding--perhaps.
Good luck to you and good forraging to your bees.
Dad

Posted by: Delmar Bogner | Mar 19, 2005 12:11:22 AM

David, the shepherd boy. I kind of like that.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 19, 2005 2:32:24 AM

David, the shepherd boy. I kind of like that.

In that case...will you prefer 'Heidi & Peter' or 'Fatma & Ahmad'? *8)

It's getting fairly exciting over at yours; I've actually been waiting for bee news ever since you've mentioned it first time.
So how long will it take until we see your kids enjoying the first drops of honey? I was just thinking first homemade honey on Rosh HaShana; how really special that would be(e), right?

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Mar 19, 2005 11:21:50 AM

Doctor Bean... Yes, I'm a big fan of honey glaze, but mostly just on ribs... chicken just gets the smoke treatment. As to the other stuff, you have no idea how hard it is to find a bee suit that has a velcro slit where you can reach in a grab your shootin' iron if you need it in a hurry. :-)

Efrex... 'ouch' doesn't even begin...
Put the test tube down and take a nap.

Tanya... Yes, we like the view very much. As to the bee forage, there really is very little in the world that bees can gather that doesn't make tasty honey (and none of those few things grow in our area). one of the really rare treats is honey made from the nectar of the Zatar plant, and as luck would have it our area has tons of Zatar growing wild. There are also lots of wild flowers as well as cherry, apple, Etrog (citron), lemon and other fruit trees that bloom throughout the seasons.

Harry... that's not the word my wife uses.

Lisa... That's not the word either, but you're getting warmer. :-)

TImna... THis is partly a nice hobby for myself and the kids... and partly to gather local honey (eating a spoonful of local honey every morning is good for relieving allergies to local pollens.)

Lisa... Slow down! I can't spring all those hobbies on the Mrs. all at once! ;-)

Dad... No, as much as it might make yard care a snap, there won't be any flocks in my future.

Jack... Not going to happen. There are a couple of Reffets (dairies) within a couple of miles of my house. If I get the urge for taste of fresh cream or the smell of fresh sh*t, I can always go visit.

mademoiselle a. ... There are a few different honey flows during the spring and summer. It will all be up to the bees as to how much extra they set aside for us. By the way, you have to see Gilad in his bee suit... too cute for words (he looks like a little 'oompa loompa' (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Posted by: David | Mar 19, 2005 7:09:02 PM

Bees? David, you're a special man!
I love these photos. Real scenic and stuff.

Posted by: Maria | Mar 19, 2005 9:55:04 PM

Maria... Just think, you passed up an opportunity to sip your after-dinner tea overlooking all this! :-) No worries, you can always stop by the next time you are in Israel... only by then we should have some honey to put in the tea.

Posted by: David | Mar 19, 2005 10:36:24 PM

Yes I would certainly have loved to come visit. But I won't miss out on it shall I receive an invitation next time I'm in Israel, that is for sure. And besides, tea is so much tastier with some honey in it :)

Posted by: Maria | Mar 20, 2005 2:02:30 AM

Cool hobby. I have one concern: there are some pipes sticking out of that wall. Who is on the other side of it right near the beehive? A neighbor you dislike? : )

Posted by: Alice | Mar 20, 2005 3:31:50 AM

Could a combination of your hobbies be providing some mead in the near future?

Posted by: shmiel | Mar 20, 2005 4:52:08 AM

Alice... the neighbor's yard is about 6 ft. higher than ours, and these are drainage pipes so that the water from a heavy rain won't back up and put too much pressure against this retaining wall.

Shmiel... You are the second person to mention Mead. I happen to enjoy the occasional flagon of mead (y'know, while sharing a joint of mutton with Beowulf and contemplating slaying Grendel's mother), but I don't know if my wife will tolerate my setting up a fermentation vat here in the house.

Posted by: David | Mar 20, 2005 11:32:36 AM

I love it!!! As soon as I saw the little box in the first picture I thought perhaps sweet Jordan had met an untimely end, but by the time I got to the second pic, I knew that Zahava was a far better woman than I, and had somehow allowed you to pursue one of your crazier ideas mentioned on the blog. So when Bryan and I come to visit during our first year of marriage (though we *really* will make it before then) I'm expecting fresh honey on the challah!

Posted by: Noa | Mar 21, 2005 6:27:16 PM

Wow, your first beehive! That's wonderful!

(Just watch out for bear.)

Posted by: Rahel | Mar 27, 2005 11:45:27 PM

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