Friday, May 24, 2019

Bees Swarming Today

We had a swarm of honey bees fly through the garden, orchard, pasture (with the mules eating) and chicken pens (with 18 hens). We were not concerned and they headed south. The noise was a treat and we know to stay calm and stand still as they whiz by.

Swarming occurs when a colony has outgrown its current hive and is preparing to separate into 2 or more new, smaller hives. When bees swarm looking for a new place to call home, they are usually at their calmest. When they get tired or at the end of a long day, they will often rest in a tree, culvert or other place they feel safe. You might get to see this resting in your yard and they may stay as long as a week. This is not the same as an active bee hive.

I wanted to send this reminder to all neighbors and ask that you please do not respond by calling an exterminator. Honey bees play a vital role in our ecosystems and food supply. As organic gardeners we appreciate their important role.
Bees have been struggling in recent years due to many unnatural stresses which include habitat disruption, monocultural & genetically engineered food provisions, and invasive pathogens & parasites.

If you have a resting swarm of bees and wish to have them removed you can call one of the expert beekeepers below. They will most likely charge less than an exterminator and the wild bees can be kept in new, safe hives.

Tracy. 928-899-2720 - Williamson Valley Area
Ken Miller. 928-300-1260 - Located in Rimrock (Verde Vly)
Nancy J. Deane. 941-815-1588 - In Prescott, PV, Dewey
Mark Gregory - Kirkland area - 928-830-8770
Tom Veatch - 928 925 2096 - Areas south of Prescott

Some interesting honey bee facts:

In order to make a pound of honey, a hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles

Honey is 25% sweeter than table sugar.

Honey is the only foodstuff that contains all of the necessary nutrients to sustain life.

Bee venom is used as a treatment for several ailments, including arthritis and high blood pressure and beekeepers rarely have arthritis

The darker the honey, the greater amount of antioxidant properties it has.

Honey has antibacterial properties and can be used as a dressing for wounds.

Due to colony collapse disorder, bees have been dying off at a rate of approximately 30% per year.

Bees are being used to study dementia. When a bee takes on a new job usually done by a younger bee, its brain stops aging!

(Thus ended the lesson. Sorry to be so long winded.)

Food For Thought

Not every place you fit in is where you belong.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mother's Day Flowers

Its early in the spring, but it's Mother's Day. Many of our garden plants are only a couple  inches tall, but the Iris are beginning to put on a show. Here is Sotto Voce. I also adore my cold tolerant stocks, violas and snapdragons. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cold Camping

Had a wonderful time exploring and hiking, but then it became too cold. Packed up and headed home a day early, but time spent in the forest was well worth it. Lots of beautiful Clarets Cup tucked in and around the rocks.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Good, Bad, Beautiful

The beautiful Red-Stem Filaree, Pinweed, Common Stork's-Bill (or Mexican alfalfa as it's affectionately called in AZ & NM), is in full bloom and creating quite a stunning roadside display. BUT... it is an invasive plant introduced in the 1800. Beauty and the Beast?


Saturday, March 2, 2019


  • Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned?
  • What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?
  • Which letter is silent in the word “scent,” the s or the c?

Monday, October 29, 2018

I was writing at the Chino Valley Library, and engrossed in the words. After an hour of working on a chapter of my novel, Kill Claw, I was hackneyed... and the plot had taken a deadly turn for the worst.

I took a breather, sat back and looked around the room. I was surrounded by wonderful books and certainly in the right section.

Yep. The perfect place for a nasty character to die.



Monday, September 24, 2018

Shy Moon

I see you hiding,
Floating between cloud islands. 
Searching for the sea,
Open dark waters where
You illuminate my garden
With your bright,
Steady beam.

You are in place,
Like a great ship
Sitting on the ocean
Of dark blue silence.
Surrounded by a mass
Of tiny, twinkling rafts.
Your starlight companions.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Celebrate Banned Books Week

The last week in September is Banned Books Week - 2018. Time to Celebrate!

Read a book that’s been banned. Here's a potential list: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Red Badge of Courage, The Catcher in the Rye, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Moby Dick.

The books shown —along with many others—have been targeted for removal from bookshelves around the nation. Find out what all of the buzz is about! Join us as we celebrate Banned Books Week and encourage your children to read a banned book.

Bees Swarming Today

We had a swarm of honey bees fly through the garden, orchard, pasture (with the mules eating) and chicken pens (with 18 hens). We were ...