Category Archives: Natural and Wildlife History

How Sweet It Is. Thank the Bee’s!

American Press Travel News–June 6th, Crossville, TN.-Bees; Oh How Sweet It Is!  When a wall in my “Man Cave”, writers cabin at the farm began vibrating and humming, I knew something strange and major was up.  I felt that it wasn’t a paranormal happening, so I stepped out back behind the cabin. I stood and watched (from a distance) honey bees flying to and from a small crack in my wood wall.  I looked up a professional Apiarist, and found Jeff Dayton from Rainbow Gold Apiary who promised to visit, assess exactly where he needed to open our interior wall to vacuum up the bees along with his 22-year old son, Tyler, after first finding the Queen.  They live-caught more than 50,000 bees with a painless vacuum (five pounds) and later transferred the Queen to a new hive box on his property to happily reunite the little fantastic critters with their leader. When the wall was opened, there was no honey left in the wax combs, as it was all eaten by the bees over the winter. They were getting ready to swarm again so in the coolness of early April, and without anyone getting stung, he successfully captured and relocated them to his bee field. My cabin was also not dripping with natures golden delight, and all I had to do was lots of cleaning, and redo the wall-case closed after closing up that outside crack.

Jeff has been at his bee business for the past 25-years, and now has 60-managed hives. He relocated about 10-outside hive colonies this year alone.  Jeff said about 80-percent of hundreds of colonies this past winter were lost in Tennessee.  Parasites like Varroa mites,  tracheal mites, poor bee nutrition , pesticides, and colony collapse disorder  were all known causes of bee losses. Dayton remarked that: “we all got to eat and everyone needs bee-power. Bees create our foods.”

Bees are fiercely protective of their Queen and their hive. Each of the hundreds of hexagonal wax pupae cells in the honey comb is constantly being attended to by worker bees.

In a way, Bees can be compared to the Trojan warriors of history. They take no prisoners and are inherently endowed against all odds, to fight till their death to protect their home and family. To me thinking about what Jeff Dayton told me about the number of bees it takes to make up 5-pounds, that takes 50,000 individuals was incredible. These bees alone (amongst other myriads of insects, and birds too, not to mention the other bee-billions around the world) assist in propagating thousands of fruit trees, vegetables, flowers, bushes and sundry field crops, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, orchard cherry trees, peach, pear, apple, etc. The world would be a dead place if not for bees.

Jeff said that when he was a youngster he and his dad would raid old bee trees. They would “course” the bees flying to and fro, and follow their angles of flight. “We would triangulate where the hives were. I sure miss my dad, he got me into the Apiary profession, and I am what I am today due to his nurturing and teaching.” Jeff has passed his passion for the little liquid gold -makers in several ways. Besides teaching his son Tyler, he is a fixture at most outdoor special events.  This “sweet” guy teaches all who have interest, about the life of the bees and special nature they possess. He sets up a window case where people can watch the bees going about their daily lives supplying honey for their hives. Rainbow Gold Apiaries can be reached at (931) 484-9430. He can offer all hive products, offer his bees for pollination and does bee removal from anyone who needs this service at no charge!

 

Bob’s Reverie At The Farm

 

Barb loves to fish when she has an edge and doesn’t have the whole day to hopefully hook a neighbor with shoulders enough for us to spar with! 

APtravelnews-May 16th-Crossville, TN.—Goose Holler’ Farm—Bob’s reverie at the farm–I Woke up this morning to chirps from at least a dozen birds: Blue, red, black, gray, mottled, white, yellow, striped black and gray. Their songs and calls were sweet, some raucous, some sounding playful and a few staccato as in three different kinds of woodpeckers including a bright red headed one with a real attitude that come to our feeders and the older trees with lots of dead wood near the fence-line of Goose Holler Farm.

Today was especially auspicious, as the deer with and without antlers and testicles were feeding along a weed whacker line I made near the pond (the pond brings many varieties of ducks and geese over the year to rest and feed)  to keep our paths from growing wild and hiding some other unsavory visitors. These serpent critters such as water moccasins come looking for a red- eared, or blue-gilled sunfish, or a bass fish dish alongside the weedy shallows, along with some other potentially poisonous water snakes that we all prefer not to tread on, or brush by, by accident.  Sure, I have more squirrels and chipmunks per acre than probably anywhere in our area, as I have at least 150 trees per acre on our ten acre little farmstead, but until they get into our attic, I don’t shoot at them with anything more powerful than a stinging B-B gun to keep them from clearing the bird feeders within an hour or less.  

The trees are mostly big trees of nut and flower, oaks, black walnut, maples and almond, the billions of leaves- each one slightly different than the other, keep us shaded and cool in the summer. Together with the blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry bushes and a sundry, seed bushes, not to mention our grown fresh veggies and herbs, we have a fine cornucopia. I guess that in the great profusion of wild plants, it would take a true horticulturist to be able to name them all.  I love waking and spending my day writing, looking out and on our land and up-keeping and gardening here.

 I guess the reason for this post is I really feel blessed to wake up to nature, and the honeysuckle, roses, peonies and lilac bushes blended a sweet natural aroma to a day full of promise that anyone could enjoy if they gave their I phone, laptop and TV a rest for a day or, two a week!

Tony Romano-Wood Carver Extraordinary

American Press Travel News-Florida-Feb. 25th,-Bob and Barb “On The Road Again“-When I met Tony Romano, I had no idea until I saw a large showcase filled with some of his over 600-various carvings, in genre’s that include birds, fish and other wild creatures, of how creative and talented he is.

He is a fine soft-spoken fellow who moved from Orient, NY, to Florida in 2010. His previous life revolved around a quality taxidermy business for 6-years, and then spent twenty years in the wine and liquor business before retiring to warm, and comfy Florida.

Residing in Port St Lucie, FL, his favorite relax time where we met, is a hot tub where we both jiggle our back, arms and legs against the powerful jets of a fabulous and large hot tub system. “Carving takes my mind off of mine, and the worlds issues, I totally immerse myself into creating something out of 3X6 inch rectangular block of wood, creating a pretty, lifelike Cardinal bird, that once I paint it, people can enjoy the look of a nearly real bird. My sense of satisfaction is beyond words. My favorite piece (all of them really are) is my Redhead Duck. I won a ribbon my first time I entered into a jury’d carvers contest” said Tony Romano.