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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bee Killers!!!



Right now I should really be helping Stephen develop some 500 photos that are due tomorrow but I needed a minute to rant!!!!
A couple of years ago Stephen happened into trying to save a hive of honey bees. Now for those that are unaware honey bees are disappearing at a rapid rate. With bees disappearing the price of produce is climbing. This issue will only get worse until bee keepers across the world can bring the bee population back to a rate high enough to pollinate enough produce to meet the consumer demand.The last bit of information that we read indicated that bees are under government protection. To kill honey bees could cost you a nice hefty $500.00 fine! I suppose we need to do the research and verify if that is indeed still the current law. With our with out government protection one would think that with most local news channels buzzing about the missing bees most people would be aware that killing a swarm of bees is not a good idea!

At the time that Stephen saved his first hive there where two other people with him. Those people wanted to rob the honey from this enormous hive and let the bees fly off and either find a new home or die. Stephen's one good Samaritan hive is now 8 hives buzzing up our back yard.

In the process of all this I got sucked into the bee saving missions. I have learned quite a bit about bees, their life cycles and their purpose in this world and find myself as focused on saving them as Stephen is.

One of the men who was there when Stephen got his first hive lives only 2 houses down from us. Today there was about a thousand bees laying dead in this man's drive way. We heard of this because a local cop stopped us and ask if we knew what was going on and why those bees where dead. Of course we had to go see what was going on.

Apparently the man's wife saw a swarm of bees in their drive and instead of calling some one to remove them (most people charge for this service, we NEVER charge for removing bees) .. she politely takes a can of bug killer and sprays the swarm!! THIS IS SOOOOO WRONG TO DO!!!!

Stephen was so mad, but just informed the man that what his wife had done was against the law.

There where still a lot of bees swarming around and we couldn't find the queen in the pile of dead bees. So we picked out box and I went into the house to find some lemon grass oil. We happen to store the extra boxes next to he bee hives, so in order to get to them we have to walk right in front of the 8 active hives.

I came out of the house with a q-tip that had half a drop of lemon grass oil on one end of it. (Lemon Grass Oil attracts bees). As I walked in front of the bee hives bees pretty much swarmed all around me and followed me to where Stephen was waiting with the bee box.

We then went to where the dead bees where and set up a box with this q-tip inside it. I of course had lemon grass oil on my hands. I wanted to recheck the pile of dead bees for the queen. As I was looking for the queen bees where buzzing me.

The photos above are of the bees going into the box to get the lemon grass oil. We are hoping to catch enough of them (and the queen) to save the swarm.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Tuskahoma Oklahoma

I took the time to upload more photos than I normally do because I just couldn't choose which ones I like best ..

We went to Tuskahoma Oklahoma on Friday night. Tuskahoma is the Capitol of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Apparently Choctaw put on an amazing festival every year. This is the first year that we have known about it. It was a drive to get there but for 10 bucks a tent you can turn up on Friday and stay until Monday. Its a lot like the Magnolia festival we here with a couple of big differences. First of all no on camps at the Magnolia festival and second a night at the Magnolia festival always cost us an arm and a leg.

The festival at Tuskahoma is pretty close to absolutely FREE!! yes a said free. You have to pay for camping ($10.00) and your food (which you can bring your own, buy it there or go about 5 minutes down the road which is really cheap) and if you want to play carnival games ( where you win stuffed animals ) that cost, But the rides are free and the concerts are free.

I have no problem saying no to carnival games, I always have felt that they are a rip off but the rides, well its impossible to take a child to a carnival and say no to the rides.

This week end they had Billy Currington, Wynonna Judd, Gretchen Wilson and a few others. Just for the record this is my 2nd time to see Gretchen Wilson at a Choctaw event and it confirms to me that I just cant support her music, I love some of her songs but She has lost my respect. Choctaw is very anti-alcohol. Their reasoning may be debatable (they feel that Indians are very susceptible to become alcoholics but they support gambling which also can be an addition) but rather or not Choctaw have a debatable reason they are the one's who hired her and she should follow their request.

The first time I saw her was at the Casino and my daughters and I met Gretchen Wilson back stage, she was three sheets to the wind and left her dressing room trashed with beer cans. This time she pulled out the whiskey on stage and her and her band members drank it in front of the crowd. I am not against drinking and had a glass of wine tonight but she was told she couldn't drink but openly did any way. Needless to say I have lost respect for this woman and won't purchase her CDs any more.

Other than just not respecting one of the singers and taking cold showers we had an amazing time this week end. I however will not complain one bit about sleeping in my own bed tonight! lol

Yesterday we had a stroll through the arts and crafts building and then Stephen wanted to find a place to go swimming. We got directions but we ended up some where other than the swimming area. We really have no complaints about getting lost. The whole area is so beautiful we enjoyed just driving around for a while. It rained for just a few minutes and then we took a few photos.

First there are a couple a photos taken from the window of the van as we drove 50 mph across a bridge.






Then here are a few that we took just after the rain stopped.











I was driving back and I saw this amazing view through some trees, so I stopped, backed up and went back to get a few photos..




Then finally there are a few of this man in the arts and crafts area that was using this odd tool to whack on a rock that eventually becomes an arrow head. I found it interesting and I also found the man interesting.