Looks like I forgot the link:  sewnotcoco.wordpress.com

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Bee Update and a New Blog

My bee larvae from last year have hatched except for two that are in the biggest bamboo tubes, so I’m hoping that they are a slightly larger species and will hatch soon. The new bee activity has produced nine new eggs, you can see all of the closed tunnels. If you look around the middle near the top, you will see a bee butt, she is working on her egg tunnel. She flew out shortly after I took the photo.

The other news is that I have started a second blog dedicated to my sewing experiments! Who knew that I liked to sew? Its like handyman work (bricolage) except with fabric and old clothes. Please go over and have a look, and maybe subscribe!

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Remember the Bees?

one bee


There’s a bee there, at the bottom.  Note that there are two holes still closed, there were eight so I have had 6 bees hatch!  This bee goes in and out of that hole, I’m sure is adding pollen and will eventually lay an egg in there.  This is from a video I made, which I can’t upload to this level of free blog so I had to pull screen shots.  Next up is another bee, not the same bee:


another bee


It is working on a hole farther up in the bee house.  They crawl in and turn around inside and fly out.  First they cleaned up the holes, flying in but backing out with debris.  They are probably Osmia, one of the mason bees.  I’ve also had a big black bumblebee checking out the holes:


2 bees


The big black one is near the top, and our friend from the first photo is at the bottom, at her hole.  The black one has blue wings when you see them in the light.  Very harmless, I believe their abdominal muscles are insufficient to sting you.  There are a fair number of different species that come here visiting our garden, I think most of them are solitary bees.  They are quite uninterested in stinging, perhaps because as they are solitary there is no nest to be protected.  Aren’t they great?

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Pine Processionary Caterpillars

Well, we had 5 nests of these horrid things. They are extremely poisonous, their hairs cause a flesh destroying reaction and can kill a dog. They are also dangerous to people, and to pine trees as well, they have killed many trees in France. The best way to eliminate them is to cut off the nest and burn it.  Well, as you might guess this sounded like a job for me and my weed burner!  Don’t I look very scary?  That’s a bottle of alcohol, those suckers are hard to fry!!  The nests were too high for me to reach, so our trusty tree trimmer, David, set his ladder up in the back of his truck and managed to get them all down.

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If You Eat Enough Oysters

You might find a pearl. Needs to be a big oyster, the photo is of the 00 size oysters, which is usually the largest size offered from the sellers at the markets. Bigger ones exist, but they would really be too big. 00 is a bit large, as you can see. They were good, difficult to open as they really fight back. I think 1 and 2 are good eating sizes.

Yes, there was a pearl. Not a big pearl and probably not a good pearl, as these are not pearl oysters. But my pearl nevertheless.

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Opelie gets a Lift

Poor thing, her power steering belt failed and she was so hard to steer I had her towed in. She should be back soon.

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Bonne Année!

The photos are my favorite boulangerie patisserie in Carpentras, and what I ate there New Year’s Eve morning after buying a couple of dozen oysters (Bouzigues No. 1) for the evening’s festivities. What a life!

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