Archive for May, 2014

Lost one of my Bee Hives by Jimmy Earl Cooley

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Lost one of my Bee Hives

by Jimmy Earl Cooley

Bad news with the Hebert Bee Hive.

I have been watching both hives but not examined in a month. Lots of activity with going and coming but in the case of the Hebert Hive it may have been more going than coming.

Two days ago I noted less activity at the HH and yesterday almost none.

I opened today and found everybody and everything has been moved out!

Found 11 dead bees, a couple of small roaches, and one caterpillar like worm.

Bees, eggs, larva, honey, pollen, nectar and everything gone just mostly empty cells. Some cells sealed over and some black. It’s as if robber bees came in the night and removed everything. See Photos. I had two brood boxes and one super. Everything cleaned out and a good cleaning. No dead bees anywhere around except the 11 mentioned.

I completely disassembled the HH and left parts out. It seemed so clean that no bees were coming around to forage leftovers. There was very little residue on inside bottom board.

As I was finishing the disassembly I heard a loud noise at the Shirley Hive, which has been very active.

I went over and bees were swarming around the entrance and then got larger and larger and up into the sky approx 25 ft above and forward of the SH.

This is the same thing I experienced last year when the HH split. But after about 20 minutes the bees settled and all returned to the SH. I thought for sure a small swarm had left the SH but could not find one.

I am assuming it was a prelude to a split or a cleaning flight.

The SH has two brood boxes and one super. I opened the SH and it had lots of bees.

So I removed 5 frames (brood, honey, babies, and etc) from second brood box and moved to a new brood. Replaced empty spots in SH and new brood box with new frames. Moved the new brood box away to new location. After looking at number of bees now left in the SH, I decided to split again. So I moved the second brood box from SH to the location of the previous HH with a new foundation board. Then took 4 of frames from lower SH brood box and moved to second box, which I had moved to the HH location.

So now I have three boxes.

  1. The original HH hive is gone.
  2. The second brood box from the SH, along with frames from the lower SH and top is now in the original location of the HH.
  3. Frames from the second brood box of the SH were removed and placed in new a new brood box, along with new frames and top cover and moved to another location.
  4. The original SH lower brood box was left in place with new frames added and cover lid.

Hope this makes sense. Now have three hives with lots of bees and frames of essentials.

I saw the remains of a couple of queen cells that seemed to be already opened.

I did not find the queen so assume she is in one of the boxes and the other two will have to make new queen.

Sure disappointed I lost the HH. Was hoping for lots of honey.

I found a small caterpillar like worm that seemed to be eating the honey remains down in the cells.

I took lots of photos, but only sending a few. Can show you all if you wish.


Jimmy Earl Cooley




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Kale – the Super Food for a Sharp Mind and a Healthy, Lean Body


Kale – the Super Food for a Sharp Mind and a Healthy, Lean Body

By George Giltner, MS, Adv. Master Gardener

Kale is the ideal vegetable for your garden.  It is hardy and easy to grow, nutrient dense, and delicious.  With over 48 varieties that exhibit numerous color, texture, and leaf forms, it delivers eye-appeal to food dishes and the garden.  Just go beyond typical preparations of chopping, serving raw, steamed, sautéed, or juiced.  Think about a luscious cheddar kale omelet for breakfast, a chipotle flank steak with lime, black beans, and kale for lunch, and then top it off with chocolate chip kale cookies, or kale and black cherry sorbet for lunch or supper.  After a day of kale-centric meals, you will be hooked on this tasty vegetable that offers so many health benefits.  With just 33 calories per cup and loaded with bioavailable nutrients, you will be eating decadent-tasting foods without guilt.


A Variety of Kale, Image from NCSU.

What do you get in a cup serving of kale?  Get ready for a ‘Wow Moment’!  Your body receives more pro-vitamin A than any other leafy green, close to three times the calcium as a lunch container of milk, and more vitamin C than an orange.  Also the ratio of fats, omega-3, and 6’s are in perfect ratio.  Fresh kale gives you a medicine chest of phytonutrients which turn on your genes for detox.  Sulforaphane  protects against diseases like cancer and diabetes.  The flavonoids which are responsible for the deep vibrant colors, boost the immune system and cardiac health.

Hippocrates in all his wisdom said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.  Let’s look at the “medicine” in kale.  Folate – required for cell replication and to produce molecules like serotonin that regulate mood to feel vibrant and full of life.  Pregnant women must have adequate supplies of this vitamin for proper fetal development.  ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) – this fat lowers the risk of diabetes, depression, anxiety, and lowers the effect of stress hormones.  Sulforaphane – is a sulfur molecule that detoxes safely and naturally to prevent debilitating diseases.  Magnesium – along with manganese produces hundreds of cellular reactions.  Most diets do not have adequate supplies of Mg for proper health which leads to diabetes.  Kaempferol – stimulates the longevity genes for longer life, and boost cellular mitochondria.  Fiber – it helps the body excrete cholesterol and bile as it passes through the intestines.  Quercetin – neutralizes inflammations, protects blood vessels, prevents plaque formation, and is a cancer fighter.  Iron – supplies oxygen to our body cells, and it is a co-factor in making the pleasure molecules of serotonin and dopamine.  All of this body biochemistry is in just a cup of kale.

When you cook kale, be careful not to destroy its wonderful chemistry.  Remember that some of our local water supplies contain alkaline water (9+ pH) that ruins folic acid.  First add an acidic organic acid (like lemon juice) to the water before the kale.  Then let the magic begin.  Add garlic to lower blood pressure while making a savory flavorful dish.  Ginger has antibacterial molecules that calm nausea and upset stomachs while it spices up dishes.  Make a crunchy salad with kale, olive oil, and walnuts/Brazil nuts for healthy hair, omega-3’s, and metabolism regulation.  Adding lemon juice aids your body to absorb kale’s iron, and the peel zest contains molecules that diminish pain and enhance pleasure in the brain.  While thinking of the world’s best salad,  top it with Parmesan to aid in absorption of kale’s antioxidants and to add extra zinc, magnesium, and B12 to this tasteful chemistry.

Why do you want to grow kale or buy organic kale?  Commercial kale is sadly in a group of vegetables labeled as “the Dirty Dozen”.  All grocery-store peppers, celery, cherries, potatoes, spinach, and even blueberries are in this group which are more likely to contain residual pesticides.  Research this website for a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen” at

Is kale a routine food for everyone?  No.  Talk to your doctor first – if you take warfarin or other blood thinners, if you have a blood clotting disorder, and if you have a thyroid sensitivity to goitrogens.  Kale does deliver a huge dose of vitamin K (600% DA/serving) which is excellent for most healthy people.

According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2012, the average individual spends $3900 in food costs/year at home and $2700 with purchased meals.  Your food dollars can be saved by growing your own vegetables and meat, or they can support our local gardeners and farmers that produce food in a safe and sustainable manner.  Kale is just one of the fantastic vegetables that can be purchased or grown locally.  Contact the LSU AgCenter for Master Gardener Classes for more information.



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