Monday, 13 August 2012

Later, Jamaica, Me Soon Come Back

Tonight is my last night in Jamaica. I cannot believe I am leaving already! I've had such a wonderful experience here, I'm already looking forward to coming back. I have had so much fun and learned much more than I thought I would. I'm truly greatful for everyone here who has made my past two months the most amazing summer I have ever had. Thanks to everyone who has read this blog; I hope you learned a cool fact or two about bees! I know my time working with bees is far from over so if any one wants to play around with some bees--hit me up! In closing, here are a few lists I have been keeping that describe my summer in part:

My Summer in Numbers:

Days: 59
Wild colonies removed: 9

Hives constructed: 20

Colonies in hives: 15

Bee stings: 1
Bees chillin in my veil: 1 (but no sting!)
Personal queen catches: 1

People in town: ~100
People at home: 9-16
Hikes to Black Sand Beach/waterfall: 3

Most people on said hike: 24
Trips to the Kingston market: 4

Drill bits broken: 2
Meals with meat: 8

Average bedtime: 9:00 pm
Hurricanes survived: 0-2
Pages read: 3578
Guineps eaten: 1 million

Mosquito bites: 1 million
Brutally murdered cockroaches: 7
Cockroaches that fell from the ceiling: 1
Snakes seen: 1

Puzzles completed: 2
Marriage proposals: 1
Varieties of mangos eaten: >10
Mangoes that fell on my head: 0
Bullfrogs stepped on: 0
Cups of noni juice: .5

Things I Haven't Done in Two Months:
Used a mirror
Worn makeup
Eaten eggs
Watched TV
Heard Call Me Maybe
Slept with more than a thin sheet
Taken a shower indoors
Gone a day without seeing a goat
Worn a real bra for more than a few hours
Seen a Starbucks
Used a doorknob

The animal I will miss least: biting ants (why can't you be more like the running ants?)
The animal I will miss most: the bees!

Later Jamaica, me soon come back.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

I'm Finna Eat Some Hella Tasty Noms, Chuck

A small assortment of the delicious foods I have been eating during my stay! The family I'm staying with keeps vegan (except for honey!) so I've mostly eaten vegan since being here. It's been a totally different experience but not bad in the slightest. I'm definitely going to miss the meals and all the new and different fruits I've been eating.

Mangoes, a little messy!


Roasting breadfruit

Ackee (with the posion still inside)


Jackfruit tree

Erin's baby jackfruit



Noonie, which is made into a very healthy, if pungent, juice

Fried dumplings, ackee, broccoli, cabbage salad



Sweet potato pudding

Another jelly! (I don't think you're ready for this jelly)

And another! (the best break-time snack)

More chocolate!

Fried plantains, callaloo

Green beans, beans, ackee, Irish (potatoes)

Johnny cakes (banana pancakes), Irish


Cowboy pineapples!

Ackee, breadfruit

100 lbs of watermelon!

Fried breadfruit, callaloo

Jerk chicken, Red Stripe

Stages of a guinep




I did not eat this, but Erin and I found it in the supermarket and though it was funny. We are 12.

Bread, salad, pear (avocado), beans

Rice, ackee

Jamaican apples

Friday, 10 August 2012

Bees on a Hot Tin Roof

Not so much "on" as "under." So it turns out that a tin roof gets really hot. It is always best to keep your bees in partial shade and partial sun but that is not always possible. So our hives that are in the sun have been getting too hot for the bees. In the heat of the day we see a ton of bees out on the landing pad because the inside is way too toasty. So to fix this we made up some bamboo roof covers to shade the hives. It was simple, quick, and free! We went to the bamboo walk, harvested some bamboo, cut it down to size, and nailed the bamboo to pieces of scrap wood. Easy peasy!

Hive Beetlez in the Trap

The other day we were feeding and checking our hives when we discovered hive beetles. We saw them in almost all of our hives, which is really concerning. Hive beetles cause damage to the hive by hurting the comb, honey, and polle. They can also be a sign of a hive not strong enough to fight them off. Simply, hive beetles suck. They are so lame (like goats, as Emmanuel would say). To help our bees we made some hive beetle traps out of any small containers we could find. We drilled holes too small for the bees (hopefully) and big enough for hive beetles. We put a small piece of banana in the middle surrounded by a mix of vegetable oil and honey. The honey and the banana is to attract the beetles into the trap where the oil will drown them. We set the traps and checked them a couple days later. We caught one beetle! Our biggest concern was that the bees could not fit through the holes and drown themselves but there were no bees in the traps so that was great. I think finding the most effective trap will be a trial and error process but these seem to work at least a little bit!

Our variety of traps

Coronation Market, Kingston

Yesterday was my last market trip. I've been four times but didn't remember to take pictures until yesterday. My pictures don't even include the outside part of the market, which seems just as big as the inside part. The Thursday market is a hot mess, literally. It is like a normal farmer's market on steroids and crack There are fruits and veggies of all kinds along with an assorted mix of other goods. My favorite part is definitely the "street" names: Yam Street, Mango Way, and Pear Lane just to name a few. Our best purchase this trip? 100 lbs of watermelon!!! Though the chances of it lasting a week are slim to none.

100 lbs of watermelon!!