Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Bargain Norwood Loom

A couple of days ago I was out running errands when I noticed a flyer for a yard sale tacked to a telephone pole. It was close to my home and I hadn't stopped at any sales yet this season, so I turned around and headed back. There were 2 small signs taped to a vehicle in front of the house. I almost missed it. Went inside and looked around. There wasn't much left in the home. It is being foreclosed and the owners are also divorcing. They seemed upbeat and still the best of friends. Anyway I am always looking for sewing items so asked the lady if she had any. No, those things went to her new apartment as she is keeping them. However she did have a loom. Well, I really don't need another loom. I have 2 floor looms already. But maybe it was a table loom? I sold my table loom and rather miss it. No, she informed me it was a floor loom. Curiosity got the better of me and I headed out to the garage to have a peek at it. I immediately recognized it to be an extremely well made loom, of nice solid cherry wood. It was very wide (50" weaving width) but folded up nicely. No, I don't need another loom. I just recently sold my lovely barn frame loom, Agda. Still, I had to ask the price. She thought about it a second and said she couldn't sell it for less than $100. $100!?!!??? Heck, you can't hardly buy a used rigid heddle loom for that. No, I didn't need another loom. But this was such a good deal. Too good, in fact. Rather like an offer I couldn't refuse. I thought if nothing else I would buy it, clean it up and re-sell it. I told the lady I would go home and ask the husband if he would mind another huge loom in the living room. I also needed his manly gorilla strength to get it home. There was no way I could stuff it in the Outback. It would have to be partially dismantled. Long story short, we had the thing in our home within the hour. We had to make 2 trips to bring it all home, but they lived just around the corner. Now I need to clean it up and get it put back together. Here are pictures of the loom from the lady's Craigslist ad. This is exactly how it looked when I found it.

Apparently this is a much sought after loom. Norwood looms are no longer made of cherry and this older style loom is much better made than the Norwood looms currently produced. It has a sectional back beam and chain tie ups. It came with the original manual, extra heddles, a Glimakra swift, warping board and 2 Leclerc shuttles with bobbins. This was my best yard sale find, ever.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Disappearing Queen

Today it got up near 70 degrees F. Perfect weather for a thorough hive inspection. The numbers in my Italian hive have dropped dramatically. The last time I had that happen to a hive I found out they were queen-less. My Carniolan hive is bubbling over with bees. Today's plan is to harvest 4 frames of brood and a couple frames of food from the strong hive. Here is what I had to work with:

The hive in the middle are the Carniolans. To the right are the Italians and to the very left is a box for starting a brand new hive.

I went into the strong hive first. It was easy to harvest brood since the queen had filled up the top super with babies. I double and triple checked the frames I removed, trying to make sure I wasn't also removing the queen. I'm still not 100% positive I didn't. It's like a shell game. Which hive has the queen? The Carni hive looks great. I had to remove their usual oodles of drone comb from the top of the frames and I did not see a single varroa mite anywhere on the larva. That is very good news. At least I am doing something right. 

Then it was time to crack the Italian hive. I swear, that hive can't catch a break. First Nosema and now, as I suspected, they are without a queen. Where did she go? She was there not too long ago. I definitely saw brood when I inspected for the first time after the winter. Who knows what happened to her? And why didn't they just make a replacement? There are queen cups scattered all about the hive but none appears to have been capped. Again, who knows? My fingers are crossed that they will figure out how to make a queen from the 2 frames of brood I just gave them. I tried to buy a queen from Miller's Compound in Roy but she won't have mated queens for 2 weeks.

My last task of the inspection was to try and start up a third hive using 2 frames of brood and 2 frames of food (pollen and honey). That went into the box on the left. Here is what I had when I was finished:

Now to leave everyone alone and let nature take its course. I'll give them time to produce queens, get them mated and start producing brood. Then we will peek back in and see how things are going. I leave you with a picture of this young fella who got separated from his hive.

May all your hives be queenright!