Canning our tomato sauce
Apple picking at Fishkill
Getting it done
Closing the roof before the first snow
Well we had a bumper crop in the veggie garden in 2012 and with pregnancy of our son it was a tiring year. I could hardly keep up with how well we produced.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Our friends offered to help with washing wool and hang out and play while we cleaned a fleece. Great conversation and many hands make fast light work!
Fleece in a bag
2 Washes in hot water and dish soap close to 150 degrees but not lower than 110 for 20 minutes a wash.
laid out to dry
and ready to card and spin or felt
This method is the norm and resulted in a fleece that was fluffy and soft
Saturday, May 26, 2012
While shearing our older sheep we were horrified to find Flystrike!
She always has a soiled behind but I guess the
warm winter and more parasites this year than ever she suffered a terrible case of flystrike. I had no idea of what to do but I started with a good washing after shearing and packed and powdered her back side with Kaolin clay. In my opinion Kaolin is something every farmer should have on hand. I use it in the 'orchardina' to protect the early fruit from flies laying their maggots on young fruits and spoiling them. It can also be used in animals to stop diarrhea (kaopectate). It is an all around good thing to have.
Now we know: Symptoms
soiled areas of wool
loss of enthusiasm and appetite (I thought she was just hot)
Treating our Bessie girl:
Washing daily and hand picking maggots (with gloves)
Packing the wet area with Kaolin clay daily
Garlic, whey, molasses, honey puree in daily grain feeding
She is doing great but has a bare pink back side. Poor thing... at least she can see it!
Saturday, May 5, 2012
We went out to see the bees last night and found another swarming new colony about 10 feet away on a downed tree branch. After a day of exhausting work I had to sit down and gather my thoughts a bit.
With my lack of experience how was I gonna get this colony with no equipment? We have an order on the way. My husband went hunting for a box which turned out to be a drawer from our old kitchen. He built a bottom board quickly with scraps in the wood shop. Then we all walked out. We suited up for the occasion and got in there with a plan of action.
As I checked them out I tried to find the queen in the mass of bees. It was just my lucky day... She was perched about six inches above the mass on the branch by herself plain as day! I couldn't believe it! In my little bit of experience I can never find the queen and there she was! All I had to do was gently scoop her up and move her into the box. Then I place the box entrance under the swarm and brushed the swarm down onto the box over the entrance so the bees would know where she was and freely go into the box.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
So we went out to add some bee tea to the hive feeder in hopes of keeping the bees happy and drawing comb. While I was suiting up my middle girl noticed a pile bees across from us on a vine on the ground. It's spring and they produced a new queen and sprang.
|A little sugar water spray.|
Aaaaccckk! I had no extra equipment except an old bottom board to work with. My better half knew exactly what to do and had some excellent advise from our farmer friends at Urda Farm. He grabbed an old bowling pin crate from the shed we call a barn. It fit perfectly over the hive bottom. I scooted the hive bottom up as close I could to the swarm and he place the box over the new colony. Little by little we inched the box back over the hive bottom board and the bees followed the darkness into the makeshift hive box. The weather worked in our favor because it turned unexpectedly colder and misty and the bees don't like that.
|nevermind the shovel. no scooping happened|
This morning during farm chores I peeked under the box since it was cold and there were no bees moving around. Sure enough there was cluster the size of a volley ball hanging inside the box. I guess I just got a nucleus hive goin'. This was all so exciting and a cool experience in my learning process as an absentee beekeeper. I think best of all my hubby is absolutely inthralled and may be turning into a beekeeper.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
With all of the unseasonably warm weather, the bees are way ahead of me
I had an empty level on the hive for ventilation and for fondant cakes
through the winter on top of the honey super
We discovered lots of pollen cells and honey left but a new
problem... the queen laid eggs in the bottom rows of the honey super.
Everything I have read said just let it bee... they will hatch and the workers will clean up.
So at the end of the clean out. I added a 2nd brood box then a honey super then a feeder box filled with bee tea syrup at the top and of course the inner cover and outer cover.
Like every beekeeper in the spring I am hoping the hive doesn't swarm...
Thats all for now from the absentee beekeeper
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
This has been our way of boiling sap in past years. We have wanted to buy a little half pint from Leader then Ant had an idea... He will make one from our old tank.
He borrowed a stainless steel welder
cut our old stainless tank down
Began adding the dividers
and welded away
Great Job honey but you better hurry the trees are dripping...
Bracing the fire box with angles
Adding the flue
cutting out the fire door on the fire box
Leveling and adding the fire bricks to the fire box
Man GO make FIRE!