Thursday, June 20, 2013

jam and critters

Who needs Insanity when you have a hand cranked cream separator!

  Doc tells me that I need to lower my cholesterol and to loose fifty pounds (as if that is going to happen! more realistically thirty pounds!) I drink cream in my coffee-which is probably enough fat. So. I decided I will drink skim milk. I separate milk for me every other day.

At 6 am this morning, I started making strawberry-rhubarb jam. I managed to get nineteen pint jars made before I had to go milking at 9.

Frank is almost done his project. But for now it is on hold-he finally went back to work today. 

Took a bit, but Frank managed to get Grandpa over to the grainery and blocked. He had to let the calcium out of the right rear tire, to get the tractor to sit more level. Eventually there will be a shed built up and around Grandpa.

We went to a farm auction last Saturday, and we purchased a transfer auger. It is way to heavy for Frank to maneuver-so there is no way I can man-handle it! So. Change of plans. It will be permanently installed. 

Frank just needs to build a hopper around the end of the auger.

This evening Maddie and I were out visiting all of the critters.
Ike's wounds have healed nicely. He is still sporting a few stitches on his shoulder. But eventually they too should dissolve.

Madeline purchased a couple of fly masks for Ike and Brigan. Those tiny flies really chew up the horses. She just needs to purchase three more masks for the mares.



The garden is finally up-that also includes the weeds! Hoed three rows of potatoes today. I still have a variety of hot peppers to transplant in the garden.

The hedge row of common lilacs are blooming. 

Brandy was enjoying the lovins I was giving her.

Wednesday I sold my flock of sheep. I just have my ram left to sell.

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bee swarm

When I came out of the barn from milking this morning, my mind was already wondering as I carried the two pails of milk back to the house. As I got closer to the house, and to where my bee hive is located I stopped dead in my tracks and panic set in.

My bees were getting ready to swarm. There was hundreds of them flying about!

I quickly came in the house and went on the search for information on how to catch a swarm. The morning's milk left on the floor in the kitchen along with the mess of making jam early this morning.

I had joined a group on Facebook and I quickly requested help. The other beeks on there are SUPER!
In between getting info from the group and gathering my required supplies I snapped this photo of the bees.

They swarmed high into the pine tree! 
Now. How in the hell do I get them out of the tree?!
More inquiries and more suggestions.

Armed with information and an overwhelming feeling of self doubt, I was as ready as I could be. I just knew I didn't want to loose my bees.
When I got back to the tree they weren't there!
I was briefly disappointed, when my eye and brain registered this sight.

They flew out of the tree and back on to O Bee One!

I was elated! I didn't have to climb a ladder! I didn't have to try a put the swarm in a pillow case, a bucket, a box. I didn't have to cut a branch.

I had another hive sitting and waiting earlier this spring for 'just in case'. How did I know?
I took one frame at a time, and gently used the frame to scoop the bees on to the frame. I repeated this action using a new frame each time, and gently placing the frame laden with bees into the new hive.
I am hoping I got a queen in with swarm.

I filled a frame feeder with sugar water, closed them up, and dragged Leave Me Bee a distance away from O Bee One.

I was watching the bees, and they were leaving the hive, but they were coming back to the hive. That is a good thing.

I checked in O Bee One. Yep. They were full! I know I probably did something wrong, but I put an extra super on the bottom for the brood, and another super for a honey.

But for now, everybody is happy!

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