Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

We've Got Bees!

There have been a few days with high enough temperatures that the bees are coming out to defecate.  Hurray!  

I've begun feeding the bees because there is absolutely nothing out there for them to eat!  I'm pulling a double pronged attack to address the roller coaster temperatures we're having.  I've put a bag of 1:1 sugar syrup on top of the hive for the warm weather and a patty of fondant for when the weather turns cold.  I'm pampering them, but it sure pays off if they make it!  

A friend posted this picture from Facebook.  Absolutely beautiful and chilling at the same time!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring Update...

I haven't written because I have a LOT going on right now.  Maybe I'll do little update posts here and there.

If the weather holds the way the weather channel says, we're going to have an outstanding maple season this year.  We've been working on getting our sugar house ship shape and we're still working on tapping trees because all the snow has made it very difficult to get up into the forest!  We hope to start boiling in the next day or two!  

I took the tarpaper off the beehives.  I don't want it to get so warm inside that they think it's warm outside and fly out and freeze to death.  I've seen the bees out flying for "cleansing" flights on the warmer days.  Bees will "hold it" all winter and then they go out when the weather gets warm enough.  Then they make mustard stains all over the snow.  A few good warm days do them well because if they can't get out, they can get nosema which is similar to dysentary.  I'm cooking some sugar fondant for the bees which I hope to throw on top of the hives today if it warms up enough to crack them open.  This will give the bees something to eat because by now they've got to be getting low on supplies.    

The little piglets are growing fast!  We castrated our little boar, so we plan on keeping him as a meat pig in the spring.  The purchase of the little gilt fell through, so we'll be keeping her as a meat pig as well - unless someone wants to buy her!  Sadly, I had named her - "Pumpkin" due to her gorgeous orange color.  I hate to name can animal if I plan on it becoming meat.  

We bred our other gilt and are looking at a farrowing at the end of June.  Sooooo, I'll be happy to supply if you're in the market for piglets!  

The chickens have started laying a LOT better.  I got 13 eggs the other day!  I went out into the coop and found a dead chicken yesterday.  I'm pretty sure it was an opossum because they always eat just the head.  We closed in the chickens and ducks last night and put a live trap out with the chicken carcass as bait.  I'll go out this morning and hope the live trap makes for a dead 'possum.

We still have a LOT of snow on the ground, but it is gradually melting away.  Mud season is starting and I'm so very happy!  This was a horrid winter and I know everyone is sick to death of it!

I love my little goats.  They put a smile on my face every day.  Violet looks like a puff ball right now. I guess she has an angora goat gene in her.  I thought about using the brushings to spin something and then thought, nah, there's not enough to make anything.  I thought I'd put out the mohair for the birds and they'll have lovely mohair lined nests this year.   

Onion seeds are started.  I'm starting artichoke seeds in a day or two when they finish being vernalized in the refrigerator.  Then tomatoes, peppers, etc. etc.  I don't want to start too early because in the past I've found that some of the plants get far too leggy.   

Now, it's time to get off the computer and get to work!