It’s been so busy around here that I have not been able to make a post. Posting takes time. Mostly we’ve been up to planting gardens, rotating the lambs and horses, moving fences, weeding and planting hops, hanging cable for the hops and working our bees. The expansion of the bee hives has really taken up plenty of time but it’s such a great learning opportunity for the kids that I don’t mind at all. It means more time for me in the kitchen though and that I don’t like!
We had two of our hives swarm and the girls were able to make new hives of them. Swarming is a natural occurrence in an overcrowded colony. The original queen leaves the hive with half of the worker bees, leaving a queen cell (or cells ) to replace her. The bees take to the air and find a gathering place (usually wherever the queen decides to land) and wait there until their scout bees return with news of a new home location. It was beginners luck catching them since this was a new experience for us. One of the hives that swarmed had already been split! With such a mild winter the over wintered hives have done quite well, a real blessing in such a cold climate. The first swarm happened right here in our garden, the bees ending up almost at ground level in the cherry bush. The other was thirty feet high and took some doing to catch. Fred and Caleb to the rescue!
Can you locate the queen in the photo below?
The attempt at queen rearing won’t be known as success or failure for some time, but if at first we don’t succeed, we will definitely try again. Soon we shall see! This year we did not purchase any new bee packages, hoping to save money, but we did invest in new queens that we added to the split hives. Fred built the new hive boxes and we ordered some beekeeping tools including a new suit for me. I really enjoy watching the bees right up close. They are absolutely amazing, especially when you are not afraid of getting stung. Mario has shown a great interest in the bees and went with us today, all suited up!
Happy Anniversary to Jessica and Luke Dougherty. 4 years of marriage yesterday. I can’t believe how fast those years have gone by. May God continue to bless them in many ways. Below is Jessica with Anya, Luke with Cael and Maura on the right.
The last thing that has been keeping us hopping is practicing the music for the BARN DANCE which is coming up on June 8. We hope to see some of you there. If you would like to see last years barn dance post click on the link below: