We took advantage of a lovely day, March 10, to feed sugar cakes infused with essential oils to our bees.
The hives were weighed going into the winter. In order to survive a Minnesota winter, the bees need at least 60 to 100 pounds of honey reserve. It’s been a long, cold winter and when the weather warmed a bit, they were fed. Who knows when spring will be here!
Pollen patties were added later in the week, which was done to boost the queens, in order to get them to start laying. If the queens don’t start laying soon enough, the bees within the hive become old and will just die off. The average life span for a worker bee in the winter is six months.
Fred and Mario have been busy this winter building boxes, branding and wax dipping them. The waxing is something new this year that Fred wanted to try. He built 50 new brood boxes and re-conditioned another 50 that were purchased last year. Then he built 26 Nuk boxes out of older reject boxes and also crafted frames for holding queen cells. He loves working out in the shop during his “off” season, winter.
Each box takes four minutes to coat with a mixture of paraffin, beeswax and mineral spirits. The wax temperature is held at 300 degrees. This will hopefully take the place of paint! Like anything else in farming, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!!
The day before (the above photos) we decided that pork sausage was greatly desired!!
Everyone was thrilled with how quickly the processing part went. It took an hour to cut the hog up. My wrapping job took a lot longer. I like to take my time and make the packages cute! Then yesterday we cut and wrapped another hog for Clayton. In a few days the bacon and hams will be smoked and packed. If anyone would like to buy some excellent quality Natural Niman Ranch Pork, just let us know.
Sometimes we play! While my niece was here, we had a grilled pizza night. Dreaming of summer helps make long winters pass!
Last but not least, a little “honey” for your day! Frenchy and Peter’s little Josie June! Life is good by golly. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
I know how good those pizzas were! We are so excited to be seeing Frenchy and Peter and the children next week —
Beth………Make sure you get the hugs I’ll be sending along with them okay? They are all packed and ready. Have a great time at the wedding. Love Italian style xo
Sweet new boxes–looks like you’ve got some fancy router work going on there! G/L w/ the little fuzzy creatures this year..
Andrew, Hello 🙂 That is actually some kind of a brand that Fred made. They heated it all at once and held it to the wood. Take care up in the UP. Greetings to the entire family!
Yup–I meant the handles and box joint corners.
The handles were done with a circular saw, Fred Style 🙂
ah–cool stuff. The tight corner radii threw me. :o)
Awesome. I just love the idea of your family traditions and life, and passing it down to the new family of grandchildren too! life is good, yes!! antone always said that. might be interested in smoked ham, and some bacon if you have extra. Not much room in my freezer now till we open the freezer at the lake in a month or so. thx. syl
Love that you share the details of the little things you do throughout the year. Especially since we are planning on doing a lot of them in the future. I learn a lot from your blog, what it takes to get things done. Keep up the good work! We enjoy your posts!