Quick Takes – around the farm…. and BEES!!! 4-18-2016

(1)

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring around here, and our kidding season is almost upon us!  We’d planned on having kidding stalls built and a birthing kit stocked and ready by now, but I think it’s much likely that we’ll take the more traditional approach of flying around the house searching for clean towels and throwing up tarps to keep the rain off when they finally arrive.  Gwenny is also due to calve sometime in the next couple of months.  I’m really looking forward to having cows milk and CREAM again!  Yuuuuum!

(2)

We suffered a few losses over the winter.  One of our goats, Scotch, lost two kids to a miscarriage and our female Alpaca died, which meant we needed to give our male away, as he started trying to breed the goats.  We gave him to a friend of ours who loaded him up in the back of her fully seated minivan and took him home with her:

alpaca

 

(3)

Jon and I have been familiarizing ourselves with the newest additions to our farm, and it’s so exciting!  Thankfully, I have a wonderful friend who has been keeping bees for years who came over the other day to help with them.  It was the first (and, so far, last!) time I’d gone through the hive and actually gotten to SEE all of our bees – including little baby bees and both of our queens!  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of that, but I do have pictures of the first time Jon and I (unsuccessfully) tried to get into the hive….

First, Jon and the boys put the frames together…

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Then Jon and I got geared up.  As per our my usual method of doing things, we didn’t get the proper equipment before diving head-first into this newest venture.  Notice the tape around his pant legs and the special beekeeping veil we made out of an old hat.  Necessity is the mother of invention.

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Then Jon smoked the bees:

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And smoked the bees:

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And smoked the bees some more:

a2016 Bees-0648In fact, every time Jon SAW a bee, he covered it in a thick cloud of smoke

a2016 Bees-0637We went through two smokers and didn’t even lift a single frame out of the box

a2016 Bees-0639Jon is a teeny tiny bit afraid of bees

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And that’s as far as we got, until my friend came over to help…. during which time Jon stayed far, far away.

I ended that day with bees in my hair.

Jon got stung twice the very next week.

Beekeeping is very exciting.

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4 Responses to Quick Takes – around the farm…. and BEES!!! 4-18-2016

  1. HugeFan0987654321 says:

    Smoking the bees is not natural. Beestings are natural.

    • Rina says:

      Are you a beekeeper, HugeFan? I know there are beekeepers who never smoke their bees (and also those who don’t wear protective gear!), and I’m extremely interested in learning more about the ways they handle their bees. As a novice beekeeper, I’ll keep smoking and wearing protective gear, but I’d love to learn ways to handle them as gently as possible. :)

  2. T says:

    Maybe Jon got stung because he didn’t smoke them enough the second time… :)

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