Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Feeding the bees!

 The end of August brings cooler temperatures and the flow of nectar begins to decline. This is the time to start feeding our bees sugar water and Honey Bee Healthy which has various herbal oils to promote good health.
When feeding we get other pollinators who are not received well by our honeybees. If you look very close at the blur in the photo, it is actually a honeybee and a yellow jacket fighting. Honeybees are tough little creatures and everyday when I go up to get the feeders I find some dead yellow jackets, don't mess with my girls!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hhaaayyy!

The end of August signals second cut hay and the need to store up for the winter ahead. We save the money from the sale of the lambs just for our winter supply. This year we have a helper, our son Timmy!
 The truck was loaded and took three trips to move 100 bales of second cut hay. Our Alpacas are especially fussy about what they will eat, only the best for them!
We unloaded and were able to store 60 bales in our newly built hay storage area...
 the lamb birthing area acts as an over flow area for storing hay.
The end of the summer spells hay storage for us for the long cold winter ahead. So for now we have some hay to get us through. With my summer chores and prepartion coming to a close, I may just be able to get back to some spinning and knitting!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chick update: 3+ weeks old

 Lately I have been getting a lot of questions about the little chicks we rescued unclaimed at a Post Office 3 weeks ago...
 They have more than doubled in size and are eating us out of house and home...

and this guy, I think he might be the rooster! Always in my face and right up front wanting to know what I am doing...
I went on the website from the hatchery where they came from, there are numerous possibilities of the breeds they can be:








•New Hampshire Red
•Red Star
•Speckled Sussex
•Dark Cornish
•Light Brahma
•Australorp
•Buff Orpington
•Dominique
•Barred Plymouth Rock
•White Plymouth Rock
•Partridge Plymouth Rock
•Delaware
•Golden Laced Wyandotte
•Silver Laced Wyandotte
•Columbian Wyandotte
•Black Jersey Giant
:•Rhode Island Red
This list is from the info I got off the shipping label, 25 hens and one rooster, brown layers. So if anyone can identify the breeds, please chime in. I myself am a Rhode Island Red fan and am seeing one or two possibles but not sure. So for now we will just wait and see who they grow up to be!





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Holy Bee Pollen!

Over the summer I have been collecting bee pollen from one of my hives that has a pollen trap. There is not much on the how to's to do this so I have asked other beekeepers for tips.

The health benefits for bee pollen are incredible, as well as bee pollen containing vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. It comes from the pollen that collects on the bodies of bees. However, I found out why it is hard to find and expensive too! The two jars I have harvested in the picture to the right took me an hour of painstaking picking and cleaning through the pollen! The bees also deposit all kinds of other things in there too!




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Honey for Sale!

 It's been a long hard road as a beekeeper for me. Many knocks along the way, learning as I go and making countless mistakes that have taught me well. This year I will have an amazing honey harvest though...
 My payoff for hard work and never giving up! It was never even a glimmer in my mind to quit. A few weeks ago I pulled out a frame of comb honey and it was as if I earned a gold medal!
 This year our farm will have this beautiful comb honey for sale as well as honey with a piece of comb in it (first picture above).
We are currently sold out of honey, but will also have Bee Pollen as well. That harvest is coming along too!
Raw and natural just the way the bees and nature intended it! I am so proud of my honey harvest and give great thanks to these little creatures who work so hard for us!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Baby Chick Update: One week later...

 Baby chick update: One week later...
Out of the 26 baby chicks we rescued last week, we were able to save 16 of them. Five days in a shipping box was very hard on them and I am so thankful that they called us.
They have doubled in size and out grown the laundry basket and are now in the largest bin I could find, my yarn bin! They are little eating, drinking and pooping machines. Doing further investigation of what happened, the person who ordered these chicks in Hawaii did have all the proper permits, it seems there was an error made at the Dept of Agriculture and someone is in a lot of trouble. I am just happy to have them, Tim and I were already talking about building an extension onto our chicken coop which we were already planning to do. We have all the material as well. These are all brown layers so we will be able to add to our egg business which is growing. I got a call from a friend two days ago who is expanding his business in Hamden and wants me to supply his new store with eggs, honey and whatever I can come up with. So these chicks were really meant to be!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bee drinking with her "straw"

Over a few days last week, I was harvesting some honey. I have found one of the best ways to clean your equipment off from the very sticky honey is to give it back to the bees and let them clean it for me, after all they are getting back what we didn't use. I had some comb that was still pretty sticky with honey so I put it out on the deck and they went to town. If you look close at the bee in the center of the picture, she is using her proboscis or "tongue" to get deep down into the cell to get the last little bit of honey. Their proboscis is like a straw with a delicate tube and has a spoon like lobe (called a labella) that gives them the ability to suck the nectar right up. I just love these creatures and their abilities are fascinating!