Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Apiary gets gifts!

It just amazes me, the beekeeping world. If you want to meet wonderful people, then become a beekeeper! Always the most wonderful and generous folks who are willing to not only offer to help but to be kind enough to give in a time of need. Just a couple weeks ago I put out an appeal on Facebook that I was looking for a small swarm for the Nature Center I work at because our observation  hive had died. Within minutes I got a response from a man named Garrett and a small swarm was given  to get us up and going again. Over the weekend a beekeeper put up that he had Queens available. I quickly answered and picked up 2 healthy beautiful Queens! One was put into a split and the other was used to requeen a very lazy hive! These came from a man named Nicholas and his wonderful family. One of his children was busy saving and feeding drones while I was there! 

Then this morning I was off to pick up this amazing and quite large swarm! A man named Michael had it in his back yard, a former beekeeper and he quite graciously gifted it to me.

I loaded them into my swarm tote that I love to carry bees in. It's lightweight and easy to walk with.

I wasn't exactly ready for another hive but who could pass up such an amazing opportunity?! I lifted the branch gently out of the box and set it into the hive. There was also two frames that they had migrated on to. They marched off the branch quickly telling me the queen was in there.

Once I got them in there, I placed a feeder on top, filled it with some sugar water and closed them in. I left the branch in front of the hive for any stragglers who may land back on the branch and can also march into the hive. So the apiary is full once again on this wonderful Memorial Day. I take a moment to pause and thank those that fought so I might have the freedom to live how I choose.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spinning Angora rabbit wool

There is just nothing like it, that feeling of Angora rabbit wool! It is by far one of the softest things on earth. I have managed to hoard countless bags of wool, even from rabbits I don't have any longer.

I love the way the little guard hairs refuse to be spun and hang off the yarn. Any items that you knit or crochet will be fluffy and soft. I am spinning these in 40 yard half skeins. I have a one yard knitty knotty so they are small and soft! Spinning Angora wool is a distress reliever!

Friday, May 19, 2017

When Alpacas attack!

Poor Tim got whacked by one of our Crazy Alpacas during shearing last week! His eye seems to have gotten worse before it's getting better!
Lesson learned here: never trust a Suri!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mothers Day from Coon Hollow Farm!

Wishing all moms out there a very Happy Mothers Day from all of us at Coon Hollow Farm!!!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shearing Day is done!!

The crew knew something was up this day. As we awaited the shearer to arrive, we harnessed each one up, wormed them and waited. They've been through this before so they wanted out! 

The girls did well as usual...

I was able to get this funny expression of Norman looking quite concerned about his friends who were getting sheared...
And then we had the screamer!!! Awan always has to close with a little drama!
Now to get the fleeces sorted and figure out what to make with them!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Making beeswax

Our new bees are doing incredible. One package is doing better than the other but I am convinced it is an over achiever! The bees are in over drive to set the hive up. This year I went with all brand new frames in black so I can see eggs and other happenings on the frames better.
If you look closely at this bee, she has was coming from her wax glands! The wax is made from glands that comes from their segments on their abdomens.

If you look really closely, you can see the wax protruding from their glands. They take this wax off their bodies, chew it up and construct their comb from this wax.

This picture shows one bee with wax. These bees never cease to amaze me and how they do everything from their little bodies. They make their food and their homes from what nature has provided them.