Our sign in peace

Our sign in peace
Our sign in peace

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Beating the heat...

With Connecticut embracing a heat wave with temperatures hitting the 90's and above over the next 7 days, I woke up at 5:30 am and got into the bees. It was a decision that needed to be made, waking pissed off bees in the morning or death by bee suit in 90 degree temperatures. I chose the lesser of the two, waking up pissed off bees that don't particularly like being awoken at 6 am! The Queen excluders and Supers needed to be placed on. All frames in both boxes are full and the hives are growing, if more room is not added they will swarm and we sure don't want that!

After painting all the boxes and components different colors so I can tell them apart, they have become a work of art on the hill! I love looking up and seeing the colors. So as the summer begins in full force, work on my girls!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Going strong...

Brief bee inspections today moved fast because no matter how hard I tried, that darn smoker would not stay lit! I think between my impatience and the need to get it done due to other pending tasks it took a stand and became stubborn! I went through the hives and saw nothing but frames like the one above, full of capped honey! If you look at this frame compared to the frame below you can see the difference. The capped honey is white and thin compared to the capping's of the baby bees.

And ones like this one filled with amazing brood patterns! Baby bees everywhere! All queens were spotted too! The hives are ready for supers which is unheard of in a first year hive, never mind three first year hives! Fingers crossed for a continued beekeeping season!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Taking it back!!!

When you just can't take it anymore, you take it back, and for us it was the yard and the house! No grass, no gardens and the ones we had were constantly being broken into by the chickens. Stepping in poop. The final straw was the egg laid on the stairs in the house! It was time to take it all back! So we took down the sheep fence since we haven't had the sheep now for a few years it was just sitting there, 4 feet tall and 100 feet of pure chicken entrapment!

Tim was so excited at the thought of fencing the chickens, he put it up all by himself before I got home!

As you can see everything is just dirt so there was no clearing!

Being let in to their new area, they seemed a bit confused but they will be fine...

we have our yard, gardens, house and sanity back! Sorry chickens but we're taking it all back!!!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Apiary Happenings...

Regular inspections of a hive are imperative to the maintenance and health of a hive. It has been a few weeks since the last inspection so it was time to fire up the smoker and take a peek! The weather was cool and a perfect time to go in.

All the hives looked like this, full of calm bees, working away. 

Baby bees of all stages were seen everywhere! The little white worms in the cells are baby bees in the larvae stage. Once a little bit bigger they will be capped so they can begin the pupa stage and then emerge as beautiful honeybees! The bees on top are called nurse bees, their task is feeding the larvae and keeping them warm. I brushed them all away except these stubborn girls so I could get a picture.

And then the queens! I caught a glimpse of this big girl who was on the run and trying to elude me and my phone camera!

As this one did too! She's a little darker but still a nice healthy girl doing an amazing job! Continue on ladies!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Happy 5 weeks old little ones!

Our baby English Angoras are 5 weeks old today! Soon they will be off to their new homes! We had quite a time getting these little wiggle worms to stay still for the seconds it took to take this picture! Tim's hands are actually just over them. They are all the sweetest babies, 3 Chestnut Agoutis and 2 Fawn Torts! Can you say "Awwwww?!"

Monday, June 11, 2018

Nature's Pesto!

This time of year is one of my favorites, not just because it's Spring but the possibilities are endless when it comes to wild foraging! One of favorites this time of year is Garlic Mustard Pesto. A wild yet invasive plant that grows everywhere this time of year. It's so invasive that it sounds out enzymes and kills everything around it. This is a second year plant that is very flavorful.

When I harvest it, I pull it out by the root and everything. Try to leave the seed pods in place, not allowing it to spread. This huge bunch was in my perennial garden alone!

First pluck the leaves off and rinse them off, allowing to dry slightly. 

Here is the finished results over pasta! You can also put it on crackers or whatever you want. Free food from Nature! 
Recipe is listed below:

Garlic Mustard Pesto

4 to 6 cups of washed Garlic Mustard
1/2 cup walnuts (toasted if you like)
1/2 cup of finely grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tbls Garlic Salt
Fine Sea Salt and cracked pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil (adjust to consistency)

Place the garlic mustard leaves in a food processor until mashed down, slowly add ingredients stopping to scrape the sides. It will keep for a few days.