Honey 2013

August 15th, 2013

This year’s honey has a nice amber color.  I like to set the jars in the window and just stare at them.

Last year, I took almost all of the honey from my hives and one starved.  This year I left the majority of the honey for the bees.  Next year I might have enough to sell, but these three quarts are all for me!!!

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Painting

July 22nd, 2013

This has been a busy spring and summer.  I recently finished painting the small dining room (formerly known as the foosball room).  This is the room where Mary and I will attempt to grow herbs and vegetables indoors.

I forgot to take good before pictures, but these two should give you an idea of the previously sad state of affairs.

I forgot to take good before pictures, but these two should give you an idea of the previously sad state of affairs.

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Aaahh, much better

Aaahh, much better

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Pickles

July 3rd, 2013

Mary and I wanted to get into pickling this year, and the first thing we’ve tried is good ol’ dill pickles!  These are made with cucumbers from the garden.  We tried a couple different things to see what we like, and if they turn out well, we’ll make plenty more.

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Brood comb

June 18th, 2013

I took a few quick pictures of some comb from the brood box in one of my hives.  If you click the pictures to enlarge them and then click to zoom in, you can get a good view of the various cells.

The red arrow shows freshly capped honey stores.  The wax cappings are nice and white because they haven't been walked on much.  The green arrows show pollen stores.  As you can see, the bees store the pollen according to type, creating a rainbow row of red, green, blue, orange, and yellow pollen.  (Later the pollen will be mixed with honey and it all turns brown)  The blue arrow shows developing larvae.  The purple arrow shows capped larvae.  The bees cover the larvae with wax for its final stage of development, and soon a fully-developed young bee will emerge from every capped brown cell.

The red arrow shows freshly capped honey stores. The wax cappings are nice and white because they haven’t been walked on much. The green arrows show pollen stores. As you can see, the bees store the pollen according to type, creating a rainbow row of red, green, blue, orange, and yellow pollen. (Later the pollen will be mixed with honey and it all turns brown) The blue arrow shows developing larvae. The purple arrow shows capped larvae. The bees cover the larvae with wax for its final stage of development, and soon a fully-developed young bee will emerge from every capped brown cell.

The blue arrow in this photo shows a hole the bees chewed through the comb for a quick shortcut to either side.

The blue arrow in this photo shows a hole the bees chewed through the comb for a quick shortcut to either side. The wet-looking cells are filled with nectar that the bees are converting to honey, which will then be capped. The upper portion of the frame is capped honey that has seen more traffic, and thus is no longer gleaming white.

 

This frame is mostly stores.

This frame is mostly stores.

Anyone can buy honey, but only a beekeeper can get a glimpse into the world of bees anytime he or she wants.

Reclaiming the barn

June 11th, 2013

When I moved here, my barn was cute on the outside, ugly on the inside.  The floor of the barn was a two-inch layer of dust, composted chicken poop, and several large rocks.  It was gross.  The walls were covered in dust and muck.  It was full of junk that needed to be thrown away.  In the first year and a half, all I used the barn for was as a place to pile rocks from the garden.

 

How she started

How she started

I started picking up the rocks in January.  I moved four pickup loads by hand.  Then I cleaned out all the junk, shoveled out 10 wheelbarrow loads of dirt, and cleaned the interior.  Then I ordered 19 tons of limestone.

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The tractor can’t reach very far into the barn, so I had to move about 1/3 of the pile by hand.  Once I got that done, I was able to use the tractor to move the rest.

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Once the rock was in place, I only had to spread and level it with a rake.

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This was a long project for me, but the finished product looks great and I can’t wait to start using it!

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