Monday, April 14, 2014

Funny farm update

This place has been keeping me hopping!  So far so good with the bees.  There is still a lot to learn but little by little we are gaining an understanding...Bees are amazing, they just know what to do.  They don't need us that's for sure.

I did another hive inspection today.  We've done 3 so far, and the 2nd one our experienced cousin came over and walked us through it.  basically we are looking for signs of the queen or in our case the queen herself because she is marked and is easy to spot.  They are beginning to build comb which we can clearly see, and we also look for workers to come back to their hive with bright yellow on their back legs, which is pollen.  That's a great sign as well.  During hive inspections you should also look for eggs within the cells of the comb.  I could not tell for sure that I saw that, but the cells were very crowded with busy bees.  Hopefully Queen is laying eggs, I want to check again for that in a couple days.  Some of the cells appeared to have honey in them already. 
The boys have not gotten stung yet, I am surprised.  They go right up to the hive and while I'm doing hive inspections in my 'space suit' they are right beside me with no protection other then a ball cap, if that. 

Look close in the mid-right area and see a bee with pollen in her 'saddle bags".  A cool sight
Our queen is marked with a bright green dot.  That was worth the extra 3 dollars :)
Building their comb

Another new thing from here is the birth of 11 baby bunnies, to ONE momma!  She's a new momma, and is still on the small side, so for her to have 11 at one time, and 4 days later they are all still surviving, is a miracle!  
Bunny mom of the year: Corn (yep, Ben named her Corn)
I noticed right away, even before knowing how many were in there, that the bunnies were extra small.  They are still very small, but are starting to get fur and are very spunky.  I hope they all make it!

On to the greenhouse.  The produce seems to be growing slowly, but nothing has died yet so that's worth mentioning.  We have our 2 main systems maxed out with lettuces, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Our 3rd system will get set up this week with Ever bearing strawberries.
Cucumbers in the bucket system - the white string hanging at the sides of each bucket are for the plants to climb and we'll clip them up as they grow.

And if you are still with me, lastly i'll mention our chickens.  We have 10 layers that are close to one year old.  They lay for us faithfully, but they also eat their own eggs faithfully, so we started checking several times a day for eggs to give them less time to peck and eat their eggs. 
They love to finally have green grass!!
Next Tuesday we pick up 25 chicks, "fryers", that we will raise for 7-8 weeks and butcher.  We've never done this many before but we did butcher a handful of chickens last year, so at least we have experience with the butchering.

No pictures of the cats but we do have one that follows us around.  The rest are smarter and kind-of do their own thing.

This is much better then being couped up in the house all winter!  So thankful for spring, but rainy days here and there are welcome too.

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