Homestead Update

15 Mar

I am typing this with my head totally stopped up from allergy and sinus problems so this post may be more rambling and disjointed than usual. Anyway, this week was pretty much a bust around here as far as getting anything accomplished. Although the snow and ice finally melted after 3 weeks, the rains came in with the warmer temperatures and we had precipitation for 6 out of 7 days this week, and it is a muddy quagmire around here.

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I took this picture as I was feeding the dogs just at sunrise. The dawn was just breaking behind me and a full moon was setting in the West.

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I bought this compost bin from Tractor Supply last week. Yeah, I know, I am the guy that buys mulch by the dump truck load so how much good is a 1.3 cubic yard bin going to be. Well, it will be a start and it will help ease my conscience  a bit. I have been throwing good vegetable material in the trash and this will be a place for old lettuce, banana peels, potato peels, apple cores, etc. to go without being a total waste. Maybe after I see the results I’ll get inspired to work on my big pile!

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I received my bee smoker from Mann Lake yesterday and I remembered this picture I took at the Antique Mall on Valentines day. This booth had 12 old smokers for sale at $15-$20 each. Several of them had holes in the bladders already so I decided to just pay $30 and get a new one. Why anyone would need 12 smokers unless he had several people working for him in a commercial operation I can only guess.

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I went to a bee keeping short course sponsored by my local bee club. The meeting lasted all day, and I picked up a lot of good information. Most of what was discussed, I already was aware of from reading books, watching Youtube videos and visiting bee keeping web sites but one thing caught me by surprise. This speaker was going through the process of installing bees in a hive from a package or a nuc. He stated after the bees were installed I would need to feed the bees with sugar water for a period of time, which according to him would be 6 weeks, and during this time I would probably feed 150 pounds of sugar per hive. WHAT! I immediately held up my hand and asked could you say that again, I want to be sure I heard that right. Yes, I should plan on 150 pounds of sugar per hive. I will need 300 pounds for my two hives, people will think I am making moonshine! I think I better send Sweet Thing to the grocery store and start stocking up, my bees should be here in a month or so. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

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2 Responses to “Homestead Update”

  1. Pioneer Preppy March 16, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    Well ask yourself this. If a new swarm of bees needed 150 pounds of sugar to survive how does a feral colony ever make it? Sugar syrup is an emergency source of food only as it changes the entire PH balance of the hive. I feed when I have to but I only feed as long as they will take the syrup. If say I use a top feeder and the syrup starts going bad it’s time to just leave em to what they get on their own. That means your hives may not build up as quickly but they are healthier and so is your wallet.

    • doublebhomestead March 16, 2015 at 10:40 am #

      He had a formula for the amount of nectar needed for the bees to draw out 16 frames of comb and that is the amount he estimated would be needed. Seems excessive to me too. I will feed until they slow down feeding on the sugar, then I will let them forage on their own.

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