Thursday, February 9, 2012

Catching Up with you Part 2

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for sticking with us.
Empty comb.
Honey Comb.
 We're going to go over a few more things that took place between September when Ben last posted and our catching up posts this week.
Emptied out Comb.
The top bar hive upside down on the table.
BEES !! - we had the most fun and educational, for us, experience with our top bar hive in 2011. So much that we are getting 2 more swarms this spring. OK so we tried hard to take care of our bees this horrible hot summer and set up a feeder for them in the fall incase that they had not been able to get much honey collected for the winter for them to survive. We checked on the hive in October and all was looking well. There was honey, the bees were cleaning house, and to our inexperienced eyes, looking good for winter. We went out in November to check on the hive again - and the bees were GONE. Not a single live buzzer in the hive. We are not sure what happened- wondering if maybe the queen died- which will make the bees swarm and leave.  We decided that since there were no bees - we would make sure there was honey in the hive. Boy howdy was there honey. We got a little over a gallon of some of the best honey EVER made out of the hive. This time around we are going to use the top bar hive again and also a Warre hive. Ben is excited to try both styles of hive to see which one is better for us. Bees are on order and hopefully will arrive in March.

Final Product !!!!!
Rabbit revisited - we had 3 adult rabbits - She, Her and Bucky. Got 2 more from PA, Izzabella and Minnie.  So that was 5 adult rabbits. She had never had a litter of babies. We had her for 7 months and she miscarried 2 times, and that was it. Her was the irresponsible mother who lost 2 litters of babies and had no instinct. Bucky is the only male. Bella is the pro-Momma and Minnie won't be old enough to breed until April. We needed to thin the herd out, and She and Her were relieved of duty in January.  Ben did a great job - handled it like a pro and we shared the meat bounty by having friends over for dinner a week later. Rabbit taste like chicken.  Another lesson learned.

Our fall/winter was a full season of learning new things. We did not have any squash out of the garden due to a bore beetle invasion. We spread a 4-6 inch straw cover onto the garden hoping to add more organic material and to help keep the moisture in for the 2012 plantings.
Looking back, we agreed there would have been a few changes we would have made to our 2011 farming life- so we marked'em down and will try something different this year. Isn't that all you can do ? Learn from your failures and try a different way the next go around.
I think the next posting will start in on the Plans of 2012, and how we are expanding and trying all sorts of new things. 

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