~Busy As Bees~

Hive inspection, placing pollen patty within.

The weather here in SW Minnesota has been pretty nice, considering it is only March.  It has been a blessing though, allowing us to get caught up on some much-needed work.  We checked over all the bee hives and were very pleased with what we found.  The bees are all doing quite well with good numbers of workers.  We saw no sign of disease and only found one  hive that had died out over the winter.  The hive itself has a very large store of honey so we can only guess at what happened; they were alive in February, but there were not very many bees within at that particular time.  At least they did not starve.

We spent a day painting hives white and I tried my best to free hand the numbers on the hives, not doing such a great job, I must admit.  The brush was flimsy, as good of an excuse as any!  The grease patties were still in the bee hives and we added pollen patties in each box to give the bees a good boost as they come into the Spring.  All the winter tar paper was removed and put into storage for next year.

There is plenty more painting that has to be completed soon.  I ordered more paint from Mann Lake, LTD today.  Plans are being made for bee locations.  We are hoping to rear our own queens this year and have not ordered any package bees or queens.  Not sure how that will all work out for us but it is definitely worth trying and if we fail, we plan on trying over and over until it works!  Fred and my twinnies came up with their own method which I won’t disclose yet, since I would not want to mislead anyone down a road yet unproven:)  Time will tell, so stay tuned.

In between all the bee activities we butchered a hog on Tuesday and turned the entire animal into a variety of sausage.  We made Sweet Italian bulk, Plain Italian bulk, Pepperoni bulk, Breakfast Sausage patties,  Pepperoni Links, Plain Italian patties and Sweet Italian patties.   Everyone was totally exhausted last night and some of us fell asleep during the rosary.  Pretty sad eh?  It’s the thought that counts though and there was much to be thankful for.  We all slept very well, even Fred, who was none to thrilled to have to go into his “real” job today, another sign of Spring!

Fred found time to put a used 1/2 horse motor on our honey extractor.  He removed it from an old fan he had saved as junk.  We had to buy a new $7 belt at Runnings.   It works pretty swell and we shall see how much easier this summer.

Looking forward to a very warm weekend.

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About Callens Honey Farm

We live on a small family farm located in S.W. Minnesota, near the South Dakota border. The source of our honey is from white and red clover. The honey appears as liquid gold in color. Our honey is extracted using a hand cranked centrifugal force extractor. Then the honey is screened once into a holding container from which we later fill the small honey bottles. We do not heat treat the honey nor add any other ingredients. Pure and natural is our Minnesota honey! What could taste better?
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2 Responses to ~Busy As Bees~

  1. What a beautiful family farm. The warm winter means less stress on the bees, but maybe that they eat more, too — I don’t know. Our three hives look pretty good: lots of young brood. The capped brood is a little spotty, but maybe that’s because she has just begun laying after winter — we don’t know. Regarding the hive with lots of honey but no live bees: we have had this situation more than once, and know that, while it may sometimes be an indicator of mites in the hive, stressing the bees too much, it may also happen that a hive will die of starvation even when they have adequate honey stores, if the bee cluster is not close to the available honey, for example, if the cluster is on one side of the hive box, but the remaining honey is on the other. Just a thought.
    We love you guys buckets. Kiss the babies for us —
    the Squaw of Many Moons

  2. I enjoy reading how everything is humming…er I meaning buzzing along at yer place eh!

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