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.