~Bees In March~

We took advantage of a lovely day, March 10, to feed sugar cakes infused with essential oils to our bees. 

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The hives were weighed going into the winter.  In order to survive a Minnesota winter, the bees need at least 60 to 100 pounds of honey reserve.  It’s been a long, cold winter and when the weather warmed a bit, they were fed.  Who knows when spring will be here!

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Pollen patties were added later in the week, which was done to boost the queens, in order to get them to start laying.  If the queens don’t start laying soon enough, the bees within the hive become old and will just die off.  The average life span for a worker bee in the winter is six months.

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Fred and Mario have been busy this winter building boxes, branding and wax dipping them.  The waxing is something new this year that Fred wanted to try.   He built 50 new brood boxes and re-conditioned another 50 that were purchased last year.  Then he built 26 Nuk boxes out of  older  reject boxes and also crafted frames for holding queen cells.  He loves working out in the shop during his “off” season, winter. 

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Each box takes four minutes to coat with a mixture of paraffin, beeswax and mineral spirits.  The wax temperature is held at 300 degrees.  This will hopefully take the place of paint!  Like anything else in farming, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!!

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The day before (the above photos) we decided that pork sausage was greatly desired!! 

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Everyone was  thrilled with how quickly the processing part went.  It took an hour to cut the hog up.  My wrapping job took a lot longer.   I like to take my time and make the packages cute!  Then yesterday we cut and wrapped another hog for Clayton.   In a few days the bacon and hams will be smoked and packed.  If anyone would like to buy some excellent quality Natural Niman Ranch Pork, just let us know. 

Sometimes we play!  While my niece was here, we had a grilled pizza night.  Dreaming of summer helps make long winters pass!

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Last but not least, a little “honey” for your day!  Frenchy and Peter’s little Josie June!  Life is good by golly.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

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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?
This entry was posted in BEE NEWS AND UPDATES, EVERY DAY FARM LIFE and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to ~Bees In March~

  1. I know how good those pizzas were! We are so excited to be seeing Frenchy and Peter and the children next week —
    love,
    S/MM

  2. Andrew says:

    Sweet new boxes–looks like you’ve got some fancy router work going on there! G/L w/ the little fuzzy creatures this year..

  3. The handles were done with a circular saw, Fred Style 🙂

  4. syl says:

    Awesome. I just love the idea of your family traditions and life, and passing it down to the new family of grandchildren too! life is good, yes!! antone always said that. might be interested in smoked ham, and some bacon if you have extra. Not much room in my freezer now till we open the freezer at the lake in a month or so. thx. syl

  5. Kathy says:

    Love that you share the details of the little things you do throughout the year. Especially since we are planning on doing a lot of them in the future. I learn a lot from your blog, what it takes to get things done. Keep up the good work! We enjoy your posts!

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