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Hello, Spring and Goodbye, Beekeeping

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Hurrah! Hooray! The skies are sunny, the breezes warm, and we’ve had two days of glorious proper spring weather. Yes, it’s going to get super cold again this week, but having these two days of nice weather (coinciding with setting the clocks forward) is just what we all needed to know that good weather is ahead of us.  Most of the snow and ice has melted (except everything in the shade of the house) and now we all get to play the disgusting “is this mud or poop?” game. The chickens are laying so nicely for us and Gordon even had some playtime in his fun run today.
IMG_6265
The chickens are as happy as can be, roaming further than they have in months.
Tabby & Big Silk

Feeding her flock
And we’ve been pretty excited to be outside, too.
Blowing Bubbles
(I am totally calling the above picture “Bubble Monacle.”) The kids invented a new sport-trampoline boxing. So much fun and only one incident of tears!
Trampoline Boxing

Trampoline Boxing
And in other fun news, Tabby had a piece of art chosen to be part of the school’s Youth Art Month display in our township building. (When Clark was in 1st grade he had a piece in this exhibit, too.) We’re so proud of her!
youth art month display
Because it was so nice out Paul was finally able to do a task he’s been dreading–check on the bees. His suspicions proved correct and the entire hive is dead. He says the consolation is that we can see they had honey and babies and so they didn’t starve to death-just froze. Look at the nice beautiful honey they had stored up.
oozy yummy honey (I tasted it-delicious)
See the sad little corpse in this one?
honey is in the capped cells (with a little bee corpse in the background)
It’s awfully tasty, too. How will we get that tasty honey out, you ask? Well, apparently normally with an operational hive you’d borrow/rent a centrifuge, pop the frame in, spin it, and extract all the honey. Since this is the end of the road this time around and not great, we are just letting gravity get the honey out. We heated a knife, sliced off the top and turned it over on top of a cookie sheet on the dining room table. It’s been about an hour and from the quantity that dripped out it seems to be incredibly slow and I have to wonder if we’ll really get it out at all. In the meantime, what should I do with these lovely, fragrant, slabs of beeswax? Can I flatten it, wrap it around a wick, and make it a candle?
A slab of empty honeycomb-surely I can do something with this?

 

This bee adventure has definitely been discouraging and filled with raised expectations and dashed hopes.  I want to get back on the horse, especially because it’s a not inexpensive investment in the boxes and frames and bee packages, but Paul is feeling a bit scarred and wants to wait a year before trying again.  All I have to say is, we’d better have a bumper crop of asparagus this year because I need to see some long term thing succeeding!

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About Sarah

I'm a librarian living with my lovely family in a gorgeous spot of New Jersey, where we raise chickens and love the outdoors. I try to find enough time to indulge all my hobbies-cooking, photography, gardening, sewing, and I write about it all on my book blog & personal blog.

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