7/27/12

Friday Farm Fotos: Snack Time














  



























Umm, Lily? 
It's supposed to be snack time, not nap time..



Happy Friday, everyone!

7/20/12

Friday Farm Fotos: A Battle of Wills


This is Doris.
Doris is one of my four laying hens.
She is a big girl with an even bigger ambition.





Doris wants to be a mommy.
She has gone broody.



Problem is, there isn't a rooster around for miles.
Well, my three Silkie roosters are nearby, but thanks to their rather small stature,
the laws of nature say it would be nearly impossible for them to... ahhh... help her out.

So, there is a battle of wills going on between me and Doris.
I want her to snap out of it because now egg production is down.
(Broody hens don't lay eggs, they just want to sit on one.)
But more importantly, in this extreme heat we've been having it's very dangerous
for a hen to spend too much time in a not-so-well-ventilated nest box. 
Especially since she's wasting her time on infertile eggs....


But Doris is having none of my reasoning.....
I've done all I know to do to get her out of the mood.
I even went so far as to lock her outside the hen house for a few hours one day,
but when I opened the door she went right back on the nest,
scolding me the whole time.


Even her sisters- Daphne, Delia, and Darcy- think she's lost her mind...
especially when I throw a nice juicy, over-ripe tomato into their lot
and even that doesn't get her attention.





Oh, she came off the nest for a minute to see what the fuss was all about,




But then.....



*Sigh*


I'm thinking an egg-tervention may be in the near future...
Stay tuned.
Happy Friday, everyone!

7/11/12

Oh, Honey!


Our honey harvesting is over with for 2012-
the final total was 5 gallons from our hive and 6 gallons from Dad's hive!
I was very pleased that our little worker girls made that much in their first year with us,
but I think the fact that we had such an early spring and everything
was in full bloom in March really helped the bees this year.
I'm a nice enough person that I would never want to sell someone honey that was no good,
so I had to make a big batch of biscuits this morning to sample the product.
(It was a tough job but somebody had to do it... ; )

Here are some pictures I took of Hubby and I working with the honey-
These are the "supers" right after we took them off the hive-
supers are simply the boxes that hold the frames in which the honey is stored.
We took half of the honey the bees made this year and
left the other half for them to eat this winter. 




One by one the frames are removed and it's my job to "uncap" them-
the bees cover the full frames of honey with a coating of wax to prevent
the honey from running out in hot weather.
The wax has to be removed, or uncapped, for the honey to be extracted.
This electric knife is made especially for this job and once it's heated to the right temperature, it quickly uncaps the frames without hardly any mess.




This uncapping tub was a new addition to our beekeeping tools this year-
I saw one of these being used on YouTube and had to have one.
It was worth every penny, too- it made the messiest part of the whole process a snap.
The cappings then fall down into the top tub, which catches the wax on a strainer but allows any honey attached to it drain down into another tub below.


Whoever invented the uncapping tub- I love you.



The frames are then passed along to Hubby,
who places them into the extractor and "spins" the honey out of the frames.
As he extracts the honey it is slowly draining into a special pail with a coarse strainer on it,
and will need to be strained once more before it's ready to be bottled.







Meet Lily, our Quality Control Inspector.






The honey passing from the coarse strained bucket into the fine strainer-



And the finished product!
*YUMMY*

If you love honey, be sure to thank a little bee the next time you see one...
did you know it requires 10,000 worker bees to gather a pound of honey?
Happy Wednesday, everyone!

7/4/12

Happy 4th of July!


I guess this is proof that even though you're broody,
you can still celebrate Independence Day...

Unfortunately, it's so hot and dry here that any "cooking out" will be done indoors this year...
and there will be no firework displays- they've all been cancelled until we get rain.

Lots of things are going on around here right now;
I just finished shearing all the sheep last week right 
before the record 100+ degree temperatures arrived,
and now we are right in the middle of harvesting honey from the bees.
Hopefully I can post about everything soon, but until then,
I'm going to try to spend a few days getting caught up with all my blog friends. 

Stay cool wherever you are and have a Happy 4th of July!