Monday, September 30, 2013


How do I add a post to a page? Its seems like all my posts go to my home page. I want to make several like sub pages, so if I am going blog about chickens it goes to my chicken page. If I blog about bees it goes to a bee page? Does that make sense?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Frost Advisory

Last night we had a frost advisory for NE Ohio. Really?! Already?! So in come all the house plants. Then I went out to the garden, I had, stress had some peppers and cucumbers out there I was letting mature so I could collect the seeds. Now they are in a basket in the garage. Frost in September! Mother Nature has been fighting me all year.
 On the other hand, I just got an email stating my garlic order just shipped. I'll be planting garlic next month. Woohoo!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Honey Harvest

Last Monday I pulled nine frames of honey off the hives, and its been sitting in the garage every since. There are nine more frames on the hives not totally capped yet, hopefully Ohio weather will cooperate and the girls will finish capping them. Today I harvested what was sitting in the garage.
Using heat knife to uncap.

Uncappings, will drain, then melt down the wax.

Straining the honey


Empting the extractor, I thought it would go a lot slower its only in the lower 60s today.

The first straining.


The honey before the second straining.

The second straining


The army of honey bears starts to take formation.

The army of honey bears are ready to march, 8oz each, total of 20lbs.

About 28lbs of pure goodness!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Crotchety Beekeeper!

So I try to be in good positive attitude most of the time. But some things just grind my gears(I stole that from family guy)  Anyway I went to the local county bee keepers meeting tonight. I will not name names, or where. The older gentleman running the show, and who is also a mentor to the young club members, treats  everyone like they don't know what they are doing or what they are talking about, unless you are another older gentleman. I'm beginning to think you have to be old and crotchety to be a bee keeper. For example, I am on the swarm call list. I have gotten 4 swarm calls in the last week besides my own swarm. I don't have any more equipment, so I waited till the meeting was over and he asked if any body had any thing else, so I raised my hand, and said I know its the wrong time of year, but I have a swarm call if anybody is interested in it let me know after the meeting. This gentlemen argued with me that they are yellow jackets, I explained to him no they are honey bees that I have already went and looked at them and this is my fourth one in a week. And he still proceeded to tell me that they were yellow jackets in front of the group, treating me like I didn't know what I was talking about.
Then a new bee keeper asked a question about what to do for winter preparation, and this elderly gentleman asked the new bee keeper if he treated for mites yet, when he answered no the older gentleman belittled the new bee keeper in front of the crowd,because he didn't treat for mites yet, then he never finished answering the question properly, he kind of answered it under his breath and moved on.
Why do older bee keepers give off that crotchety feeling? If your a experienced bee keeper in a mentoring program, you should at least be friendly and helpful.
After the meeting I went up to the new bee (haha) and offered what I do for winter prep, and told him my way is not necessarily the right way, and I proceed to answer all his questions. That's how you mentor someone. In a field such as beekeeping, there are enough stepping stones and set backs, who needs a crotchety old beekeeper that doesn't want to give you the time of day, and belittles you. This bee keeper needs to retire, and I will be the first one in line to buy his equipment.

Wanna be mama.

This is our turkey hen, Sweetie, she is heritage breed, Sweet grass. She usually has a very sweet disposition, hence her name Sweetie. She always follows me around whistling at me. When I had to bury our beloved Rocko dog, a month ago she was watching me through the fence in the back of the pasture cooing at me like she knew something was wrong.

Well its a different game now, she wants to be a mama so bad, she is sitting on chicken eggs. I figure what the heck if she wants to ,Ill let her. The problem is when I go to get eggs she bites. Now I have been pecked by mama chickens before. If they hit you in the back of the hand ,ya it hurts a little. When Sweetie bites ,its not a peck, she grabs fingers and thumbs and she doesn't let go. She also hisses at you. She has become a total little b@#$%h. November is around the corner, if you know what I mean, I thought about keeping the pair, Sweetie and Tom to see if they would give me baby turkeys, but I tried that this past year and it just wasn't happening. So do I give them one more year or no?

Monday, September 16, 2013

And more firewood!

I swear I have the never ending firewood pile. Which I guess is a good thing, when I rolled one of the logs over there was a Woolley Bear on the under side and he was all black! Which I believe means we are in for a bad winter. A little side note the tarp in the picture is my log splitter, some dumbass stacked the wood pretty much on top of it. Boy I wasn't thinking on that one was I?

Honey Time

It may be a little late, but late than never. I have 4 honey supers on 4hives. On 1 hive I took out 4 capped honey frames, the other 5 are full but not capped yet. The second hive must have had a swarm I didn't catch, only had a few frames of honey but not capped all the way. I took those frames and put them on the first hive, and took the honey super off along with the empty frames and did whole hive inspection. I have a queen and eggs and brood just very low population. The third hive I didn't have an excluder on it either it also had about 3 frames of brood a couple frames of full honey and a lot of frames of honey not capped. The fourth hive did have an excluder and I got about 5 frames of capped honey and about 4 frames not capped. So I took more empty frames from the second hive and refilled the honey super. Crossing my fingers that Ohio weather will hold out and all the uncapped honey will be capped in a few weeks.
That was the good news, now the bad news. One of the swarms I caught back in July is pretty much non existent. Their numbers are very low, very little brood. I didn't see any eggs or a queen. I may just combine it with the swarm I just caught on Saturday. Normally I am done with the bees this time of the year, but like everything else time got away from me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Firewood Shed

Chore #1 Moving the firewood to the firewood shed is done! A big Thank You to my two kids, Michael and David. I would still be stacking next weekend if it wasn't for them. If my math is right the shed has about 5 cords in it with another cord stacked under the tarp. The shed is packed full!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Todays Excitement

I was over moving firewood and my wife called me over and pointed toward the yard, I look around the corner and what do I see? A huge swarm of bees leaving my hive. I have never seen a swarm of bees leaving the hive, I have seen when they have landed, but never leaving the actual hive. One word, awesome! Until I realize I am about to loose a hive. Luckily they land in a tree not far away, and not too high. So my next problem is I have absolutely no more equipment, because I have caught three other swarms this year from other hives, not mine. So I have a bottom board, honey supers and the nastiest frames you have ever seen. So I put together a honey super with the nicest, of the nastiest frames I could find, a piece of plywood and bricks on top. I don't have inner or outer cover.I hope this works. In I go. So long story short I caught the hive and now I have seven hives.


Well chore #1 started, moving firewood to the firewood shed. I have about 6 cords of wood to move to the shed. In my great wisdom
earlier this year I cut all this wood and decided to stack it in the driveway to dry. Now I have the great task of moving it again. The mind is saying let's move the wood, the back is saying maybe not today. My body is very conflicted. The tractor is helping but I still have to bend and stoop! Damn old age back!

A beatiful fall day.

The chores are endless today! The chicken coops need cleaned and new straw put down. The yard needs weed wacked and mowed. We have a pool that I started tearing apart because we don't use any more. The fire wood pile needs moved to the fire wood shed. More fire wood needs cut, split and stacked. The wood stove needs cleaned, the door gasket replaced, and the chimney swept. Several trees need trimmed. The garden needs cleaned up. Some fall crops need planted. The list can go on for ever. And I am sitting here with a tweaked back wondering how the heck I am going to do all this today. The good news is the boys are coming home for a visit today, maybe they will feel like helping dad out. Ha ha that's was funny. Ohh.... I did manage to get some garlic ordered. Enough whinning time to go see what I can get done. I'll post some pix later.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sad end to the tomatoes!

Started pulling out the tomatoes today! Another tomato season comes to an end!😢

Neat and orderly!

I do like when the garden looks neat and everything is in its place. To bad that nasty 4 letter word(work) keeps getting in the way. I would have the most organized and neat garden ever!

Brown Russian Cucumbers

I tried a heirloom variety of cucumbers this year, Brown Russian Cucumbers. Definitely a good choice, I will be growing them again. It's too bad hey are almost done for the year.

I love these peppers!

Sheep nose pimento peppers(cheese peppers)
The wife will roast them and put them in focaccia bread! Oh ya that's mmm... good!

Marigolds Yuck!

I was tearing out the tomatoes that are done, and I also ripped out some over grown marigolds. I gave them to the girls like I do with all my weeds, and they wanted nothing to do with them. I thought chickens liked marigolds.

Todays little harvest

The garden is coming to an end. Still not a bad haul. Every year I say I want to do a fall planting, and I never get to it. I still may try a few things.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bee vaccum Part 3

All done, well almost, I ran out of weather stripping. There is nothing worse than having to run to the store in the middle of a project. Besides I am not using it tonight anyway. This part is what the website refers to as the shim. Once you get the bees vaccumed into the super, you have to take care of all the brood comb. This enables you to have a screen on top of the bees while you add another super on top to put the brood. You get empty frames and a bunch of rubber bands or string, but rubber bands work better in my opinion. As you cut the brood comb out you put it in empty frames using the rubber bands to hold the comb in the frames. When your top super is full and you have the hive in its new location you can pull the screen out and let the girls reunite with their babies.
I want to Thank this website for the awesome idea of this bee vacuum, once a again it was their idea, I just built it and passed it along.

I started off with 1x2 cut to fit the super.

I ripped a channel down the center to except the screen.

The front was a little tricking I ended up cutting the front piece in half and then ripping it a little bit so the screen can come through the front. Glue and nailed everything.

The website said to use #8 hardware cloth, I could only find 1/4" or 1/2", I picked 1/4" thinking bees use 3/8" in their hives, I doubled it over anyway and made sure the holes were kind of crossed to make them smaller.

I left some hang out for easy pulling.

Here it is on the hive.

Here it is all assembled.

I was getting much suction with it all together. It may not be meant to use this way. But don't forget I am missing weather stripping. The front where the hardware cloth goes in, had a lot of air escaping. I may have made that channel to big. I took the second super off, and used some old fashion duct tape where the hardware cloth goes in and it works fine. I may get some latches and latch the shim on the bottom box and run it that way, then when it comes to the brood comb, I can take the top off add the super for brood and that shim won't move while I add the super.
Just a side view. I hope this helps some body out, when I get to use it, I will update every one. Thanks following along.