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maryjane Posted - Jun 03 2022 : 8:52:57 PM
Miss Daisy gave us a girl this morning at 6 a.m. We named her Jubilee, since the queen is celebrating Jubilee right now and Daisy is our queen.

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NellieBelle Posted - Jul 29 2022 : 11:37:34 AM
I'm usually successful capturing my swarms and starting new hives but the last two times, this year, they were so high up that nothing was going to reach them, so had to watch them go. The hives are all still busy and it's usually a good sign when they swarm as the hive is increasing in size, but I really like to keep them when I'm able. Your nets look handy. I have nets and they work good when they are not too high up. 30+ feet is little too high. I won't be harvesting honey until the temperatures come down, which doesn't look to happen anytime soon. Perhaps early morning or late evening, if things don't cool down. Thank you for the links!
maryjane Posted - Jul 29 2022 : 09:21:02 AM
Janet, I've had one of my two hives swarm twice. Both times I quickly cleared some shrubbery away and captured them in a swimming pool cleaner/skimmer. I dumped them into an empty hive. The first time I watched the other bees I didn't capture in the net come into the hive so I thought I'd managed to grab the queen also, but the next morning the hive was empty. The second time, they started leaving the minute I dumped them into the hive.

The remaining bees left in the hive seemed content so I hoped they might be creating a new queen (I think I witnessed the mating flight). Sure enough, that's exactly what they did because this morning I harvested a gallon of honey and the hive is very active and in the process of filling two flow-hive supers.

Here's the gear I bought for capturing swarms in trees. The sturdy pole telescopes 16 feet:

This morning I had to harvest honey using my smoker because it's hot and hornets like heat and honey. So far I have 12 gallons of honey for the year!!!

NellieBelle Posted - Jul 27 2022 : 2:43:07 PM
Good afternoon! Another warm day. Makes me appreciate my trees for the shade. MaryJane, the quail eggs are quite small, mostly dark spotted, some of my Italian quail have light colored eggs. Strong shell. Compared to a chicken egg quite small. Great boiled or made like any other egg, just takes more of them. I love them boiled. Small treat throughout the day if I don't have time to stop and eat. I enjoy the little quail. Great meat source too. I have three incubators going in the basement. Right around 100 eggs at the moment. Only takes 17 days to incubate. Exciting work on the mill restoration. That's quite an undertaking. Your flowers are lovely. It was a wonderful year for flowers and the prairie is a buzz with bees and insects. Unfortunately the grasshoppers have appeared. I hope they don't do much damage. We need rain. That telehandler would come in mighty handy. I can think of several things where I could put that to use. I haven't harvested honey yet. So hot here and so will wait a bit longer. Two hives are small because they swarmed on the hottest, most humid days we had and flew up in the tree so high there was no way I could retrieve them. So probably a light harvest this year. Thankfully I kept full frames of honey. So mostly chores, milking, canning and usual jobs that go along with the farm. My Epiphyllum oxypetalum has four buds. It only blooms at night and flowers wilt before morning. I don't know if I will see the buds open. I missed it last time. Beautiful blooms. Well, time to milk. Enjoy these summer days! Momma hen and chicks.
maryjane Posted - Jul 27 2022 : 05:38:16 AM
Janet, I don't think I've ever eaten a quail egg. It's just a smaller version of a chicken egg, right? Your geese sure have grown big in a short time.

Nellie is a head scratcher. I guess when she calves you'll know whether she was pregnant or not!

We've been eating a few green peppers and lots of greens. Last night I boiled some beets for salads. And we are awash in sweet cherries. Otherwise, I do have a garden in but everything is late. It's turned off hot the past few days and looking like it'll hit a 100, so my plants are loving that and just might catch up, things like cantaloupe and watermelon. No tomatoes yet.

My bees have been bearding at night with how hot it is. So far, I've harvested 8 gallons of honey.

We've been moving more equipment from our flour mill to the farm so we can restore it.

In this photo, we're taking equipment off the top floor with something called a telehandler that I rented for two weeks from Spokane, Washington.

This year, we have clouds of pollinators. My leaf-cutter bees hatched out this week and my Mason bees are abundant. But this year we have a gazillion hover flies. They've evolved to mimic a bee but don't sting or bother you like a fly. They eat aphids on par with ladybugs and are fabulous pollinators. I don't know where they came from but we're happy to have them.

Flowers are fabulous this year. I love growing flowers. I started a few more exotic versions but ended up putting them in our greenhouse because the ground was so consistently wet this spring (16 inches of rain according to my gauge). They're just starting to produce flowers, all of them varieties that last long in a vase. Oh, and I planted 24 lilies along our lane for enjoying next year, hopefully.

NellieBelle Posted - Jul 14 2022 : 05:06:30 AM
Good morning! I'm sure it was hard to see your beloved cows go, but glad they are not far away and you found good homes for them. We are milking only Darla at the moment. Estella is due Aug. 23. Still in a quandary about Nellie. She looks huge, but she always looks huge so will see how things go in the next couple of weeks with her. My gardens were put in early on and you would think with all the rain they would be doing great, but perhaps to moist. Not my best garden year, but thankful for what we do get. Harvested tomatoes from the greenhouse, and greens. Peppers are almost ready to harvest and some just setting on. I need to check my hives but it's been so blame hot, I am waiting for a cooler day. All the animals seem to be doing well. I'm enjoying our geese that I bought this spring. They grew up fast. My quail are laying eggs already. Animals/chores/garden/yard work, all seem to keep me moving. Joe and I are doing as well as can be expected. Just finished with strawberries and the raspberries are loading on. Enjoy the summer. Roses are blooming great this year.
maryjane Posted - Jul 13 2022 : 9:20:13 PM
Speaking of finding a home, Rosetta and Buttercup were re-homed to a mini-ranch about 30 minutes from here. Both of them loaded nicely into their trailer and for some reason that moment made me the saddest. Two weeks later, Buttercup gave them a gorgeous little heifer with the best white socks (legs) I've ever seen.

Miss Daisy is giving us a ton of milk so I've been busy finding a home for all of it. And her little Jubilee is adorable and super friendly just like her mooma. Having only one cow sure is easier when it comes to mucking out their stalls. And our pasture is holding up much better.

It's been a rough year for hay with so much non-stop rain, but I was able to get enough from someone who cut it at the right moment and then I showed up to get it off the field the day before it started raining again. It's always a good feeling when you have your hay in.

Our B&B guests have been wonderful. I'm getting a system down so some things have gotten easier over time. I don't have anyone coming again until Sept. 2.

I have my garden in but it's late. Hopefully, I'll get a summer extension well into fall. My corn wasn't "knee-high by the 4th of July," it was out-of-the-ground by the 4th of July.

Janet, I hope all your pups are fine, your cows, kitties and cats, chickens, and bees. And Joe! I harvested a gallon of honey a couple of days ago. I kept dipping a spoon into the flow. It has to be monitored you know:)
NellieBelle Posted - Jun 17 2022 : 03:49:32 AM
That story pulls at the heartstrings, but with a happy ending. That's one of the things I think about. I turn 68 in the fall. I often wonder how long I will be able to continue milking and doing what we do. Joe turns 78 this fall so we're not exactly spring chickens. I'm so happy she was able to find a home for her Jersey cows. I imagine when we quit we will let the girls live out their days here on the farm. However one doesn't know if that's the way it will play out. One day at a time. Thank you for sharing the article.
maryjane Posted - Jun 12 2022 : 04:13:55 AM
Our little Jubilee is a real charmer, calm, friendly, adorable! Miss Daisy is struggling with some udder edema that is slowly getting better.

Here's an article I came across this morning. I've eaten her butter in New York's Per Se restaurant. I'm just so very pleased to know she found a young couple to continue her legacy.

NellieBelle Posted - Jun 04 2022 : 02:39:24 AM
Congratulations! Love her name. I may be partial to it as I have a David Austin rose called Jubilee Celebration which is a favorite and one of the most fragrant of roses. Happy to see all went well. Nice to have a new calf on the chatroom. We thought Darla was pregnant as she didn't come in her first cycle or 2nd, but 4 days after second, was in heat. So I'm waiting to see and figure out what I'm going to do next. Congrats to all, especially to Miss Daisy and Jubilee!