Monday, September 22, 2008

Farm Lessons Learned Here Daily

Michael captured this swarm of bees this past summer. They are doing well, but he was concerned about the fact that their hive may be too small to survive a cold winter. We decided to extract honey this past Saturday if there was any available in the hives. Due to the lack of rain last year, we had no honey. We weren't for sure if it was going to be any better this year. When he checked the hives, he estimated that we had about 2 1/2 gallons which was enough to extract. He took the supers off and put them on the back of the truck to carry them back to the house. He usually puts them in rubber maid containers and seals them to keep the bees away, but this year we just didn't have enough to go to all that trouble. (Farm lesson number 1... TAKE THE TIME)! He pulled the truck up to the front of the house, and he came in the house for lunch. After lunch, we went to pick up the honey extractor from a friend. All of this took us about an hour. When we got home, I set everything up in the kitchen and he put his bee suit back on to bring in the frames of honey. I thought it was taking awhile and I glanced out the window. He looked like he had lost something. I also noticed tons of bees everywhere in the front yard. It looked as if we were having a swarm. This had never happened before when we extracted honey.

A few minutes later he came in the house and told me the honey was gone. What do you mean gone??? Who in their right mind would come and steal our honey with the bees everywhere in the yard? Well, the bees decided to come and take back what was theirs in the first place...never mind the fact that we are the reason they have a nice home and warm bee soup for them all winter long. We had no idea that this would happen. They came and uncapped all the honey and took it back to their hive in a matter of about an hour. (Farm lesson #2... All bees are pains especially when they steal YOUR honey)!

We had no idea this would happen, but now we know for next year. I knew Missy had escaped the house when Michael went to put the supers back on the hives, but I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't go outside to get her because there were so many bees EVERYWHERE. This is how she got into the hives in the first place. She is doing much better this afternoon. She even had enough energy to go and chase a car. (FARM LESSON #3... "STAY AWAY FROM THE BEE HIVES AND CHASE CARS INSTEAD. IT IS SAFER", says Missy)!!!

grace and peace,
julie

4 comments:

Marci said...

These types of lessons are learned WELL and are rarely repeated. Sorry you will have to double your work.

Nancy-Lessons Learned on the Farm said...

I can't believe those thievin' bees took YOUR honey. shame, shame, shame...

Glad to hear that Missy is feeling better. MJ has never chased a car. She'll bark at them and greet people with her noggin right in their car door, but she doesn't spend her energy on chasing cars. She pretty much conserves it for knocking the chickens away from her food bowl!

Mountain Mama said...

How rude of them to steal "your" honey.

Sounds like Missy has learned her lesson. Not to mention your husband.
ashley

TnFullQuiver said...

Marci,
You are right about that. We won't make that mistake again.

Nancy,
I think chasing cars is Missy's worst habit. She doesn't always do it, but she does it enough to make my husband aggervated. Most people know her and just drive right on past. However it is the poor "new to the neighborhood" people that we have to watch. They see her coming and they stop. She is thrilled with that so she stands in front of their car until one of us comes out and gets her. If anybody ever opens their door, she would be in the car in a heart beat. She loves to go for a ride and she is always getting in the UPS truck!! Thankfully we live on a country road so this bad behavior isn't that big of a deal. Missy likes to play chase with our chickens too. Once she catches them she lets them go. The chickens have come to a point of just stopping and letting her "catch" them so she will leave them alone. It sounds like Mary Jane at least has some productive (guarding her food bowl) habits!!

Ashley,
Yes, we all learned our lessons well. I don't know if Missy will ever go back in the pasture again!!

grace and peace,
julie