Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Barn Expansion

As fall approaches we begin to think about the process of choosing our new breeding stock and with thirteen different breeds it takes a lot of barn space. Thirteen different breeds means keeping a lot of extra roosters on hand.  Breeding is not as easy as just throwing a hen and rooster together and hoping for the best.  Well, as Larry and I stood outside talking about beginning the whole process we decided it was time to make the barn bigger.  When we built this barn about three years ago we had out grown our old barn and thought this would be plenty of space but as I'm sure you know you can never have to much space and so the building process begins again.

This our other barn and both are full of birds.

Most of the building supplies have been delivered.

The trusses came on a semi truck today.  No these do not all belong to us.  Ours is the tiny stack on the back end.  Apparently someone in our area is also building a new house.

When Larry built the barn he was thinking about the future and knew that someday we might want to expand.  So he made it to where he could take the whole backside off, build on and then put the backside back on.   He has the back ready to remove and he's beginning construction.

Making good progress.  He's almost ready to put up the trusses.

We've made a lot of changes in three years time.  I'll share the progress as the new part of the barn goes up.  It's an exciting time for us and we look forward to having more space.
Have a great day!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Checking The Progress Of Our Bee Hives

Last week we checked on the bees just to see what kind of progress they're making on honey production.  We started out with two hives last spring but as I shared with you this spring, both hives swarmed early in the spring.  I was able to catch both swarms and started new hives with them but in case you are also new to bee keeping, when they swarm it really is not a good thing.

 The bees are working very hard and have made great progress.  Last year we got about two gallons of honey from one hive, this year I'm not sure if we'll get any.  The main concern now at this point is for them to have enough honey to get through the long winter months.

They still have the month of September to work on the frames so we might still be able to pull a small amount of honey from at least one hive.  Come on little bees work faster!

Right before the bees swarm they gorge themselves on honey and then half of the workers move with the swarm.  This put the hive they just vacated at a loss of honey and workers and those that left in the swarm are also at a loss of honey and workers.  It basically puts both hives at a deficit for a whole year.
Come early spring, before the maples begin to bloom, we need to be ready to juggle the empty frames and add more honey suppers.  I have the whole winter to read and get prepared.  I thought I did that last year, oh well.
Any of you experienced bee keepers out there, feel free to give some advise at any time.
Bees are very interesting creatures and even though we would like to think we have some control over this bee endeavor, we really do not.
Have a great day!