|The New Flynn's in Brooklyn Md|
Monday, March 13, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Nine months into my crash course in bee keeping and deep into my first winter with my ladies, some of what I read and the videos I watched are making sense. I now know that one of my hives should have been re-queened ( lesson learned ). I am also amazed that despite my best efforts one hive is still alive ( here is where I cross fingers and knock on wood). Truth be told the ladies take care of their selves and I find it peaceful to just sit and watch them come and go. Which brings us to my learned lesson. We started the bee's late in the spring last year. Not knowing if there would be enough forage for them in the inner city I fed a lot of syrup to get them started and we installed planters with native flowers that bee's love all around the roof., both hive took to their new homes and were going like mad right from the start. Early on one hive was out pacing the other in terms of number and taking up space. Being a novice I didn't know weather the hive was just outstanding or if it was a normal hive and the other was lacking. I was assured from a more seasoned beekeeper that both were doing fine upon inspection and we carried on. Late in fall I noticed that the smaller hive seemed to have less traffic than earlier in the year but I assumed this was normal as temperatures were changing and winter would be on its way. This is where I probably should have re-queened that hive, I didn't know and it didn't happen. With a warmer than usual winter so far I could see bees flying on warmer days and it gave some solace in that both hives had activity. Two weeks ago with temps in the 70 I stepped out to take a break and greet my ladies, and noticed no activity in the smaller hive. After further inspection I found all my ladies dead. So last week I pulled the hive to inspect and dissect it to see what might have gone wrong. From my best guest after reading books,blogs and good ole you tube is that with low numbers the bee just couldn't keep the hive warm enough when we had our first cold snap and they all froze to death. Bummer! I found them gathered tight with heads in comb buts sticking out literally text book evidence of freezing to death.
|Huddle up dead poor girls|
We cleaned up the brooding frames and boxes and stored them for the spring I have two nucs coming and if my other hive makes it I will have three hives come spring. On the bright side one hive was still alive as of yesterday and still looks really strong and since my ladies won't need it in the dead hive I will get a little honey this year. I left five frames to start my new nucs and all the brood frames which have some honey and I began processing the rest today. You tube to the rescue again with video showing how to build and use a 2 food grade buckets and a filter cloth to filter and extract the honey.
|Bucket with honey gate installed and hole cut in lid for filter bucket|
|filter bucket with 3/8 holes drilled|
|honey extractor assembled|
|wax with honey filtering out|
We scraped the foundations into a bowl chopped up the wax and honey put it in the filter and let gravity do the rest. Total cost for the whole set up was about 27 dollars with two food grade buckets filter cloth and honey gate. So far there is about 1 1/2 gallons filtered through which is a lot more than I was expecting.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
The temps felt more like winter this weekend which keeps my fishing partners indoors and make me want to hunt something. Fishing last week BB and I noticed some public land with a mess of ducks and geese just kicking about. We got to thinking it would be a hell of a place to set up and hunt. I was itching to get my waterfowl hunt on having missed every opportunity this year for one reason or another. We recruited my nephew and my buddy Scooter for the adventure then went to work getting gear together. This one was gonna cost us a bit, none of us have our own decoys and everyone else we hunt with using theirs we were gonna have to bite the bullet and get our own. After giving bass pro half a weeks pay we had decoys and a bag. I also threw in a goose call just for fun and also it turns out to drive my dog ape shit. We left out late a little after 4 and arrived at the ponds by 5:45 which would have given us plenty of time to make the long walk lugging our gear and my kayak. Some young bucks got the jump on us and were on the pond we were gonna hunt which added another half mile to our walk and put us hauling ass to get decoys set up and a blind constructed. As it turns out the ducks fly early and I was still paddling out the decoys when the first mallards showed up. They weren't to impressed with the camo fat decoy in the middle of the spread and promptly tore ass out of sight before a shot was made. The geese flew in not to long after as I was removing the yak from the water. I think they caught my blind mates dozing because again no shots were fired. An hour into our hunt I noticed birds landing further down the pond and decided that maybe I could change our luck by taking a little paddle down (and get some blood pumping in my cold hands). I jumped 2 geese with no chance and a little further on I bumped the rest of the flock out at the end. I decided to sit and see if they would come back. By this time we heard a steady flurry of shots coming from the other pond where we had planned to sit, but hey that's how public land works you gotta get there early.On my paddle back our luck finally changed I stopped to relieve myself on shore and heard my guys light em up. They had a group of 5 head in and only one would make it out. Also as it turned out the spot I chose to rest backed up to a smaller pond where our mallard friends were hold up. I busted them but I had the wrong gun in my hands so to speak. It sounded like the guys and girl at the other pond were having an epic day with shots coming right up until lunch. We had a few more birds fly by but nothing would commit. We wrapped up the day around one and began our long trek back to the car. it was an awesome day and we learned plenty about our new spot and what to do better next time. Grins were worn by all and we cant wait to get back on em. We ended our day with 4 geese, one for each of us. The other group only had 6 geese and 2 duck with one duck banded. The y shot a whole lot for only 4 more birds than us but i guess that's how ya learn I'm certainly in no spot to pick on someones wing shooting. I'm still surprised when I pull the trigger and one drops out of the sky.
Cant wait for goose stew in the crock pot this week.
|my paddle down the creek|
|nephew fixing our spread|
|birds in the boat|
|checking out the wing span|