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Friday, June 13, 2014

almost catching bees

I came home from work the other day and found a swarm of bees in a tree.  It was already past 7 PM but I knew I could not wait to capture them. 
I didn't build the trap that I intended to build last summer.  It was put on the back burner and then forgotten.  I had purchased the parts and in my mind I had figured out how to build it.  But ... as with so many things over this past year it just didn't get done. 
We put together a collection tool and (thankfully) I suited up to collect these bees.  I forgot one important step, to spray the bees with sugar water.  They were MAD and went after me.  I wore dark pants so they went after my legs.  I don't know how may times I was stung ... but quite a few.  I got as much of the swarm as I could but I didn't get it all.   (I am SO thankful for the homeopathic remedies that took the pain and swelling away as soon as I took it)
I went back to the tree an hour or so later and found that all the bees had returned to the initial swarm in the tree.  I didn't get the queen!!!!  It was to late (dark) to attempt another capture. 
I was hoping that the swarm would stay in the tree the next day while I was at work.  Unfortunately they didn't stay.  When I got home from work they swarm was gone.  That swarm was worth $150  ... and it just flew away.  I was pretty darn sad!!!!
I lost 3 hives of bees this winter ... this is the biggest lost I have ever sustained and it appears I will not be able to recover it. 

Catching up.

I haven't felt much like writing over the last year ... this has been a really rough year.  Loosing children to anger is beyond comprehension. 
Our neighbor has been hatching our baby chickens the last couple of years.  They have this wonderful professional incubator that does all the work for them.   I brought her 42 eggs, We got 70+ chicks back from her.  She decided to add some of her eggs to the mix.  YIKES They were so cute when they were small ... but now that they are getting bigger we just don't have the room for them. They are stinky and nasty and need a LOT more room.  We are going to start butchering them off or selling them or something!!!!  We need the room.
Several years ago we "rescued" three chickens from some kids who got them at a festival and didn't realize chickens require work.  One of them died but we still have Pee Wee and our Rooster Bubba.  A few weeks ago I was putting the chickens to "bed"  but could not find Bubba.  I could hear him.  He was under the shed and crowing ... but his voice sounded small and meek.  We could not get him to come out.  All of our sheds are on skids so there is a space for chickens to get under them.  Phil decided to dig him out but we were able to coax him out after a bit and didn't have to big him out. 
When we got him out from under the building we realized how awful he looked.  His tail feathers were gone and he looked like a broken man.  He was hardly able to walk. 
We realized that he must have been in a fight with our other younger rooster "Rooster Cogburn".  We carried him into the chicken yard and knew that we were correct.  The two instantly went at one another again.  We separated them for safety and kept them apart for the next week.  Bubby would cower when he walked close to the fence where Rooster was caged.  In fact he would not even walk close to the fence for days. 
We tried to sell Rooster and tried to give him away.  No takers.  In the end we decided to butcher Rooster and keep Bubba.  I never really realized the drama in the chicken yard until this experience.