Two Minute Tip: What are Hog Ring Pliers?

I remember the first time I heard about hog ring pliers, or more accurately, hog rings. I somehow managed to picture a ring in the nose of a hog… like the rings you see in bulls noses. I am not sure why I generated that mental image, but I did. ┬áHere is a quick tip about what they are, and how to use them.

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The Queen is Dead!

Another dead queen in the hive. She never made it out of the cage. It’s a sad day.

 

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Requeening a Beehive, and a Dead Queen Honeybee

As you know, I somehow managed to go queenless in two hives in the rear apiary. After talking to several folks around here, several somehow went queenless this spring. Not sure what caused it, but either way, I had to order some new queens.

I ordered two queens from Kelley Beekeeping. They arrived a few days later, and to my dismay, one queen was dead… very dead. The other looked great. I promptly called Kelley and was quite pleased with their prompt attention to the matter. My new queen is already on the way. Here, I show you how to install a queen into a queenless hive.

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Queenless Hive Inspection, and an Unexpected Attack on the Hive

I have two queens arriving tomorrow. I ordered them, having been pretty sure I somehow went queenless in both of my hives. This is a quick inspection to verify that I am actually still queenless. Also, a bumblebee (or perhaps a carpenter bee, I need to do some looking) decided it would be wise to stroll into the hive for a snack. The girls did not like it. That was an impressive sight.

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Crenshaw Mississippi Honey Bee Swarm Removal

While I was out hanging gates for the new chicken yards today, I got a phone call. I answered the phone and the fella on the line says he has a “bunch of bees on a tree.” I asked him a few questions, and he said he figures they are about a foot wide and two feet long. I had him text me the address and we headed on out. As I drove there, about 30 minutes or so, I was thinking that sounded like a big swarm. Jherica’s friend, Layla, was with us. She figured the guy was exaggerating, like people do when they fish. Her words, not mine.

Anyway, turns out the guy was not exaggerating. It was a big swarm, and we were lucky to get it. He said he noticed it a few days ago. We even got the opportunity to let his son ‘pet’ the bees. He had just finished a project in school about honey bees, and was happy to see them up close. It was a bit swampy, so I felt a bit like JPTheBeeMan.

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Cattle Panel Grape Arbors

After watching Daddykirbs Farm and J&J Acres create arbors using cattle panels, I decided to make some of my own. I had to change things up a bit due to the span I had to cover. We are looking forward to a good harvest this year.

 

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Composting Cow Manure

We picked up a load of fresh… as in really fresh… cow manure. I needed to add to my compost pile, as I anticipate the need for a lot of good compost next spring. This stuff is too hot to use this year, so I put it out to cook down a bit. Watch it HERE.

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Worm Castings vs. Fish Fertilizer Experiment Part Three

A quick update on the experiment.

 

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Interesting View of the Homestead

I decided to take a look at the land from above…. about 200′ above. It has undergone some changes since this image was taken. This is our view from Google Earth.

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Checking on the Bee Carnage (Hive and Queen Cell Inspection)

I had a chance to take a quick look in the hives today. I needed to figure out what was going on with the dead bees, well, the halves of dead bees I found yesterday on the hive cover. After all that, the mystery rages on. Check it out HERE

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