Friday, July 1, 2016

Still Catching Up!

Another pretty damned fine day today. I think it got a little warmer than the weather guessers were predicting because it wasn't as cloudy as they thought but it was still cool enough that I did not wilt in my suit.

I had about 2 months of neglect to catch up on for my poor bee hives. Luckily they are pretty resilient and self sufficient creatures by nature so I don't think I did them any lasting harm.

I figure at this point I have lost about 15 gallons of honey though. Five or so of the hives I should have put another surplus super on about a month ago are now back filling and need some more attention. At least another 3 or 4 hives that needed a new brood chamber or their first honey super swarmed on me so they will take the rest of the season to build back up and the 3 hives over at the orchard are looking pretty light on bees too. I suspect they also swarmed on me but since I haven't cracked them open in over 2 months I am just happy they are still going.

I added a new brood chamber to 2 of the hives and was going to add a third when I discovered I had left my smoker up at the garden hives. I briefly entertained just doing the add without smoke until I cracked the middle and bees came streaming out for the kill. I decided to wait on them since I really didn't want to get them too riled up.

I also switched out four hives from regular telescoping tops to the migratory top entrance covers I like to use.

Here's a pretty good look at one on a bottom I made last year. I place these over the inner cover to give the girls a little air flow and a top entrance so I don't need to clear snow off the hives all Winter. I typically only switch them out to these covers when the hives reach two full brood chambers in size as I think it gives a little too much air flow for the smaller hives.

Some of the hives use em a lot,some of them don't. I assume it depends on whether the girls are filling the lower or upper reaches of the hives at the time. I typically get at least five years of good use out of one of these covers so cost-wise they really are more economical than buying the metal covered ones.

All in all things are returning to normal and I am getting caught back up though. I may even attempt a honey pull in the next week or so and the rain we have gotten is making it look like another hay baling session is fast approaching too. Speaking of rain however the weather guessers are saying rain for the next 3 or 5 days so I may not get much done this holiday weekend.

Can't win em all I guess.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Speaking of Nasty Pests

Once again we got hit with the Barber Pole worms. It came a bit later this year but as soon as it cooled down a bit and we got that rain the other day I noticed three ewes had developed a tell-tale pouch under their chin.

We wormed everyone the first week of April so it hasn't even been three months yet. So I got out the second batch of wormer and got two of the three ewes wormed again but the third one eluded me until this morning. By late afternoon she was already dead.

This is the second year in a row now. Where these nasty parasites came from or how they got out in my pastures is still a mystery to me as we never had an issue with them until the monsoon we had in June last year and it was over three years since we had introduced a new flock member. I guess when ya got 50+ sheep and babies running around you are going to lose one on a pretty regular basis but these worms strike fast and hard and build up an immunity to the wormer used almost immediately which means we have three tries at getting the sheep through the danger period and then we are out of ammo so to speak.

Tomorrow I am dosing the entire flock once again but since this is the second year in a row now I am going to go ahead and start planning a seasonal rotation and dosing every June. This is why my fencing project is so important right now to allow us a greater freedom to move the sheep and isolate an infected pasture immediately. The trouble is timing it to correspond to the proper temperature and humidity/moisture levels I think. If I do it too soon I waste a shot since these worms are so resistant to the wormer and if there are any resistant eggs left and you rotate the flock into a clean field it becomes contaminated.

Up until this point I had hoped that last year was a one off issue and wouldn't return since as I said we never had a problem before and we got all that rain in a short period. Guess I was wrong on that score but I did catch it quick once the first signs began.

The worst part of this is though thinking about what might happen in a long term grid down situation when modern day wormer medicines are not readily available. I shudder to think about it.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I Really Hate These Beetles

Another beautiful day and once again I got off work at my normal time. Of course today I had to go get tags for my truck but believe it or not I walked into the DMV ...... And there was no one there ahead of me!!!! No line at all.

I took a number just to be a smart ass though.

I even had everything I needed for my new tags (really just new stickers) right there in my hand!!!

That whole trip I figure cost me about 6 months worth of good luck but it's worth it.

I then mostly finished up the mowing and trimming that has been neglected for weeks around the Small-Hold and this evening after dinner I hope to mow around the bee hives. It's actually cool enough that putting on the bee suit doesn't fill me with thoughts of dying in a desert or running around in full chemical protection suit while in the army. Man I hated Mob 4 drills.

The only down side was seeing the damage these damned Japanese Beetles are doing to my Apple trees, Grape vines and volunteer corn I am letting grow here and there. These beetles are some kind of super pest. We never had them before until maybe six or seven years ago and then they started multiplying like crazy. The first time I saw one I was like "That's a pretty beetle", now I just wish they would all die.

Since I don't have a big garden this year. Oh who am I kidding I don't really have even a small garden this year and the one we had is now so weed choked thanks to my work schedule it doesn't count anymore. Anyway. With no garden to speak of these beetles are attacking the Apple tree and Grape leaves with a vengeance. I am not totally sure a couple of the smaller Apple trees are going to make it and there isn't a pesticide in the world I have found that works against these things.

After the harsh Winter of 2013 these beetles died off a fair bit but they are back this year in droves. They especially like my Corn when I plant it but Rose bushes and now I find out Apple trees are second on their list of favorite foods.

Damn them straight to Hell!!!

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Pleasant Day!!!

Believe it or not I actually got out of work after only four hours today, the 90 to 100+ degree heat went away and stayed in the lower 80's and the ground is still relatively moist from the rains we got Sunday night.

I just about got all the mowing done at the Small-Hold and brought in a load of wood I had already cut and waiting for me to transport on my way home too.

The down side? Cause ya know there has to be one. The main belt broke on one of my riding mowers so there is another repair charge that's coming down the pike. I ended up towing the thing with the tractor since I was about as far out with it as I need to go when mowing along the road. Somehow I picked up a stick that got wedged in there and ate that belt to shreds.

The rain and the cooler temps sure made the Buckwheat seeds happy because the little strip is now sprouting out like a carpet of green Buckwheat. The forecast looks like it's going to be mild in the lower 80's for a few days with maybe some more rain so it's possible I will start getting blooms within a week or so now. I am also about to the point that I feel safe in harvesting a little honey and after I get the mowing done I can do some much needed bee hive maintenance too. At least three of my hives need some more space and a few need an extra surplus super added I think.

Maybe, just maybe I might be able to get back to the fencing project once again too!!!

I can pretty much write off the main hay field if I don't get those sheep off of it before mid July. Even then if we don't get rain I won't be able to get a cutting off it this year but there is still a chance if I can get the East or the South pasture done before late July and I wait until September to bale the main field.

As it is I mowed right up until it was too dark to see. I figure I got at least three weeks of catch up just to get back to where I should be at this point. If we don't get any rain it will be easier to catch up but harder on everything else.

Keeping my fingers crossed that things are settling down at work and today isn't just an anomaly.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Costly Repairs

I thought about making a post tonight pointing out articles like ISIS recommending that it's lone wolf terrorist strike White Americans so they won't be viewed as racist. Or maybe the group out in Kalifornia that tried to put on the peaceful protest about traditional American values, Christianity and other apple pie type beliefs that were attacked by hundreds of knife wielding "minority" special interest groups. Yet the White group is called NEO-Nazi by the main stream media?

But what's the point really? If we don't "get it" by now we never will and pointing out the obvious just brings in more trolls. Not that I don't enjoy the good troll roast from time to time but right now I am too tired and harried to get into it.

We all know the score.

So last week I ended up putting in 54 hours for a job that was suppose to be 24 a week. Today I was hoping with the new guy I would get out at my normal time. YA how do you think that worked out?

I only worked 9 hours today instead of 11 though!!!!

We had a minor blow out of the computer system and no one could print anywhere. After all the corporate computer guys and a couple of managers ran around for hours they determined where the problem was and announced the printers would be offline until Wednesday morning.

Now I know what happened even though my professional computer and networking experience is about 20 years out of use. They are running some software that has been converted from the old mainframe days and used now on PC's that really only act like the old dummy terminals and the software will only talk to printers set up through the server on the network. However there are still 100's of applications needed daily outside this old software like emails and such were I get my bills of lading for new car deliveries.

I asked if they wanted me to wait until Wednesday morning to check in the new vehicle deliveries and of course all the managers turned white as sheets. At the volume that place throws out we are easily looking at a quarter million bucks per day if I don't get the deliveries on line for them to sell. When they determined that was unacceptable I volunteered to get at least one computer printing so we could get hard copies of the deliveries but they had to promise me immunity from the network administrator when he got back from his day off (which was today of course).

A little digging for the proper USB cables and switching the printers over to directly attach to the PC's and they could print, at least from all the Windows applications, nothing I could do about the old mainframe software being run in the emulator mode off the server unless they really wanted me to start pissing in someone Else's pool.

I am sure the network administrator is not going to be too happy tomorrow about putting the printers back on the network but at least I got all my deliveries printed out :)

This just seems to be the time of year right now for costly breakdowns and repairs for everyone. It's crazy busy at work as we are seeing easily 10x's the volume of service calls and apparently I am not immune either. My little POS get to work car started missing bad the other day. $500.00 for a tune up, new plugs, wires, coils... thank ya very much. Then the starter goes out on the farm truck right when I was starting it up to take it in for it's inspection. $450.00 for a new starter installed and several vacuum hoses replaced that had rotted out, but wait we are not done yet. It also failed the inspection because the ball joints were too loose. Another $450.00.

$1400.00 in repairs in one week.

I guess it's going to be a while before I buy any more implements around here. Guess it's a good thing I am getting all this overtime.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Reading - Let's Call Em What They Really Are.... Parasites

The Brexit vote has met with pretty much the exact type of teeth gnashing and complaining one would expect. Those with a vested interest in keeping the gravy train rolling are pulling their hair out looking for legal tricks to keep it from happening while those in other countries in similar circumstances to the EU who rely solely on government theft and redistribution are pointing to socialist "Benefits" as reasons to shy away from personal responsibility.

You will lose your social security, welfare, pensions, free healthcare etc.

Of course the "globalist" or as they should be called the parasites will lose these benefits anyway. If not from the direct result of a crumbling Ponzi scheme on steroids (which is what these programs really are) then because of a mandatory shift of where the stolen resources go which is already happening. Social security payouts are declining fast on the individual level as inflation continues and the government needs more and more resources for their immigration people replacement hail Mary play program. If you don't receive one of the many government programs, pensions or checks on top of your social security you are already sentenced to an old age of working retirement anyway just to make ends meet.

Either way the end of the Parasite age is not going to be pretty. There isn't any way to sugar coat it at this point either someone has to humble themselves or we all go down the sewer. The only real difference is that as it stands most can either chose to continue to be parasites and sentence their grand children to cultural and racial extinction or sacrifice the luxury and give those children a chance.

There is a third option though which I think most that come here have chosen. We can keep ourselves apart and live in two worlds at once knowing with certainty that at some point the host will be unable to feed the parasites and we must then be prepared to teach those who remain to provide for themselves.

Ultimately the Brexit vote has shown us that the numbers who are now on the financial victim side of this great government wealth redistribution are growing. Enough people are being squeezed that they still out number the parasites so there is some hope at least in Great Britain. Not sure if there are enough non-parasites in the US these days since our government can overspend by so much more. With the rumors of a Texit movement though we might find out.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Almost Done

It appears that I may possibly be getting back to my normal schedule starting next week. The new kid I am training seems to be working out well so there shouldn't be any need for me to be putting in as many hours. Then I can start trying to get some of this stuff I been putting off around here caught up.

This heat wave seems to be waning as well too although I think we are past any chance of a cool day now until September.

I managed to get out of work before 1pm today and then came home and slept all afternoon. I know I know I had a lot of stuff to work on but having already put in 50 hours in four days I needed a nap.

I been letting the flock out into the Western pasture at night the last week because they are not able to get out and forage enough during the day. It's just been too hot for the old girls and a few of them were beginning to get a bit thin for my liking.

The Buckwheat is sprouting but I think the birds did a real number on some of the seed I spread because I am finding an awful lot of broken seed husks laying around out there. I think another seeding  right before a rain may be needed. I thought I had managed to cover most of the seed up with my make-shift harrow but I guess I didn't do as good a job as I thought.

Always something isn't it?

So anyway as I said hopefully things will be back to normal starting this next week with more regular and longer posts, some more fencing project and a better job at replying to comments.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Honey Bee Rant

So I don't hold a degree in etymology, agriculture or any other area that would label me a professional or able to speak on the science of  honey bee health as far as the academics are concerned. I only know what I see in my little part of the world and the data I see from other parts and then attempt to apply my observations to the best of my ability.

Of course this year so far I have been a lousy bee keeper but I must say my hives appear to be quite resilient and other than a few lost swarms and some missed honey the girls all seem to be doing well despite my complete neglect of them.

What gets me is the politics of the "Save the Bees" movement we have going on these days. In my opinion the so-called honey bees dying off movement is little more than a look into the heart of what is wrong with our culture today.

We have the well intentioned but easily fooled and mostly ignorant eco-freaks who are being manipulated by large scale corporate bee keeping outfits and joined by liberal multi-cultist and "native-ist" just to add a bit of their own politics into the thing.

Here's the deal. I am not saying that Neo-whatever herbicides are not a contributing factor but look at the state by state losses of honey bees and a peculiar trend seems to show that those states with the least amount of mono-crop agriculture and the greatest amounts of non-tillable land seem to suffer the least amount of honey bee losses.

Now ask yourself what is the single most widely planted crop in the US?  If you answered Corn you are the winner. Ya know what appeal Corn has to Honey Bees? About none. Wheat? Pretty much zero. Modern day Soybean hybrids... not much either.

Most of the crops that honey bees are required for that are being sprayed are also interestingly enough where you get the huge migratory bee companies trucking in 1000's of hives to pollinate for a few brief weeks then trucking those hives miles and miles to do it again. In the mean time ever seen a video of those large bee companies harvesting honey from those hives? It's wonder any bees are left after they are done.

Yet no one out there seems to ask the question that perhaps the modern day techniques of California style (because let's face it that's where most of this type of agriculture is practiced) mono-cropping and migratory mass bee keeping isn't having an effect as well.

Secondly. I make it a habit of finding out what my bees are foraging off of. Very little of it would be considered a cash crop honestly. My girls like the Clovers, ditch flowers and trees more than anything else. Yet year after year I see roadsides and wild areas full of Crown Vetch and clover crops killed off and replaced with so called "Native" grasses by the government urges on the eco-freak back to nature Native-ist types.

Wonder if that is having an effect?

Honey Bees as we know them evolved and adapted to a specific type and style of keeping, agriculture and terrain. Why does it surprise everyone so much that the further and faster we change to different types of those things the honey bees have a problem keeping up?

Some in the movement want to keep their gravy train going I understand that. Some hate big agriculture and herbicide/Monsanto like stuff... I understand that too. Some just hate anything manipulated by man with a large part of them hating anything groomed by a European White Man more than anything else on the planet....

I got news for the last group. Honey Bees, the useful, productive, non-lethal breeds ARE from Europe. Same as your beloved horses BTW. AND they each require traditional European style agriculture to thrive.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!