Friday, April 5, 2013

The Hectic Time

Sorry for missing a post day. We may see more of that depending on the weather because it has finally, yes finally, warmed up enough and dried out enough for me to get some real work done. The bees that remain are now being fed syrup and taking every drop I give them too I might add. The warmer days and above freezing nights means they have time to change the syrup over to fake honey once again and feed themselves. Not ideal nor sustainable I know but better than starving. I also put a stop to the scavenger coon I had at the North Apiary. No I didn't ambush him but I moved the feeders into the hives now that it is consistently warming up enough that I can pop the tops and refill daily. No more entrance feeders for him to steal or open feeders to raid.

I still don't know if the fourth hive that was hit so hard by Winter losses has a queen. They are foraging and taking syrup but no pollen coming in yet. Once it warms up enough for a full Spring inspection I will make the final decision on what to do about them. Of course their numbers are sooooo depleted they may have more pollen stored than they need at the moment.

The Box Elder, Peach, Apricot and Pear buds are opening at last. This afternoon I saw the first one that you can say is more opened than closed. Still not much activity from the apples or Redbuds however but all the fields around the Small-Hold are covered in purple Dead Nettle and Henbit blooms.

Actually I am kinda surprised the neighboring farmers haven't plowed them under the last couple of days. Not sure why they are waiting. One did put in some Spring wheat a couple of weeks ago but usually the others would be on the first round of field prep by now, especially since the ground is just the right moisture level right now and rain is predicted as moving in tomorrow night.

Right now I am in full reaction mode only. When the timing and weather are just right I have to jump NOW or I may have to wait for weeks before I can do certain things that need doing. Yesterday was getting all the bee feeding arrangements in place and finishing the fence line clear followed by an evening of finishing up the Winter reloading project. Yes my friends I am sure you thought I would never get those two projects finished but I did.  The fence line is gone and graded down smooth, all the posts, wire and other junk that had been cast into it completely cleaned up. I also stored away 1000 rounds of .223 almost completely pressed out from scavenged range brass and 600 rounds of .38 all with my own hand cast bullets. That may not seem like much to some but the case prep and trimming of .223 scavenged range brass is very time consuming and casting 600+ bullets isn't a quick job either, and that's not mentioning letting them harden then lubing and sizing each one. Of course I didn't push myself all that much really either. If it was too cold for my little space heater in the shop or not very pleasant outside I didn't work on either project.

It was cold enough this Winter that I did huddle inside quite a bit I must admit.

Today was spent grading out some Winter ruts around the place and removing about three truck loads of 50+ year old manure from the loafing shed out in the pasture. The ground was dry enough to make the job easy today with my little tractor and blade. I also hauled half a dozen RR-Ties and placed them along the edge of the new drive I am putting in to the barn so the gravel won't spread out.

Tomorrow I have two jobs that MUST be finished before the predicted rains get here. I have to get that pile of manure/dirt hauled out and placed into the raised beds and the garden needs to get the early Spring tilling it deserves. After those two jobs are completed I can then go back to cleaning out the hive boxes that died and building the storage shelves since I can work on those even when the ground is wet. Since I am determined to adjust to 20 horse power or less tractors I am also without a front loader so the raised bed dirt will have to be hand shoveled into the truck bed. Ya I am looking forward to that.

Anyway, got to get it done while you can so back to work.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


  1. PP,

    I'm happy to hear your scavenger has been stopped. Those coons can be a royal pain in the butt. They love bird seed, a while back we caught an entire family on top of a porch table eating bird seed.

    You're saving yourself money by reloading your own ammunition. Ammo is hard to come by in most places, having the ability to reload is great for prepping. Like you, we go to the range and pick up shells for reloading. I say there is nothing better than being frugal when ever possible. Hubby has reloading materials but always keeps his eyes open for other sized dies.

    Looks like everyone is ready to pounce on getting out of the house and get started on their gardens and raised beds. Thank God the weather is starting to change and feel like Spring. I started working on my front boxes today, tomorrow it's raised bed time.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Great update. We too are busy. I will post an update tomorrow.

  3. No apologies necessary. Sometimes real life takes the time of even a terrific blog.

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