Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Another Very Busy Day
It was another one of those days were I barely had time to stop and take a breather. The Son had to get his bank account set up for direct deposit even though he hasn't actually signed anything with the National Guard yet, apparently it is a requirement or something before they will send you off to testing and the physical. We then swung by the hardware store for three sheets of foam insulation for the bee hives. I went ahead and splurged and bought the expensive pink stuff backed with the moisture barrier since I hoped it would cut easier since it was much denser than the white stuff. Then we went to the feed store. Grandma came with us as she said she was bored down at her place.
I asked the guy at the feed store if he had any cattle prods and after Grandma threatened him he said he didn't. I think he was lying.
Finally making it home it took me a few hours to cut the sheets into the proper sizes and then the rest of the daylight left to get them duct taped around each hive. It was cold enough that only a couple of bees came out investigating what all the ruckus was about and they quickly went back inside. None of the girls attempted to attack my face.
I hope this idea works and the foam insulation holds up for a few years. I have used hay bales, wind breaks and black paper wraps on the hives and none of it really makes it more than a year. By Summer it is worn out, falling apart and no longer useable and frankly it is an expense I would like to get out from under without investing serious money and time in something more permanent. If this foam holds up even buying the expensive backed stuff will come out to less than $3.00 per hive. Any type of permanent wind break is a trade off as it will block the sun and may cause more pest problems in the Summer.
One of the disadvantages of keeping bees in the Midwest is we have to deal with not only the Summer heat just as bad as our Southern neighbors but we also get the long bitter cold snaps just like our Northern neighbors as well.
I didn't cover the entire hives on the larger colonies just the bottom two brood chambers. Still an extra half inch of Owens Corning foam insulation should minimize the wind and cold effects. I hope. The Bee ball is usually situated over the brood frames anyway and will only break up when it is warm enough to climb higher in the hive to retrieve food. The danger is when we either have a cold snap long enough that the girls cannot break the ball to get food or that Winter goes so long they run out of food completely.
The latter happened to me last year when it was too cold to open the hives and feed them. I hope with the insulation and the extra deep tops to avoid that problem this year.
I really don't want to lose any hives to Winter this year so I am going the extra mile.
When I got back home I was out in one of the sheep paddocks fishing out some concrete blocks they exposed with the brush eating and a guy drives up with a freezer in the back of his truck trying to sell me some beef. These guys come in all the time and pester me until I finally send em packing however this time I was amused as here I am surrounded by about 30 of this years lambs, more than half of them already have an approaching date with the butcher, and this salesman comes up asking me if I eat alot of beef.
I'm like dude (looking around at all the lambs) what do you think?
I think that takes some confidence to walk up to a guy who obviously grows his own stock and try and sell him meat. Sure maybe it was beef but that's like trying to sell a chevy to a guy who owns 14 Fords in his driveway. I mean a little beef now and again is welcomed but don't try and sell me half a cow when I got enough lamb on the hoof to last a year.
This guy wouldn't take no for an answer however. I next tried the old "Have to ask the wife cause she does all the grocery shopping" trick. An outright lie but he didn't know that.
He countered with "If your wife mowed the lawn for you would you be mad?"
I said "Yes because I would then have to fix the mower because she forgot to check the damned oil before using it".
He actually didn't have a come back for that one and finally consented to leave.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!