Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Reading - All Hives Accounted For

Since I didn't get back from my car delivery until well after midnight last night and today was forecast to be one of those rare 60+ degree days, with Sunshine for a change. I decided to put off wood cutting for one weekend because I needed to do a bit of hive maintenance, feeding and checking.

As of today I can say all hives have so far survived the cold period to date. I pulled the tops off of all 13 hives, gave each about a pound of sugar for emergency food and finished putting on the Winter covers on the two hives I keep down the road at the Peach orchard. I had forgotten to put their Winter covers on so I needed a warm day to get them caught up.

The bees were out in full force today as well. Flying around all the hives in huge clouds coming and going. Taking out dead bees, filling up cracks between boxes. I even saw a few girls here and there bringing in a dull orange pollen from somewhere. Not sure what would be pollinating this time of year but something must be.

Only one of the 13 hives was actually up in the top cover hitting the sugar and it was pretty obvious they had just started because most of it was still there.

I wired up the wind break a little better until the girls flying got a bit annoyed that I was so close to their hive. I decided to wait until it cools off in the next few days to finish after one managed to find her way up under my hat. She didn't sting me but was obviously not happy with my presence.

So the hives should pretty well be set now until after the first of the year. I will start watching the forecasts closely and hope for another warm day in January to add more sugar. It's hit or miss sometimes whether the hives actually use the sugar, some do and some don't. I have seen hives completely starve out and never touch the dry sugar on top and I have seen some hives stuffed to the gills with stores and still use all the sugar. I figure sugar is pretty cheap so why not give em some when I can just in case.

It hasn't been exceptionally cool really this Winter so far but there have been very few days warm enough for the girls to take cleansing flights or do a  bit of foraging.  At least I know they are all still alive and kicking after the move though.

I got the circuit box hooked up to the electric meter and installed now. I put the cardboard over it in case anyone happens to go in there to look at my handy work, I don't want em screwing with it because it is very much hot. I will start the rest of the wiring this afternoon I think, then comes my least favorite part of insulating. I really hate messing with that itchy insulation.

I split a huge load of wood yesterday before leaving on my trip and then took the log splitter down the road to be worked on. I am not sure what is wrong with it but I cannot open the choke all the way out without killing the engine. I know it's not the air filter because I put a new one in so it must be the carburetor getting gunked up or perhaps the fuel filter. Anyway whatever it is is intricate enough I would rather pay an expert than take the thing apart myself. If it was on one of my lawnmowers I might try it myself just for the experience but not my log splitter in December. To high on the must work priority list for my comfort level right now.

All in all it was just one of those great days though. All the critters were out enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. Winter preps are now completely finished and it's time to start getting mentally prepared for the really cold months of January and February since all the physical stuff is out of the way.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. We have a few dandelions hugging the ground, could be they found some of those.
    Probably a tiny piece of dirt in the carb, might try taking the bowl off or the plug out and flushing it out. They make the holes too small and the fuel too dirty. My next small engine will get a fuel filter first thing.

    1. Sf - There are a few dandelions poking out here and there so maybe that's where they got the pollen from. It very well maybe the fuel flter. The guy I use is reasonable enough I am going to just let him do it. That splitter needs to be done right lol so my inept small engine skills are not going to touch it.

  2. Or, if it does have a filter (my splitter does) maybe it's clogged. Might try fresh gas too.

    1. MV - Oh it gets fresh gas every time it's used and it's always treated with seafoam. It still works and gets better after it warms upa bit but I can tell it isn't running the way it always has up till now. I am betting the fuel filter or carb though as I check everything else regularly and it's been about the right amount of time for that.

  3. PP,

    Glad to hear your bee hives are doing well, and restocked with enough sugar to get you through the 1st of the new year.

    Having a professional checkout your wood splitter will probably speed things up for you too being that your called out to deliver vehicles. Enjoy the warmth while it lasts :-)

    1. Sandy - Ya I have just come off of working three of the last four days and putting in almost a full work week in those three days actually. The guy who works on my small engines is a wizard with them as well.


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