Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Cup of Bees and a Missing Donkey

The heat and evil humidity returned with a vengeance today so much so that I almost wrote today off and hid inside in the AC but I had two things on my list. Well actually three but I will save number three for last.

First was either look into that swarm trap that had bees in it from weeks ago and move them into an actual hive which could be a real pain if it turns out to be a big swarm or brush hog the pasture.

The last duty of the day is to find the donkey. She has disappeared it seems.

I finally decided to get the bees sorted out first since it was a bit more pressing than the pasture right now. I didn't get any pictures of the inside of the box because I just haven't mastered the whole taking pictures while in a bee suit skill and I couldn't talk anyone else into doing it.

Inside the trap is maybe a cup full of bees. They have made a fairly impressive amount of comb but no queen in there with them to use it. I have seen this before and I suspect it is the remains of a swarm that moved on and left some scouts behind that were out when the main body moved on. I will let this group of bees live out their remaining few weeks in there and then put the trap up when it is over. No sense disrupting a hive just to add a few bees to it.

After being out in the suit the thought of running around in the heat on the tractor was right out so I decided to look for the donkey.

I never did find her. With all this rain we have been getting the entire back half of the pasture is so dense with 8 foot or higher Johnson Grass and other massive vegetation I couldn't even push through it. You would think with only 20 some odd acres to search I could find one missing donkey but I came up empty handed. It was like pushing through a rain forest jungle. I did get a whiff or two of something dead but could not pin point it and I suspect if she had died the Turkey Vultures would give her location away with little doubt.

It has been days since anyone has seen her though. Her special little donkey-sized shelter hasn't been used and she hasn't shown up for grain ration time either. If she had gotten out the old girl can only move at like 1/2 a mile an hour top speed and the neighbors would see her in their field regardless. I really just don't know where she could be. I suppose it is possible she finally gave in to old age down in there.I know  I have come across the remains of deer that had been wounded and died in the back pasture and no one ever knew they were back there or smelled the remains so maybe that is what happened. The coyotes have been running in that pasture a lot the last week so perhaps they made short work of her remains?

All I can say is if she has passed on she had one hell of a life. I know that donkey is well over 40 years old because I was only 12 or so when she first came to us and she seemed old even back then.

Perhaps she will turn up yet. This isn't the first time she has disappeared for a few days on her own in the back oft he pasture and refused to come up for grain although it has been the longest stretch so far that I know of.

I will keep everyone posted.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. Jesus rode that donkey! Maybe he called it home.
    I have lost our big draft horse before and it is surprising how well they blend into any cover, I finally just listen for him walking and can find him.
    I had to fire shots around a bear this afternoon as it had come over the palletsade and then tore a hole in the chicken fence. The chickens gathered together and didn't run but stood their ground making noise. That and their natural stink must have not been worth it for the bear who seemed attracted to the coop where eggs had been broken occasionally. Anyway it ran back through the hole and over the palletsade after a few more shots. Nothing to eat so maybe it won't be back.

  2. know anyone with a camera drone to fly over the pasture?
    maybe caught in fence and can't get loose?

  3. Vultures, coyotes, bears (Sunnybrook Farm), ....crikey but your part of the world sounds a lot wilder than ours.... we don't have any large predatory animals, just foxes, and weasels / stoats. In the Pyrenees mountains there are now wolves and bears when for years there weren't any, but it is hardly likely that they will get to where we are.
    'A cup full of bees'..... glad that you are letting them live their lives out. It was the right thing to do. I would have willingly put my bee suit on to take some photos for you!

  4. You need one of those hands-free cameras to put on the top of your bee hat.

    I didn't know donkeys lived long lives. She's a nice looking donkey. I hope you find her soon.


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