Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Monday, September 15, 2014

Murder and Mayhem

Chicken Update - I think a hawk got one of the triplets.  That's the only thing I can figure out happened - here one day and gone the next.  I did find some feathers near the bee hives so guess he/she stopped there to have a little snack.  The neighbors dogs got in the yard and chased one of the hens till she just had a heart attack (my diagnosis).  The neighbor did take the chicken to the vet but she passed away on the way there.  This was one of the original Americanas.  Lily was inside and those damn dogs bark all the time anyhow and I guess she figured it was a normal day.  Those dogs (dachshunds - I think she has four or five) are annoying as hell on a good day but this just about put me over the top! 
So I have six hens now and only two that are laying (the triplets minus one so now they are twins) on any kind of regular basis.
It has been a tough year so far for so many, many reasons. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall Bee Checkup

Yesterday Mr. Ellis came and we checked the hives.  I have not taken any honey this year and have really not taken very good care of the bees.  It was a pleasant surprise to find all the hives full of bees, food and looking good for going into the winter.
Did move the super from Hive #6 to Nuc #2.  Hive #6 has two brood boxes (deeps, whatever you call them) and they still had room in the top brood box.  Nuc #2 was full so this will give them some room.  Hive #4 and Nuc #1 looked good. Did see some drones - they'll be gone soon - better enjoy their priviliged life while they're still around.
Treated all the hives with Apilife VAR for varroa mites.  It's the least invasive treatment you can use that I know of and since I'm not getting any honey this year, now was the time.  Apilife Var is formulation of Thymol, Eucalytol, Menthol, and Camphor.
I'll recheck the bees in about three weeks and retreat again.