2013 begins

The chickens hate the snow.

The chickens hate the snow.

A new year and an entirely different ballgame. In my last post way back on December 20th I posed the question Where the heck is the cold weather? Someone must have been listening because that question has been answered. We got a healthy dumping of snow Wednesday 12/23/12 and since then the temperatures have plummeted with lows down into the teens and Accuweather’s “real feel” temperature being reported in the single digits. In the last week and a half our little homestead has been transformed into a winter wonderland. I don’t know how all of the bees are coping but the chickens hate it.

Hive Site 01

Hive Site 01

Since all of the snow arrived I have not had access to some of my hive sites. I finally made it to Site 01 one day last week. Though covered with snow all of them were humming. 1005, the hive in the middle has holes drilled in the center of the deeps. Some of the holes have been occluded completely with propolis, but I could clearly see bees in there clustered moving ever so slightly. Though the bottom entrances were covered with snow they were left alone. All three hives have top entrances so I am not concerned with snow removal from the bottom one. I peeked up under the telescoping outer covers and all three top entrances were unobstructed. I will be trying to make it to other hive sites soon.

2013-01-02 Around House 03I have determined that I hate not having bees at my house. I miss looking out my back window and seeing them there. Since moving them away in preparation for some 2013 splits some events have occurred adding to the craziness that will be 2013. This year we will be building a house and moving. During the last several weeks I have been going through the old dilapidated house that is currently there salvaging what I can. That will continue for the next several weeks during any off time. Along with that my wife and I are expecting a new little beekeeper in the early Spring of 2013. According to the latest ultrasound it is supposed to be a little boy. We are both very excited. There are a myriad of projects that must be completed in 2013. I have a list, but won’t bore you with it.

How am I going to get everything accomplished? Heck if I know, but as always I will find a way. To everyone I wish you a Happy New Year. I hope your hives are all holding out and you have interesting things to look forward to in 2013!

Have anything interesting you would like to share?


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8 Responses to 2013 begins

  1. Mil says:

    Happy new year, Jason, and congrats on the newest helper to the apiary! When you wrote that you hate not having bees in the backyard, I understood. I am now used to having them and watching them out the window from time to time.

    What are the plans for the new house? Sounds very exciting.

    One of our hives didn’t make it, but strong ‘ole Hive 2 is already bringing in pollen! We will be going up North to forage for black trumpet mushrooms. Oh, and we are going back to France, but this time we plan to visit some bees in Provence and hopefully Italy, if possible.

    Happy new year,

    • Jason says:

      Plans are for a two story with a basement. We are looking for an architect right now. Holly, has been sketching out rough plans. She wants a SUPER-KITCHEN and I do too. I have an old thrashing table that used to be my grandparents. It is almost 12 feet long when all of the leaves are in it. The kitchen must accommodate the table. I will be refinishing it this Spring (when I get time hahahahah).

      My most important feature is going to be in the basement. I need to be able to accommodate multiple wine barrels and room to process ferment AND PRESS fruit matter.

      Sorry to hear about a hive fatality. Look at the bright side. Before you leave on your trip clean out that woodenware and get a new colony in there. I envy you on your European trips. Holly wants to go to Europe so badly. She was lamenting just the other night that she doesn’t think we will ever get there because of all of our animals. I need to make that happen for her. HAVE FUN and tell us about it on your blog.

      Happy new year to you too.

      • Mil says:

        When you say SUPER KITCHEN, do you mean a chef’s kitchen? Ah, I envy you this new kitchen. We have a 1920’s bungalow with some rather ugly 1970’s fixtures. Let’s just say the 20s and 70s clash! 🙂 Plus, we have a cut-out in the kitchen floor covered with plywood and another hole too. I guess we will trade envies…

        Where in Europe do you want to go?

        I didn’t know you made wine. How cool! The closest I’ve gotten is my NOCINO liqueur made with neighborhood black walnuts.

        And thanks for the beekeeping inspiration too. 🙂

        • Jason says:

          I really don’t know what constitutes a chef’s kitchen. She wants a place that will facilitate all of the food processing we currently do, but do it more comfortably and economically. When we CAN we usually are talking lots of 50-100 (sometimes 200) jars whether they be quarts or pints. I make a mess of kitchens…. 🙂 Some may find it gross, but we process a lot of game IN our house. We processed and packaged 4 deer here in the utility room and kitchen in late November.

          Photobucket” alt=”196 Quarts of Potatoes in 2010″ />

          Also Holly typically cooks in large batches. On Sundays she will cook 2 – 4 large meals. When done she puts the completed dishes in the refrigerator. This makes the kitchen a major mess only 1 day a week. The rest of the week she warms things up at supper time. That way even when our schedules get hectic we still get home cooked meals and cuts down on the handwashing of large dishes.

          Holly wants to go through Italy. She loves to read about the Roman Empire and would like to walk the streets of Rome. I would like to go to Germany. That is where my family came from and it has a storied beekeeping history.

          Thanks for reading.

  2. Anita says:

    Congrats on the new beekeeper and the house! Sounds like 2013 will be an exciting year for you. Did you drill the holes in the hive in the picture? Is the ventilation better than the others or have you noticed a difference?

    • Jason says:

      The jury is out on those holes. The reason they are there is because I bought a ton of used equipment the first year I was beekeeping off of the same guy I got my extractor from. It is very popular in this area to drill those holes in deep hive bodies.

      In the future I am abandoning this practice. I like using top entrances instead. I will say at times the bees really do seem to enjoy using those holes, I just hate drilling holes in perfectly good woodenware. I used to plug them with corncob or cork in the winter, but after seeing feral hives overwinter in old abandoned buildings that look like swiss cheese I didn’t plug them this year.

  3. Jeff says:

    Wow! Everything sounds great, and congats on the new beekeeper!
    I have dabbled in some wine making also, but so far I haven’t gotten past just simple grape juice, yeast and sugar recipies, shaken up and left to ferment.

    • Jason says:

      I will try to ferment anything I can get my hands on… 🙂

      In about 2001 or 2002 we had a bunch of extra sweet corn. Made a strange tasting wine.

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