The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Bee hive nearly ready to split

Bee larvae

Extracting honeyThe hive is filling up their brood box fast.  When I checked on the bees at the end of last week, they had four full frames of brood, making me think that they might be strong enough to split in a week or so.  For those of you new to bees, the photo above shows capped brood (the brown stuff) nearly ready to hatch out into adults along with mid-sized larvae (the pale grubs) nearly ready to be capped for metamorphosis.  And adult bees tending the babies, of course.

Meanwhile, I snagged two big frames of honey to extract.  Since we had two hives die over the winter, the apiary contains far more honey than the bees can use, and we went through last summer's 4.5 gallons of honey astonishingly quickly.  I gave away perhaps a quarter of it and also started baking our butternut squash pies with honey, which put quite a dent in the stores.  With only half a cup left on the shelf, I was glad to be able to jar up two more quarts to tide us over.

Our chicken waterer never spills or fills with POOP.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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