bees snugged II

The bees are all wrapped now, after getting their insulation.

This time I tried to wrap the tar paper so that it was sealed and went up under the flange of the beehive lid, so in theory the water sheds over the tar paper wrap, but I can still get the lid off anytime. We’ll see.

I put a piece of tape on the corner before doing the fold so the paper doesn’t tear- that worked well.

Like gift wrapping. The paper is all folded down tight and taped to the eke. That lid is upside down by the way, just for while I work.

That’s what it looks like inside- the straw, and the bottle of bee syrup that they can access from the hole in the inner cover.

Here the lid’s back on.

Hello bee!

The bees were out, because it was a nice day (about a month ago). They were flying and curious.

Hello bees!

When I wrap them all up they are shut in entirely for a few minutes before I cut their doors open again.

Bees at the door

This one is done. Except I have a bigger sheet of ply I put over the lid like a second, bigger lid.

The one in the background has not been done yet:)

Will they winter?

This year I have three hives to winter for the first time, since I purchased a second hive (nuc) this year, and I had one split (dramatically) and caught the swarm. I also have three sizes. 1,2,3 – my largest is three supers (Violet), and Pansy is one super. I’ve only lost a hive once, so I’m currently one for three, so this year will be interesting, based on the size of each hive, and of course the weather is the biggest factor. I’m also hopeful that being able to feed them in warm windows and replace the straw if it gets wet will be a boon.

Boxed In day

You’re doing it wrong.

I’m feeling boxed in

This little rooster is cerebrally challenged. In other words, he’s kinda dumb.

The last surviving rooster of the refugees from the horrible, terrible chicken place (all the hens recovered and relearned how to chicken, although they are all super small), he gets to stay in with the hens because of his beautiful colouring and mild, meek attitude. His brains, on the other hand, leave something to be desired.

The Colonel is at large in the GH, still the ruler of the roost, and boy is he kept busy teaching the young roos some manners. One flying drop kick at a time.

We’re goin’ to China, kids

It’s the chicks’ debut. Everyone comes to look.

Ursa’s first day in the chickery: she celebrated her first day out of the broody box as the hens always do, with a vigorous dirt bath.

This is how you dig a hole!

I placed her in the former location of the peat bag (the over flow spot), for premium dirt bathing.

The kids start to come around, Hey, I’m kinda cold, can I get under you?

Nope!

Stand back, kids, mama’s getting her bath on!

She’s like a round fur tornado, spraying everything down with dirt. Evidently, it feels incredible.

How about now?!
Maybe…..
No, not done yet!

Chickyback ride!

There are now an astonishing TEN unseasonal chicks. Ursa has four, and the other hen has six. Only the two of them stuck out broodiness to the end; all the others gave up (thankfully!)

I’m coming up there!

Ursa has graduated to spending days in a chickery, so the other mama is in the bigger corner coop suite, for a few days, as her chicks are more freshly hatched. A couple are brand new out of the egg.

I think this is Chocolate, but I’ll have to check photos to be sure:)

Only the white ones show up in the low light coop. There are four others under her- brown, black and grey.

Chicks are adorable; it’s hard not to get attached, as they have a hard time not falling over backwards taking a drink, and pile up in the food dish and then wonder what to do.

It’s possible, but to be realistic – it’s unlikely for them all to survive, born in the winter like this.

You never know.

the morning owl

This owl was in the walnut tree, lurking on the greenhouse.

I need to get in there.  I will learn how it opens.

Then it flew to the nearby treeline to watch me, and the treetops above where it perched just filled with small birds of various kinds, including grosbeaks. I wonder what they were planning.

Inside there’s a new pile of chips. It’s not a party in a bag, but they work away at a new pile of chips pretty steadily.

Nosey likes it
Their feet sink down into it. It’s like a pile of leaves.

Happy about living naturally