The hens with chicks got an apartment reno. It was time to retire those battered old boxes. So I set up a new condo system, each with a little bed of hay. But will they use them?All the other chickens came and inspected of course. Well, I left the most popular box, double occupancy in a pinch.Oh! A promising amount of attention.Look Mom, we found a new place!They approved. 2/3 were occupied, and it was much nicer to transport these boxes with closed lids.
Chocolate and the white chocolates started out in a new box, but ended up in the old box.One of Foxy’s chicks (the biggest set) is cute, with the little neck beard,and dark brown cape. I’m pretty sure he’s a little rooster, with those big thick legs. He looks like a small turkey.
I’ve been assembling bee supers and frames. They look so nice, all fresh.
The idea is that if the bees are ready to swarm this year (so far they are thriving and vital, so I’m hoping for the best), that there will be a move-in-ready apartment conveniently right next door!
My idea is to leave the bottom super empty, maybe a couple frames in the top box, to be spacious like a swarm box. Since I haven’t built a swarm box yet, I need to build supers anyway, and I want to have something ready in the event of a sudden swarm, then this is a better-than-nothing measure.
I was assembling frames in my tiny camper, and stocking them outside, when the robber bees arrived. They were doing their nervous, zigzag robber bee thing, investigating the new wax frames with enthusiasm.
More and more bees arrived (they were uncannily camera shy though). I started to get nervous, and promptly put up a box in the field for them to inspect.
They haven’t made any moves on it, but they know it’s there.
This has been such a drab, cold!, protracted spring, that there hasn’t been a day warm enough for me to make a full hive inspection. I feel like I should. I am heartened that it takes a long time to find a Varroa mite on the bottom board, they are sucking back the syrup I give them, and they have at least doubled last year’s numbers, judging by the comings and goings. So far they seem to be caring for themselves quite well. I hope I can give them a third super in time.
The girls are almost due to start popping out eggs, so it was time to give them boxes. I was quite happy to repurpose a decrepit pile of assorted drawers, feed boxes, and hutches, formerly used for a rabbit raising op. Chickens aren’t fussy, and what the assortment of boxes lack in beauty they make up for in saving time.
We just tacked them back together where they were falling apart and tacked them to the walls however they would fit, and presto, chicken condos!
Also a deluxe new pole near the ceiling for them to roost on, since they crowd together every night, teetering on the highest point of the branch. I think height on the branch equals status.