Just another loungey Sunday on the wee homestead and sharing some of the love with y’all!
The dogs are off for a swim in the pond, their favorite time of day, right after breakfast and dinner. The pastured pigs come up to greet the group, hoping we brought treats, no doubt. They are looking much more slender now that they are only foraging.
Papi’s back on track, thank heavens! After a big scare, where we were planning for his death, a great resurrection now follows. We took him back to the vet, they replenished him with fluids by IV, and coaxed out a football-sized hardened stool. I know this issue was caused by the prescribed meds, so this time when he got home with a new set of pills, we threw them all in the trash.
He’s again his old sassy self and it really does seem like a miracle after how despondent he was—wouldn’t eat or drink, was vomiting and not pooping, would hardly move, wouldn’t even whine or bark, though he’s normally very expressive—we really thought he was checking out for good. He’s back and still trying to lead the pack.
The garden is growing great, the green beans and melons are looking particularly impressive this year (so far that is, never count your melons before they hatch). I’ve just harvested our first cucumbers, with tomatoes soon to follow. The bees sound as pleased as me!
Speaking of bees, I can now confirm with a fair degree of confidence that my high-risk hive split last month was successful. What made it high-risk, in conventional beekeeping protocol, was that there was no queen, I didn’t re-queen at all, rather I intended that the small split-off colony should raise their own queen themselves. There was not even queen cells present in the brood I transferred, only capped brood and larvae.
My beekeeping goal is replicating genetics that suit our needs and desires here on the wee homestead: semi-feral colonies whose first purpose is pollination, second purpose is sustainability and study, third purpose those glorious products—honey, wax, propolis, pollen, etc.
For this goal I choose to split from our “ninja” hive, but don’t let their nickname fool you. They are not ‘mean’ like the nickname might suggest, and two other hives here are FAR meaner.
Rather, they are natural warriors. Maybe this is because during the ‘tornado’ last spring their home was turned upside down. Or maybe because I experimented on them with a screen bottom board, which meant they had to fend off attackers constantly from multiple fronts all summer, the warm winter and early spring. Or maybe because they are right next to our house, where there is constant traffic from critters, mowers and us.
All I know is, this team is tight, because they’re so busy with all their other tasks, they leave me in relative peace in order to meddle in their ranks.
And speaking of queen bees, at least in the canine kingdom, Buttercup is exercising her own maternal instincts, on our new chicks. It seems she doesn’t trust her brother, Bubba.
Whereas once upon a time Buttercup crawled in submission from 20 paces, then rolled over immediately once within sniff-range of current Queen Tori, I expect there will soon be an active rivalry.
I wonder when someone will finally come to rival this old queen? Someone once asked me when we first moved rural, “Why do you need so much land?”