Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bees trouble

In May, I picked up two hives of bees.  They started out pretty good but I have been having problems with one recently.  On the good hive, I just recently added a 3rd deep super.  They have already drawn out the combs and I am sure will be filling them soon.

The second hive is another story.  They are still on their 1st super and don't even have it filled yet.  I have been watching them pretty closely and there just aren't many bees in that hive.  I opened up the hive recently and there is not much brood and not much honey.  Most of the brood is drones.

Last week, I purchased a new queen to install because it looks like the old queen either died or is just a weak queen.  I looked through the hive from top to bottom 3 times and did not see anything that looked like a queen.  There was no mass of workers bees protecting another bee anywhere so I installed the new queen.  I checked 48 hours later and the queen still hadn't been released so I poked a hole in the candy plug big enough for the queen to get out.

Two days later, I checked on her again, and she was dead.  It looked like she got stuck trying to get out of her cage.  Or who knows, maybe the old queen is still alive and she killed the new queen.  I am going to open the hive again tomorrow and see if any new brood has been laid, and if there is, then I will see if I can find the queen.  If there doesn't seem to be any new brood, I am going to see about combining the two hives because there is no way that the weak hive will be able to make it on their own.  I will keep my fingers crossed that this will work.

For news that is not so depressing, we have just recently, added 2 new Nigerians goats to our herd.  We are now up to an even dozen.  I bought a doe, Camanna DL Bea Onka Ona who is a very pretty, dainty white doe with black spots.  Her former owners called her Annabelle and I think I will stick with that name.

My In-laws decided they wanted to contribute something to the herd so they bought our first buck.  He is Bundles of Joy Dark-N-Handsome and he is that.  He is young (2 years old) but is proven.

As soon as we brought him home, 3 out of the 4 does went into heat, so keeping fingers crossed that come Dec/Jan, we will have some kids running around the place.  We plan on breeding our only non-Nigerian doe, to him when she goes into heat this fall.  She is Nubian and will hopefully give us our first set of mini-Nubians.

I had planned on breeding two of our does to Dark-N-Handsome and two to outside bucks.  So I made some calls to local vets to check on pricing to see how much it would cost to get the CL/CAE test done.  One test ran about $20 and the other about $25 and then there was the blood collection fee and $60 shipping to send it overnight on ice to the lab.  That is definitely out of our price range this year.

We plan on keeping most or all of the doelings we get and sell off the males.  And then take the money we get on selling the kids and put that into buying the next buck who will hopefully be a step up from this one.  If all four does have twins, by the first of the year, we could be up to 20 goats!  And since Nigerians can have up to 6 kids at a time, it could even be more than that...  Need more fencing!!!  And hay...And stalls...And hay...

Tony, in a fit of guilt over buying a new rifle without telling me, bought me 330 ft of field  fencing and the posts to go with it.  With the help of a friend of his, he tore down one of my pens and built a much larger one in a new area so the goats can have more brush to eat.  And he did that just using our existing fencing so next weekend, we are going to take the 330 ft of new fencing and build a big pen somewhere in the back yard.

We are also now officially a member of the ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association)!  We got our herd name, tattoo and 1 of the goats registered in our name.  Now I just have to scrap the pennies together and get the other 3 registered and we are good to go.

The other fly in the ointment recently, has been dealing with the unemployment department.  They denied me benefits because I didn't have daycare immediately available.

Now getting daycare for my youngest son is not a problem but when you have an 8 year old with severe medical issues, who doesn't walk, talk, eat or drink, who is still in diapers and can have up to 6 seizures a day, it takes time to find someone who is willing to take that on.  Stupid me, I was honest and told that to my case worker; will never do that again!  Evidentially, you should NEVER tell the truth to the unemployment office.  They denied me benefits because "I was not ready, willing and able to accept a job immediately".  Not that I had any job offers, or even a request for an interview.  And I was looking for daycare and found it two days after talking to my case worker.

So they restarted my claim but now I have to wait for my benefits appeal which is next Friday.  In the mean time, I didn't get paid at all in July and probably won't for most of August.  And some how I have to figure out how to pay mortgage, not to mention the phone, water and medical bills.  And then if we want to eat... well, I guess we are ok on food.  I do have 17 rabbits that need to be butchered and thanks to my couponing adventures, I am pretty stocked up on staples for now.

I just wish I could find something to do from home that would bring in enough money to pay my bills and I could tell the unemployment people to take a flying leap.  Unfortunately, I just haven't figured out anything yet.  If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them.  I am willing to do anything from selling hand crafts on to data entry to customer service work.  Its just hard trying to find something legitimate online, something that isn't a scam in sheep's clothing so to speak.

Well enough ranting and raving for now.  I just have to think positive and keep working on trying to find something.  I really don't think a traditional 9-5 job will work for me anymore because I am sure I will be paying more in daycare costs than I would be bringing home.  I truly believe me staying home with the boys is the right thing to do.

On a side note in regards to my last post on the rabbit sausage.  We have been LOVING it!!  We have eaten almost all of the patties I made up and all the straight ground rabbit.  My husband has even agreed to help with the boning and grinding next time which will be a great help since I will have twice as many rabbits to process.

Just to give you an idea, we used the ground rabbit to make Thai rabbit (formerly pork) burritos and spaghetti.  Just tonight, I made rigatoni with some of the Italian sausage and it was so good!

Good night everyone and I will see you next time.

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