Here's to share a couple of things that have been happening around our little homestead while I was unable to post.
On June 10th we had a swarm from one of our honey bee hives. Swarms don't occur every year and this one was unusual in that it happened early in the season. Papa Pea happened to be out in the yard when he saw the huge cluster of bees in the air in front of the hive right before they took off.
Lucky us, they landed in a small apple tree in the poultry yard where the attempted (and successful) capture could easily be engineered.
If you look closely, you can see the clump of bees in the tree above the stand set up to hold the hive box.
Papa Pea getting ready to get the bees to drop into the readied box.
A good hard downward shake . . .
. . . and the clump dropped with most of the bees landing on the box.
Good job, Mr. Beekeeper!
So far, the bees seem very happy in their new home and are doing well.
The garden bed of mixed salad greens is coming on fast and strong. (Radishes, too.) This is a picture of the very first harvest. They're oh-so-tasty and we're into our summer routine of a big salad nearly every day now.
On June 15th, another one of our Muscovy female ducks (who made her nest in a nest box in the chicken house) hatched out 10 little ducklings . . . and two chicks.
Here the ducklings are only a day old.
The chicks entered the world earlier than the ducklings (shorter incubation period) and were either kicked out of the nest by Mama Duck or jumped out. These two have decided another broody hen (chicken) in the house is their mother and have been happily scampering around in the chicken house often seen snuggled on top of the expectant chicken mother who is still sitting on her clutch of eggs. The hen seems to have adopted them even though she continues to wait for her own brood to hatch.
This newest duck family has been moved to their own little hut where they'll stay until the ducklings are a bit bigger and ready to be introduced to the great out-of-doors with their mother to guide them into the ways of the poultry yard.
Our June weather has still been very cool and wet. Seems we get rained on at least twice a day even though we've not had any great accumulation.
The no-see'ums are simply awful this year. We have to suit up in our bug shirts each night when we go out to close up. Even so, a couple of nights ago, I got 5 bites on my head and face. I can only assume they somehow made their way up under my shirt to torment me. Seems unlikely but it happened and I was not happy. Oh well, could be worse. We do have periods during the day when the vicious creatures seem to be napping (or planning their strategy for another attack), and it's possible to work outside without a full set of armor on for protection. One of these days, their cycle will be over and we'll be free of them. (Can I count on that?)
More catch-up to come in the next post.
The Garden and other bits
7 hours ago