I've been thinking of notes to self lately as I do chores. The top note to self is to keep my mouth shut more often. I don't think I spend much time walking around with my mouth hanging open. I think I must sub consciously breathe through my mouth when things are stinky and that is how I end up catching nasties. I can't remind myself enough to:
- Keep mouth shut when pitchforking and cleaning out the chicken coop, goat stalls and manure bedding in general.
- Keep mouth shut when trimming goat feet. Poopy chunks of goat trimmings fly in all directions.
- Indoors- keep mouth shut when scrubbing the toilet.
We are all ready. Ready for mud. Excited to see dirt. I think it is going to be a few weeks before the snow has mostly disappeared. It is going to be a late spring.
I've gone to two bee classes now. I'm learning lot's. Yesterday we watched a hiving demonstration and checked on a recently hived hive. The bees were much more mellow than I expected. No one got stung. The bee guy did everything without gear, veil or gloves, using his bare hands to brush bees back into the hive etc. It was kinda like magic. I've been very inspired by the class and I'm thinking I'm actually going to enjoy bee keeping itself, in addition to having our own honey.
The start up cost is pretty intimidating. I'm not sure it is really worth it when I think about how much money we are investing in bees, hive and equipment and how much honey we are going to get. The bees start at $125 for a three pound package, $25 for an extra queen. So I decided to step it up and buy a Nuc, which is a small colony already started and going with a proven queen for $175. The start up recommendation for here is two deep brood supers and two medium honey supers, with a queen extruder the cost is 350 unassembled, 400 assembled - and just needs paint. Smoker, veil and gloves... It is getting expensive. Stumbling across some used unwanted equipment would be great, but I don't see that happening in the next couple weeks.
Our first batch of ducks and Ameraucanas is due to hatch at the end of next week. We've got a few geese and ducks arriving the same week. Time to dig out some heat lamps and brooder tubs for the hallway. I like to keep them close in the house at first. The goats are all doing great. We have one more goat due for sure. Xoe is due the first week of May. I'm going to enjoy sleeping through the night for at least another week. It is getting busy and exciting like spring around here. It just looks like winter.