Around Here...

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Hive 3
Hive 3 

Bees 1

These last weeks of school are a whirlwind.  With my own responsiblities and happenings as well as those of our family (our four children are getting busier and moving in all of their own directions with there interests and activities) I have not found that much time for updating this space.

However, I am taking a few minutes today to share a snapshot of my garden that I just planted.  You may notice I went all out with weed covering this year.

I also am sharing some pictures from my hive investigation this morning, I was happy to see things moving along with the bees.  They are doing what they are suppose to do - and it is a privilege for me to watch, nurture and help them out in my own little way.

Signing off for now -

Happy Weekending Friends!


Welcome back bees!

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Bees 2

Bees 2

Bees 2What is wrong with this picture?  Snow!   It is however spring in Northern Minnesota.   We do not exactly welcome snow in late April, but we cannot rule it out.  

As you can tell from the images above I am giving beekeeping a go this year, starting again with a nucleus colony of bees to get as much of a head start as I can given our limited season in my northern Minnesota north woods.

They are installed and already settling into their new home.  I am already enjoying the familiar sights, sounds and smells of the beekeeping experience, happy to welcome bees back into our hobby farm - and the experience of learning about them - and from them back into my life.


Spring Hatch

Chicks

Eggs incubator

Candling Eggs

Start of hatch

Hatch

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Chicks 2

It is that time of year again in kindergarten!   This year we are proving to have a very successful spring hatch.   Yesterday I was able to say good morning to these 5 chicks that had hatched over night, another one hatched right at the end of the day and I am guessing a few more hatched overnight.    (I will be making my way into school later today when weather improves to check things out as school was canceled today due to freezing rain.)

I got a new learning tool this year and was able to learn and share more about candling eggs with an OvaScope, confirming fertile eggs and watching the embryos grow.

This is always such a fun and exciting process.  I truly enjoy sharing this experience with my kindergarten students!


Spring Sugaring

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Maple 2
Maple 2

Maple 8

Maple 8

Maple 8
Maple 8Another season of small scale spring sugaring has come to a close.  Today I finished boiling down the sap I have been collecting.e.   This year was not the greatest season I experienced, but bountiful enough to continue the experience and reap the harvest.  We had an early warm spell that accelerated the swell of the buds, when we had a longer stretch of good sap collecting weather (below freezing at night and above freezing during the day), the buds warmed up enough to "pop."   When this happens the sap gets a bit cloudy and it can subtly affect the taste of the syrup.  This too is when the tree needs the sap to form the leaves.    

I did collect about 20 gallons, which equates to about a full 8-10 hours of boiling.   I was happy with my yield this year - and the time commitment was manageable given other things pulling me in different directions this weekend.

I had opportunity to share what I have learned over my years of small scale spring sugaring with a larger audience as well. Check out my post on mothering.com to learn a little more:

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