Homestead Monthly: September 2015

Homestead Monthly: September 2015 | Whole-Fed Homestead

Angry Bees
We started out the month by angering a whoooole lot of honey bees. With the help of our mentor from the local bee club, we removed a three-year-old colony of honey bees from our neighbor’s house. It was estimated to be a couple hundred thousand bees!

hive extraction; Homestead Monthly: September 2015 | Whole-Fed Homestead

We set up scaffolding and came prepared with pry bars, buckets for storing bees, totes for storing comb, a bee-vacuum and lots of other tools. I’ve never seen such angry, mean bees in my life. I actually didn’t know they could be so aggressive. A lot of stings were had that day. I removed (with a tweezers, I might add) over 300 bee stingers from our clothing and gloves when all was said and done (those are the ones that didn’t get through). It was a big project and a long couple of days, but gosh did we learn a lot!

We… well, mostly just Karl removed over 30 layers of comb from between the floors of the house! We set the bees up in a new hive box at our house and fed them back their honey. We’re in the process of melting their comb down for beeswax.

Life Sure is Sweet
We’re in the honey! We didn’t get a drop of honey last year (to be expected) but this year our 2nd-year hive did wonderfully and produced enough honey to last us a couple years! YEESSSSS!!!

honey harvest; Homestead Monthly: September 2015 | Whole-Fed Homestead

And we had such a great time extracting it! With every frame we finished, it felt like we found a treasure and were counting our gold coins and rubies. It took us a couple hours on several different evenings to get everything extracted, filtered and bottled. We decided to filter it as little as possible- only removing the chunks of wax and bee legs and leaving all the good stuff. And of course, it is raw and full of life. And yes, it is the best honey we’ve ever had. It really is liquid gold.

A Homestead Loss
I am so very sad to report that we lost our little turkey to a hawk. We went 1.5 years having chickens and never had a hawk scare. Darn it!! Losing a life is the worst part about homesteading, but we knew when we chose this lifestyle that we would have to take the bad with the good.

little turkey; Homestead Monthly: September 2015 | Whole-Fed Homestead

We started letting Turkey free-range with the chickens a couple weeks ago, and he was adopted right in. He absolutely loved it! He walked around the yard with so much pep in his step and even “jumped for joy” when he got excited after finding something good… kind of the poultry equivalent to kicking your heels up.

He was such a sweetheart. We hatched him in the incubator and raised him in the house for months. He was the only one to hatch from his group, so we were his only family and friends- he latched on to me right away. He always greeted me when I walked into the yard, and peeped back to me when I called his name. It gives me peace to know that he lived a great life, with love and companionship. His last days were spent hunting worms, lounging in the grass, and basking in the sun.

Antique Apples
While visiting family in New Berlin, I got to go to what I can only describe as my version of Disney Land: Weston’s Antique Apple Orchard. I got every apple they had available so that Karl and I can try them and choose our favorites, which will help us decide what antique apple trees to order this coming spring! Like a kid in a candy store…

antique heirloom apple orchard; Homestead Monthly: September 2015 | Whole-Fed Homestead

Karl and I have been sharing an apple most nights for dessert, taking notes on the taste and giving them all a rating. It’s so much fun I can’t hardly stand it.

Speaking of apples.. did you catch my Apple Cider Syrup?! It makes the BEST dressing for a kale salad!

 

Enjoy reading about what’s happening on our Homestead?

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Comments

  1. SANDI BORGMEYER says

    Catching up on homestead news both happy and sad.😱Too bad “Turkey Lurkey” was such good food for the hawk. We appreciated the picture update and are sad for the loss. We remember his bathtub abode and how he responded to any chatter.

    The apple cider dressing is OUTSTANDING! We enjoy eating more kale because of it. THANKS FOR SHARING!
    Beautiful maple….what a fall we’ve had in Wisconsin.

  2. SANDI BORGMEYER says

    So will you post your apple ratings?

    We hope you are in the raw honey business next year….without the stings!
    Apis is a great homeopathic remedy for bee stings.
    Love reading about the homestead.

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