Farming, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

The “Rights” of Spring

Bee Swarm Soirees: Check.  Done for the year I think.  Net gain of two hives, neither of which came quietly.  The first congregated around a fence post (actually on a “dropper” between two fence posts).  After my neighbor Randy helped scoop them into a five-frame “nuc” hive, I left them for 48 hours to settle, while I got the 10-frame ready.  Surprise!  They had bailed.  Three days later, they turned up again, in a burning bush.  This time, the transfer “took,” and a week after that, we moved them to a permanent home.

The second was a much smaller swarm which I discovered in a rosebush (ouch).  In the less than ten minutes it took Randy to arrive after I assembled my gear and called and asked for help, they had scarpered too!  But they reappeared after a couple of days in the old Christmas tree skeleton which I’d thrown out as cover for birds.  This time, we rounded them up, and I got them moved into the larger hive on the weekend.  In the intervening days, I spent some quality time with Building Beehives for Dummies (great book, BTW), expanding my inventory of hive parts.

Dog Washing Day: Check.  They were as recalcitrant and uncooperative as ever (I wrote about last year’s Spring bathing exercise, here.)  Note to self:  Xena needs her toenails trimmed.  Must call the vet and schedule her for a teeth-cleaning.  It’s the most expensive toenail-trim ever, but unless she’s completely knocked out, it’s impossible to do.  I’ve learned that there isn’t enough Xanax in the world (for either of us) to make this possible otherwise.  She needs her teeth cleaned, and they can do her nails at the same time.  I’ll let them worry about the social distancing.  And good luck getting her to wear a mask.)

Sheep Shearing Week: On the schedule. It’s supposed to cool down by the weekend, so possibly, Monday or Tuesday of next week.  I can’t hack shearing them when the temperature’s in the 90s, which it’s been for the past two days.  Probably put them in the barn tomorrow, in case it rains.

Can’t wait.  Deep Joy.

Speaking of joy . . .

Barn Shoveling Bonanza: Date unknown.  Once the sheep are shorn, I’ll get this on the calendar, probably the next relatively cool, dry week.  (Note to self again: check to see if the tractor battery is alive and well.  And if there’s enough diesel.  And the key!  Where is the key?)   More details on this oh-so-organic project here. (Good Lord.  I’d forgotten about the bird poop facials . . .)

What are the activities in your world that herald the arrival of Summer?

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