We managed to go Blueberry picking, OMG the blueberries this year have been stunning, so big and sweet and lovely. I went for a walk with Meddy from a hill in our village – Mravecnik, it was a cool morning the mist was rising, it looked stunning. Found a caterpillar amongst the Cranberries we went to pick, the yellow pattern was just mesmerizing I love caterpillars. We were suppose to pick cranberries, Well Mike did I did a bit more of a Blue and Cran berry mix as you can see. There is the happy couple with Kravarske Zitne Baraniarky in the background. We had a bit of an exchange of rams last week the little one went and we got the one in the back. We still got two the white one stayed as you can see. Another walk past Maly Rozsutec towards Zazriva views of Vratna were just amazing. Wicked walk, even though reasonably tiring. Found an adder on the ground in the morning, it was so cold, really sad it looked just amazing, I do like these creatures.
I fed my bees with Apifonda, in a matter of about 5 days I noticed a bit too much activity around the hives, I suspect robbing, AGAIN, so I put entrance reducers plus put on the mesh over each entrance, that has been like it for about 3 days, yesterday I took the mesh away from all the hives except hive B, as that is the one that has suffered most from, actually last year, but this year, it got robbed at the beginning I think now, I gave it apifonda, it was doing really well but I should have reduced the entrance there and then, I did not, got robbed again, … Today we had 20 degrees, little bit of wind, I really needed to check this hive so I got my gear sorted out and my first inspection of 2016 on hive B went really well, the bees were really nicely tempered, I have not found the Queen but I found new, fresh, eggs in the frame so I left them be. They still have some Apifonda plus one side of the sirup I sprayed in there. I cleaned off the floor, scraped any mess that needed getting rid off. The bees were fanning ferousesly, not huming loudly so I am going to keep my fingers crossed, and hope for the best, did not check any of the other hives but I have been spending quite a lot of time as and when I can and watch them, they are coming with lots of yellow pollen from the pussy willows which are now in full bloom so I am not going to be disturbing them.
We were testing out the electric fencing so we decided to run out a couple of strands of wire by the shed and let them out, Ram had a bit of a problem with keeping inside the fence, even getting zapped did not seem to matter, Mike blamed me as he said the ram got attached to me as his “best friend” and wanted to be with me, after spending a bit of time inside with him and just ignoring him, than coming out and just standing there, he got used to it, after a while I could do what I wanted – get on with my work, withought worrying what has happened to him, we have put them in after 5 pm and put them in one pen so he gets more used to EweEwe and she to him. Hoping to pick up our new Ewe over the weekend.
The weather is crazy it was 20 degrees in the afternoon and this sort of weather is due to continue at least till the end of the week, and no rain, land is dry we really could do with a bit of rain, but it seems to come in extremes these days so not wishing for anything anymore. It does not pay.
Well the winter has arrived, or we have had snowfall for the second day, we have had minus temperatures around the same, and the chaps at the ski resort in Vratna has started up their snow guns.
The bees hummed peacefully when I knocked on the hive.
The sheep have been moved into the shed last Friday as the rain really did not want to stop, we had springs coming up everywhere, the ground was saturated and it just did not seem like such a brilliant thing for them to be standing on the wet ground. I took them out for a bit of grazing for and an hour or two but for them to be staying outside and make a mess of the field did not seem like a bright idea. The Friday before last we sent off the two rams that were staying over summer, then on Tuesday we had our two rams butchered, so we are back to our two girls.
When I started to take them out to graze, out of their fenced area I was worried about them escaping and had a long rope on Ewe Ewe just to grab her if I needed to. I had a little box of corn with me that I would give them once we were back in the pen, they soon grasped the idea what is in the box and what they get for staying with me. They were a joy. With 6 of them it was quite amazing, then we were down to 4, Bo always wanting to go that much further. Really pleased with the boys, they did really well. Bo who was a half Suffolk had 10 kg more than Ram, Ram was the local breed of Zoslachtena Valaska, weighed 21 kg.
Now the ewes are in the shed, I take them out for a bit of grazing outside, we walk about, above the house, they are getting used to the area, remember the green grass patches and where there are still apples on an old apple tree, Ewe Ewe always heads for that, it is an interesting experience. I have taken their collars off to clean them, to the leather so now when we go out, its so quiet. Really strange.
I am hoping to shear them tomorrow, and then they will be done for 2015. Not sure whether we will put them in the area outside their shed as the snow is sticking but the ground is still relatively soft and they would just make it into a mess, we will see what the weather does. I don’t think this is going to stay. I will add some pictures of them outside in the snow.
well, today was a beautiful day, blue sky, sunshine, quite cold. So I decided today or never,
Never do crutching in tight spaces!
got the old ewe out, struggled getting her down, it nearly felt like she had suddenly grown claws and put them through the flooring. Twisted and turned, fidgeted, wriggled … then I realized my shears are blunt Nobody would have been proud of me, I definitely was not with my achievement so far. Got her up, put her into the pen, went home, Mike sharpened my shears, back down I went, got the old ewe out and started the process again, this time round it was better through and through.
Then the little ewe, what a wriggler!!! Honestly what an amazing strength a little animal can have, but we did get there eventually. Actually I did find a comfortable position for the ewes which was laying down with me sort of sitting on her body just basically making sure that I don’t end up riding them so holding them down neatly. So now they are with no wool on tummy and round the crutch. What was amazing the little ewe smelled mothers teats and tried drinking from them. I don’t think she is showing signs any time soon. we shall see. Strictly speaking if she has lambs around Christmas the white ram is the father if March the black one is the lucky one.
Today we made a swap, the ram that came on holiday in about June went off in a trailer to his owners flock and we have been lent one of his young rams, “just to make sure” till the time comes when they have to be moved in, or as and when we decide its time.
I took pictures of the ram this morning with the rest of his little flock plus a couple of pictures of the new ram.
They are still getting some help from us feeding from the bottle and they have been started on lamb feed. Slowly, so fingers crossed all goes well. Hoping to have them around here by next month.