Saturday, September 3, 2011

no honey no booze

No honey no booze, that's my rap. Sometimes these homesteading projects don't work out. You plain mess it up. I grabbed the mini keg out of the cupboard to bottle today and found a hot mess. The all malt stout I had been looking forward to for the past month— when I pulled it down to eye-level—had a nice topping of mold where bubbles or foam should be. It went bad and it wasn't coming back. I'll dump it and will brew a new batch soon to bottle in a few weeks.

As for the honey? Well, the queen excluder, didn't. The Queen Excluder is like a little screen you put between boxes stacked up on the hive. It is supposed to keep the queen from crawling into the honey production area. But she, or a new queen, got in and started laying eggs in the combs. When I went in today to extract a bit for fall/winter the shallow combs were covered with larva caps. It's a baby house now, and taking honey would be the equivalent of genocide and possibly hurting the future of the hive. I returned them to their place among the frames. I'll wait till next summer for the sweet stuff from my own yard and start getting these guys ready for winter.

Dems the breaks, folks. I have some Saranac IPA in the fridge and I bought a jar of local honey at the IGA. They'll do!


Blogger kandy Gray said...

sorry to here about the bees; but they are not dead, nor destroyed by bears or plague. and now you get time to relax!

September 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger karental said...

Yeah, it happens. I made sauerkraut with my garden cabbages and something grew that wasn't supposed to. Off to the compost pile it went.

At least now you have some free time to take a breather.

September 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Will you be able to split the hive in the spring so you have two hives? Or maybe sell some?
That's too bad about the brew.
I made a wheel of cheddar that I dried in a cabinet before putting it in the cheese cellar. But the weather was hot and humid. It got moldy, so I cleaned it, but it kept getting moldy, and I finally had to bury it in the compost bin.

September 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yep Jenna those are the breaks. You have a great attitude and you enjoy the made do stuff.

September 3, 2011 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Drummond Farms Alpacas and Woolens said...

I am so glad for your good attitude. That is the way it goes, sometimes, and we just have to roll with it. It is amazing just how important our attitude is on how we handle life. If we got hung up with all that didn't go right then where would we be? Have a great weekend.

September 3, 2011 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Irma said...

I started the season with ONE hive, a hive that gave me 65 lbs of honey last year. More than a dozen swarms later (Some I caught, some I couldn't, some I simply didn't care) I now have FIVE hives of immature colonies, the worry that some of them won't make it through the winter... and not one drop of honey to my name.

I still love the bees, but this season has tested me in ways I never imagined. I am so, so, so, SOOOOOO tired of the inevitable phone calls saying, "The bees are swarming again!!" (my hives are on the roof at work) as if I should have some kind of control over them.

Our provincial inspector tells me that a lot of beekeepers have reported unusually high levels of swarming this year, they think it has something to do with the weird weather this summer. All I know is that something that started off as a great idea has turned in to one huge pain in the ass.

Can't wait to do it again next year!!

September 3, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

I never had any luck with queen excluders either Jenna. I was taught to just add another super to the top. The bees always kept the brood combs lower than the honey and that worked out fine other than having hives that were sometimes 4 or 5 boxes high.

September 3, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 3, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I find that with every failure, and I have a lot, I have more and more respect for the brassy people that explored and settled this country. When you take the difficulty of growing food, and factor in antique technology in the form of farm implements and guns, and then add bear, wolf, and native american attack, and don't forget isolation, it boggles the mind. I mean, can you imagine prevailing under such conditions? I can't.

September 3, 2011 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger sash said...

I did not know you kept bees, too, but I'm glad that people are realizing the importance of bees - is that a book title?

September 4, 2011 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

irma! how do you do it all!!?!

September 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

David, I think you are right! a few more oxes in the spring. let's hope they make it!

September 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Ruby said...

Thanks for sharing. I needed that. This year was the first I tried to can corn instead of freezing it. I filled the jars too full and lost most of it. Heartbreaking, but a valuable lesson learned. Your sharing of a less than perfect outcome makes me feel like less of a loser.

September 4, 2011 at 4:45 PM  

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