After two devastating winter losses, here we go again ...

This photo was taken at the tail end of a hive inspection - here, I am inspecting a piece of burr comb I removed from the hive to see if there are any eggs (or worse, a queen bee) on it.

"Burr comb" is extra comb the bees build inside the hive. It's important to remove it regularly so they don't impede your ability to move/remove frames from the hive and to keep things neat and orderly. :)

My wife took this photo yesterday ... Beautiful pink flowers in front of a bed of golden oregano ... just had to share! Everything is in full bloom and our yard looks like ... well, Paradise. :)

While walking through the gardens with my wife this morning, this caught my eye ... a water droplet held in place on a Lupine flower. Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. The genus includes over 200 species, with centers of diversity in North and South America.

I have a webcam right near the entrance of a birdhouse on our garden shed and, quite often, get some rather remarkable pictures. Here's one from last weekend! :)

"Our" deer are so tame! Just hanging out while Jim transplants seedlings for this year's garden.

Our eggs come pre-labeled!

I love our twisted filbert this time of year!

I went into winter with two of the strongest hives I've ever had. Tens of thousands of bees in each, one hive stacked two high and one stacked three high - all loaded to the gills with honey. The bees had plenty of numbers and plenty of food.

Fast forward to now. The hives are dead and moldy. They are still full of honey (but some was consumed). In each hive, about two inches of dead bees in the bottom and dead bees scattered about on the frames. Small moldy cluster in each hive.

Spring is almost here and the chicks are in!!! Yay!!!! Today, I went to the Tractor Supply store in Port Orchard, Washington and picked up 8 ISA Brown pullets. I was hoping they would have the Tints again as I loved the chicks I got last year, but I'll try these. They are supposed to be prolific egg layers - laying through the winter, even. But on the downside, their life expectancy is shortened due to the energies they expend producing all those eggs.... I read they live only two to three years, five at best. So bear that in mind if you keep them as ... well, pets.

Today I hitched up the trailer and brought home three-and-a-half yards of medium bark mulch. I spread it about a foot thick in the chicken run and also in the coop, having recently removed a yard or two of composted organic matter from the run for the lawns and gardens. I can't believe I did all this in five hours, start to finish - with my bad leg, to boot... The chickens are delighted and the whole area smells much better now... :)

Easy Social