Standing outside a couple of feet from a popular hummingbird feeder, that was also being visited by a wasp. Listen to the hummingbird chirping.
I’ve added several more project summaries to the Yellow Cottage Homestead site, for my project of summarizing homestead projects. Still a few left to go, but I’m getting there.
This is a summary of the project summaries (replicating the summary post). Each one includes links and pictures from posts on the Yellow Cottage Homestead blog. You can read the summaries for an overview of each project, and click through to the individual posts if you want more details.
Visit the Projects page to scroll through all of the projects, or pick individual ones below. Click or tap on the photo to visit that summary.
More project summaries will be added over time. Here are the ones available so far:
A project to build a shelter and feeder for the family of feral cats that adopted us.
Electrical work in our house.
Projects related to our workshop.
Various construction projects related to beekeeping.
Various plumbing projects around the homestead.
A project to build the fence and netting roof of an outdoor run for the new chicken coop.
A big project to build a new chicken coop.
A simple project to build three potato planters.
We added a handy new tool to our beekeeping practices: canvas inspection cloths. These are multi-layered cloths that go over the top of hive boxes during inspection, to keep the bees in the dark, which keeps them more calm. They seem to help quite a bit:
Here’s a frame from the yellow hive with the marked queen; one of our new queens. See the green dot? That makes it much easier to spot her:
A GIF of the queen (as previously posted):
A frame of honey from the yellow hive:
A partial frame of honey from the purple hive:
A purple hive frame with brood and the (unmarked) queen; can you spot her?
Here’s a closer look; I’ve circled the queen:
We switched to an alcohol wash mite test instead of the sugar shake. This is a bit easier:
A mostly full frame of honey from the Flow hive:
We noticed a bee dragging off another one; they do that to clear out dead ones, but this one wasn’t quite dead yet. It was feeling much better:
The new hot pink hive has a top sugar syrup feeder (visible on the left), and the bees took advantage of the space in the middle of that to build extra comb; that isn’t approved, but we left it for now:
A problematic frame from the orange hive, where they had previously built cross-comb. They are slowly repairing it, but are still very cranky with us, so we just removed the mite treatment patty and otherwise left them alone:
You may recall that we have two nucs with the old queens that we replaced. When we checked them, one was evacuated; empty frames and no bees. So we moved some drawn-out frames to the other one, to replace non-drawn-out ones, and removed the empty nuc:
Sometime we’ll move the remaining nuc to the hoop house, so the waxed cardboard has more chance of surviving the winter. The hive probably won’t survive, being so small, but no big loss; it was only kept just in case the new queens didn’t “take”. If it does survive, we’ll move it into a new hive box next year.
Despite my chicken chase video earlier this morning, it’s actually Caturday… so here are some cats.
A cat stretching to the awning, while another eats:
Three cats inside:
Two cats rather early for breakfast (it dispenses at 06:00):
A couple on the deck, and one inside:
Three on the deck; Poppy licking her lips (I think there might be a fourth eating, too):
A cat relaxing on the path next to the stream (the cat house is behind the maple tree):
Enjoying a sunbeam inside:
The twin cats watching a bird:
A cat by the pond:
A couple of cats on the deck, and another peering out from a window:
Three cats inside:
Four cats inside:
Poppy has droplets of rain on her fur, glinting in the light:
Speaking of inside, did you see the animated GIF of a night in the cat house?
A series of pics of a cat having a moment:
Three cats with tails raised high (unusual for ferals; they’re usually more guarded of their rears):
One of our chickens, Kiwi, finds a slug, and the others chase her around the chicken run for several minutes. (No sound.)
Welcome to a wet Flock Friday!
As hinted on my personal blog, we had a heron visit our pond this week. Twice.
Here’s the heron sliding off the edge of the pond (which slopes steeply) and taking a header in the pond:
After it got out, it fluffed up most impressively:
Heron next to the pond:
It flew over to below the pond deck, and one of the large koi swam up and startled it, causing it to jump back:
Heron eat fish (and frogs and such), but I think the big koi are way too big for it to tackle. I didn’t see it catch anything; the smaller fish were wise enough to stay hidden.
Here it is flying above the pond:
The following night, a rat or similar rodent was spotted near the duck house, with the ducks warily eyeing it:
Here’s a shot of the ducks that kinda shows the delightful green iridescence of the cayuga duck:
Ducks on the ramp:
A few days later, hey look, the heron is back:
In the pond:
Heron startled by a koi again:
Heron flying to the duck house:
Like an ornament on the duck house roof:
Those big koi are bullies; here’s one chasing the ducks, while another eats their mealworm treats:
Ducks from inside house:
On to the chickens. Here’s Buffy, one of the older girls:
Mo, starting to molt:
And some pics of the young chickens:
Our new chickens are no longer peeping; turn on the sound to listen to their curious clucking.
An animated GIF of the marked queen bee from our yellow hive:
Something fun: I captured 38 pictures of the inside of the cat house last night, and stitched them together into an animated GIF, somewhat like a time-lapse (but the intervals between each frame aren’t evenly spaced):
Over the weekend we used a borrowed honey extractor to get the honey out of a couple of hive frames, plus cut six frames into 24 boxes of comb honey, and one frame into 8 jars of chunk honey.
Here are the frames in the baskets of the honey extractor; it’s basically a centrifuge, where the frames are spun quickly to force the honey out of the wax cells:
A look at the outside of the extractor; it has a crank handle to spin the baskets, a top chamber with the baskets, and a bottom chamber where the honey is collected:
This is a comb honey cutter, which cuts a square of the comb, which is then placed in the plastic boxes:
A hive box, and stacks of comb honey:
The extracted honey was then poured into a bucket with a fine mesh at the top, to filter out the globs of wax (the Flow hive is much easier!):
Here’s a view from inside of it flowing out:
We put the extractor outside so the rain could clean it… and a few bees turned up to help:
Then they told their sisters, and a large swarm of bees turned up:
They did a good job of cleaning it, though!
Meanwhile, Jenn cut the comb from another frame into half-sized portions, put them in jars, and poured filtered honey in to make chunk honey:
Here are a couple of jars of chunk honey:
The packaged comb and chunk honey (we’ll add labels later):