Wednesday, April 12, 2017

beekeeping tales, 4 (plus tangents)

I'm very sad to say that I've decided I need to postpone setting up my first three hives to next spring. When I first signed on for beekeeping school I wondered if it would be possible to get the hives going this spring and, as usual for me, leaped into Do It Now mode. I didn't realize just how busy I would be and I also neglected to consider that with my son going off to graduate school this fall (he accepted Cornell's generous offer, yay!) I would be helping him move during the midsummer when bees here tend to need attention.

Reality hit last week and I made the hard decision to wait. I'm lucky - our local beekeeping association offers many and regular opportunities to help with the hives they maintain at our local community college campus. And there are many beekeepers willing to let new ones come and watch/learn. So I'll be building skills this year and hope that next spring when I start I'll be a better beekeeper for having waited.

Another issue that has come up, which deserves its own post, but I'll go ahead and write it here, is that Bear Corgi is doing really well in his Canine Good Citizen class. BUT. And this is a but I didn't anticipate. His work with me and his trips out into the wider world have created some separation anxiety. He wants to go with me ALL the time. He wants to go to the barn with me, to the garage with me, to the mailbox with me, basically he wants to go everywhere we go when we leave the house. It's become clear that he is going to have to have a new canine companion so our leaving isn't quite the ordeal it has become for him. The puppy search is on. And most of you who read here understand the commitment of taking on a new puppy. This isn't the search for the Maremma Sheepdog pups, which leads me to yet another part of the saga.

We have scheduled construction for May for barn gutters and for a farm entranceway gate and fencing to completely enclose our existing property. With all this going on, including the contractor coming in and out, delivery of materials, etc., I felt it would be a lot of commotion during the exact time frame I would be setting up new hives.

We also got quotes for new dog/horse-safe perimeter fencing and are looking to do that in the fall, which along with the gated entrance will get us ready for livestock guardian dog(s). Which made me rethink the location of my hives and I realized the place I had planned to put them won't work for the longer term. So postponing gives me time to get all that re-considered and organized.

Isn't life wonderful? Just when you think you have it all under control something shifts and new plans have to be made.

In the big picture, waiting a year to keep bees is best. But today, I feel sad. I'll be learning and writing about that process, though. And I suspect a puppy in the house will lessen the sadness just a bit.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Unfortunately, plans are made and sometimes life and situations pop up to disturb what we were sure was going to happen but isn't. In the long run things usually happen for a reason and maybe it's a good thing you have to wait until next year for the bees. It's sad for you but after reading all that's going on you probably wouldn't have time for the bees. Congratulations to your son! And I can't wait to see what puppy will be keeping Bear Corgi company. A puppy will lift your spirits.

billie said...

Thanks, A. I appreciate your support here!

Someone might ask, what was I thinking?

I have no idea except I was so eager to get started I didn't really think about the other things going on here this spring and summer. This gives me time to get better organized for bees.

Meanwhile, the puppy search for a Corgi was feeling grim as none of the reliable breeders had puppies or they had one left and then didn't get back to me. I spoke with someone in Virginia yesterday who is expecting 2 litters in the next week or so and also has a friend who is expecting a litter THIS week. And there's possibly one 5-week old Pembroke female who may be available. We are not asking for specific color or gender so I think between these three options we might just find our next pup!

And I'm looking forward to exploring Ithaca and helping get his first solo apartment set up. Road trip coming! Any suggestions on good winter coat/boot/etc. wear are very welcome. Brand names, best deals, etc.

Grey Horse Matters said...

For winter vests, coats, boots, gloves, hats etc. you can rely on L.L.Bean. They have quality stuff that lasts. Might be a good time to check them out online now as there might be sales going on. J. buys a lot of stuff from Eddie Bauer and likes it. My husband for some reason likes the things Duluth Trading sells. Good luck.

Grey Horse Matters said...

p.s. I checked and it's only 195 miles to the farm. You and your son are welcome to visit and stay awhile if you like.

billie said...

Oh, thank you - I will check both. We get all the catalogs but I generally don't need to look at the winter wear! I bought husband an LL Bean Baxter State Parka many years ago for the times he goes camping in winter on photo trips. He says it is the warmest coat he has ever had. He has never worn it here on the farm as it never gets cold enough for it! Eddie Bauer might be good for my son who has more of a sense of style than we older folks care about. :)

billie said...

And wow re: proximity to you! I absolutely see a side trip in our future!

Grey Horse Matters said...

That would be great if you could take a side trip to the farm! Eddie Bauer might be more stylish for the younger set... I don't care what I look like anymore as long as I'm warm!

billie said...

It would! And I'm with you - if I'm warm, fashion be damned.