Merry Christmas to all of you. Hope you have a good time during this festive period.
Been a bad year for my Bees. Started off OK at home and then I moved them to the land but then was a big greedy and split them at the same time to give me five hives. That wouldn’t have helped, then I had issues with the queens and there were delays during the season where they should have been gathering pollen.
The space where I put them is pretty sheltered and doesn’t get any cold winds. So I thought it would be OK. However, I think it is too sheltered as they didn’t start foraging till late in the day. I’ve been told that sunlight hitting the hive in the morning triggers them to start foraging. Sunlight doesn’t hit them until much later in the day and so the time they spend foraging is significantly less than it could be.
So now we are at the end of the year and two hives are gone. Two more don’t look as good as they should although you can’t really tell. They all have plenty of food and are still foraging a bit, which isn’t good news, as they should be settling down for the winter and not wasting energy and bees going out at this time of year. This risks them running out of food and I need to keep feeding them.
So I’ve decided to move them to another spot. It is less sheltered but it gets the sun as soon as it comes up and it stays all day. I’m going to install some new bases over the next few weeks and then early in the new year I’ll move them, perform a shook swarm and start next year with a new start. This assumes that they make it through the winter. Fingers crossed.
It’s colder outside than the ex-wifes heart and I’m liking it. I don’t mind the cold as I can wrap up but tend to overheat during summer. Such is life when you spend most of your life in computer rooms and cooled environments.
There has been a minor change in my circumstances and I now have to adapt to a situation that has been raised in priority. I’m currently accelerating my plan to move everything to storage and restore my home so that people can live in it.
So my days are now split between doing what I can outside in the woods, boring stuff like cleaning the paths from leaves, building a shed, a new chicken coop, feeding the livestock and planning the move of the bees, more on that in a few days, as well as packing crates with my preps, moving crates around the house, rebuilding the ceiling in the kitchen and sorting out the back garden for a new workshop.
As part of my moving stuff around I also found what was clearly the feathers from some of my missing chickens. The colours were faded but clearly the same. Three sad little piles of feathers marked where they were clearly disassembled. Clearly a predator like a fox got them. One mystery solved.
I’ve already done all my preps for this winter and have now finished at the summer sales and in the new year I’ll be looking at the winter sales. Seems like my year is already planned out and it is busy. Nothing really significant as you can see but just a lot of work on top of my earning work that is keeping me busy.
Who would have thought the end of the world was going to require so much time and work for so little to show.
It’s later than usual for the time of year when I go for an annual shop for my emergency supplies. I usually do this early September. I go into several shops, Aldi, Asda, Lidl, etc. and buy tray of tins and jars for storage. I always buy the food we will eat and also the type we prefer, if possible.
I’d prefer to buy all the food we prefer but I’m comfortable with food that we will eat as well. The reasoning behind that is that is that some items are significantly more expensive than others and if they are edible then we must get used to making do as they won’t last forever. So in some cases, sliced mushrooms for example, buying own brands tins and 31p is preferred over branded at 90p. If there is only a few percentage points difference then it is usually best to buy the ones you prefer.
I look for trays that are still shrink wrapped where I can but many firms remove the wrapping for the shelf items. Look at the top and bottom of the racking for some still in the shrink wrapping and if you get some shrink wrapped make sure you buy a single tin as well. The checkout operators will open them to scan a tin which defeats the object. The tin can go in your current stores.
Once I have purchased from a shop I go home and prepare them. I record the details, package them and then store them.
I record, quantity, size, item details and date of purchase on to a spreadsheet so I have a record. When finished recording this batch I print off the spreadsheet for an offline record.
Then I package them. If they are still shrink wrapped this is great as all I do it write on the outside the date and the item details with a sharpie. Top and one side is enough. If they are not shrink wrapped I wrap them myself in industrial cling wrap and then label them. This wrapping is a pain and takes the most time as I don’t have a machine to do it.
I then stick them on racking in the garage. Details side facing out and stacked securely on the shelving I have in there. I pop the spreadsheet in a plastic pocket and put that by the pile. All done.
You should note that I do this in addition to the stores I have in the pantry which we live on which is replaced as required. These stores are not touched and are intended to cover any events that happen around the winter. Extra food never goes amiss although if things go as hoped this food may be wasted. It is an extra insurance policy. Some years I’ve not had the funds to do it but I do it more often than not. Each purchase lasts several years and at the very least it can be used for barter if necessary.