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Glad you are enjoying your bees as well as the pleasure of learning and all that follows.

Here in the northern henisphere the weather is changing, signs of spring are all around. Birds are singing, flowers starting to bloom, dandelions popping up, and leaves appearing on the first early trees. My hives have come through winter and I can once again enjoy sitting on my bench and watch the bees busily hauling pollen into the hive. I've counted at least four different pollen colors coming in and the pollen baskets are bulging, it's a beautiful thing.

Watching the activity and seeing signs of spring around got me to thinking. This is my first spring with bees coming out of winter. What to expect I wonder? Two more months and my first year of this amazing journey with bees will end and the next will begin. My sense of wonderment about bees has only gotten stronger the more I've learned, and the more I've learned the more I realize I don't know.

Which is beautiful isn't it? The not knowing, the expanding understanding that no matter how much I learn there will always be more, the journey will never be complete. It's an unending cycle of observing and learning, partnering with these amazing creatures who not only make life possible but more enjoyable. They don't need us but we need them. Without us they would go on, enduring, continuing through the years, living and dying much as they have for millenia. Without them the world would be irrevocably altered. We have richer lives in more ways than we can ever understand because of them. We're the privileged ones because of them. Our lives are enriched in learning about life from them.

Which leads me back to the beginning of seeing the season change, the hives become active and wondering what I'll learn this year that I didn't know last year. I look forward to hearing what the bees tell me this year, about life, about themselves, and about myself. I hope you also enjoy the learning and smile at your bees for the lessons they teach us.
Wish I could have been there, but between family stuff and the weather was not going to make it.  Snow on the ground right now   :grin:

Looks like good times!!!
The revolution has begun!  :cheesy:  They actually weren't as bad to work today as they were last fall.  Still bumping my head and occasionally chewing at my wrist, but not the cloud of angry bees following my hands around like before.  The hive wasn't overly full, so I easily found the queen and sent her to her early grave.  I'll remove their queen cells next week, and give them a frame of eggs from my nicest hive. 

Also everyone's sugar rolls came back either 0 or 1 mite, so my winter OAV treatments clearly worked.   
« Last post by Ben Framed on Today at 06:09:13 pm »
I would like to publicly thank Robo for working so hard getting things back up and running here at "Beemaster"! 
BIG Thanks Rob!!!
Great job! You are very appreciated!

FARMING & COUNTRY LIFE / Re: Fiber Animals
« Last post by BeeMaster2 on Today at 05:39:21 pm »
Quote It hurts less getting rammed by a 100-110lb ram than a 200lb ram.

I think one of these days you are going to be very surprised how much a 100 pound animal in peak condition can hurt you. Bee careful.
Jim Altmiller
FARMING & COUNTRY LIFE / Re: Fiber Animals
« Last post by The15thMember on Today at 02:18:20 pm »
Let me preface this by song in definitely no expert having just recently added sheep to our property in November. They've been very East to care for up to this point though I'm sure there will be some challenges as with all animal husbandry. In doing my research on sheep I wanted to find a breed that would do well with my philosophy on life which is generally to let nature be our guide. This is how I approach beekeeping (which I'm also new at) and most things in life. Nature is wiser than I, I'm just here to try ronwork with nature.

 All that to say... I determined an "unimproved" breed was likely better suited to this philosophy. They haven't been continually bred for show or certain looks, traits, etc and are largely the same as they were a few hundred to a thousand years ago. There were a few options such as Icelandic and Shetland to name a couple and I found a shepherdess with shetlands nearby so I settled on them. Both are nice looking breeds and smaller in size, which fits with my smaller homestead. Both were multi purpose useful for fiber and meat, the Icelandic is also considered useful for milk if desired.

In answer to your specific questions though. So far I have not sheared them though I will  soon, likely after lambingnhas taken place although I'll probably dag the ewes before lambing to make it easier for the lambs to access the milk bags. I plan on using the better parts of the wool for making roving. Spinning, etc. The rough parts that aren't useful for that illnlikely add to my garden beds. They only need shearing once a year. As a point of interest  you can roo Icelandic sheep, or gently pull tye fiber from them in the spring. They have a three part coat and partner it sheds.

So far they've been easy to care for, just providing clean water, hay, minerals, and shelter. They're pretty Hardy and don't care about snow or rain really spending time out in both.

Their temperament has been good, the ram is still young at less than a year and that may change as he gets older and shows dominance more. Another reason I picked shetlands is their smaller size. It hurts less getting rammed by a 100-110lb ram than a 200lb ram. Probably just bruises not broken bones. The ewes are a little standoffs but alhave been warming up to me, especially when I have grain. Aggression will be one thing I keep out of my gene pool as much as possible. If I have a ram that's being too cranky or aggressive I'll use him for dinner instead

Hopefullythat helps.
Thanks so much, that's great info.  We don't have the space for sheep right now, but were are looking at purchasing the property next to us, and they could be in the cards then. 
Beemaster was under attack in a way that overwhelmed the server. Rob and Eivindm fixed it and are still in the process of switching to a better server to prevent this from happening again.
You may have already noticed that Beemaster is up right now and is much faster and steady.
Jim Altmiller
« Last post by Ben Framed on Today at 02:00:13 pm »
"The older they get, the more clearly they remember the things that never happened".
Welcome, I love this quote.

 :cheesy: :wink:
Good picture Michael. That looks fun! Did any of you adults take a spin at it?  :grin:
Didn't know it was for the adults.  Besides the wife puts that in the "motor cycle" category at my age.

:wink: I hear you!!
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