Sunday, February 28, 2010

All about the bees

Hi Folks. Last week I harvested another box of honey. Much less eventful than the first. I can not tell you how delightful it is to herd bees that don't want to kill you. Queen Malina is a sweetie. No one got hurt. Bloody amazing.

Can you believe I have a bucket of this stuff in the shed. Indeed.

When I harvest honey I use the "crush and drain"method. This leaves a mushy mass of crushed wax with a bit of honey in it. With the overconfidence of one who has made 3 batches of honey plum saba without failure, it was time to EXPERIMENT. I added some water to the crushed comb and heated it up until the wax melted. Using a big slotted spoon I scooped it off the top leaving the honey dissolved in the water. And what is the base ingredient of saba...honey water!

The wax I can use later.

But, back to the saba. last week I was in Condobolin which meant I got to visit my secret favourite patch of wild peaches and bloody hell they are beautiful this year. One tree in particular was full of huge peaches as big as grannysmiths. Well. We got right into those. Of course, they had to wait a few days in a box for me to be able to do something with them, which gave the fruit flies a bit of time to hatch but mostly they are OK.

And the week before I was coming back through Bungendore and Robin gave me a bag of plums that were on their last legs.......

And Sue from next door got me some fresh organic apples from Pialigo........

And anyhoo, now there is a batch of honey plum peach apple saba fermenting away.

And while we are on the subject, I managed to rack honey and plum saba number 3 and serendipitously, there was some left over, and well we got stuck strait into that as well.

This batch used the gorgeous dark splendour like plums from out the front. Isn't it an amazing colour. And it tastes pretty good too. Believe me. I know. *hick*

In other news, Mr & Mrs BVVF came and picked up their widdle ducks and some for Em too - hope they are all settlin' in ok! So I have three left - two girls and a boy. I have to decide whether to keep any of the girls......tricky. Better have another glass of saba and think about it.

tally ho!
Giddy up!


Em said...

Our new additions are settling in quite nicely. They are getting on well with the three chooks we got the other day and they have all decided to flat together in the chicken coop! Unfortunately, other than building the fence for the pen, I didnt get much done this weekend. Time flies by when you are busy watching and giggling at your favourite new puddleducks!!! :D

The Duck Herder said...

Hi EM, that's great news. I think you have a very handsome little trio! I forgot to answer your previous question, the main thing with duckies is always having water deep enough to get their eyes into. ANd your duckies grew up on dry mash/meatmeal and have been weaned onto normal darling downs free range layer mix. So they should be pretty adaptable with diet. They LOVE tomatoes and lettuce.

hope you have great fun with them. Once they settle down they should get quite tame.

Em said...

They have a small tub of 'swimming' water for now, enough that one can have a paddle and a dunk at a time but will get something bigger for them soon. So far they have been sharing the scratch mix with the chooks as well as clearing the grass from their pen, and lettuce, bean and silverbeet leaves that I am throwing in for them. I know there are a few fruit/vegies that chooks should avoid, but what about ducks? Anything I shouldnt give them?

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The Duck Herder said...

Hope the new kids are still doing fine. Ducks are pretty fussy - so they probably wont eat anything they shouldnt. basicaly they just need a dry sheltered place to sleep and to always have water and to be protected from foxes (!). They can be a pain with chickens because they like to muck up the water, and chooks only like clean water to a way around this is to have a separate raised waterer for the chooks that the ducks can;t reach.

Hope all is well.

Lucky-1 said...

We get honey from my sister's farm and its so yummy:) Congrats......

LS said...

Love the honey. I really enjoy seeing our local bees at work (and walking past their hive in a hollow tree up the road each day). I am looking forward to the day that I can set up a hive like you too.