Honey Harvest from My Top Bar Hives

Before we get to the honey…

We vaccinated our just weaned calves today… I took the easy job of running them up the alleyway, and let the boys give the shots!  I only took one photo today, and that was of our pinkeye calf.

Cattle get pinkeye just like humans… usually starting with some irritation from dust or grass.  We used to get it so much more than we do now.  Herefords with their white faces and eyelids were very prone to pinkeye.  Angus?  Not so much!  We simply cut a circle from old jeans, slice into the center and overlay the cut edges to make a slight cone shape, and glue it back together.  Then we run a bead of glue around the outside edge of the cone, leaving a “drainage” area unglued at the bottom of the bandage.  We then press it on around the eye, and give a shot of LA200.  By the time the patch wears off, the eye will be healed.  It is protected from more dirt and the glare of the sun… it works pretty good if you catch it early enough.



A few days ago, I promised an update on my bees (they’re doing great!) and even more exciting, my first official harvest of honey! (yippee)

My Golden Mean hive from BackYardHive.com (affiliate link) is full of comb and honey, but the bees have brood mixed in with their honey combs.  I don’t really know why, but it meant I had to cut out the capped honey from the brood.  The comb is darker as well.  Mesopotamia, on the other hand, after having been SUCH a pain, had beautiful golden pure honey combs.  I kept them separate.  To harvest honey in a top bar hive is easy peasy.

Lift the bar gently out of the hive, and brush the bees off of the comb.  Using a bread knife, simply slice across the comb and let it fall into a clean bucket.


Here’s a closeup of some capped honey.


Buy paint strainers from your hardware store, and fasten one across the top of another clean bucket.  Mush the comb with your hands, breaking up the comb cells to release the honey.  Pour the honey and comb into the strainer.  Wipe off as much honey as you can from your hands… now you can lick your fingers!  Yum!


Now set them in the sunniest window you have!  Cover them so flies won’t get in… I let them sit two days, the first one wasn’t very warm nor sunny!


At the end of two days, the wax is left in the paint strainer.


I’ll take this back to the bees and let them harvest what they can… then I’ll gather it up again and use it in some crafts in the future!

What are you left with???

A golden jar full of sunshine, flowers, and the bees’ hard work!  This tiny jar was a gift, and there’s more for some lucky people!



Grass and Weaning

Well, I didn’t ride today, I decided to go back to bed!  After waking up two hours later, I teamed up with my sister-and-brother-in-law.  We drove up the mountain just to have lunch with the guys!  We had perfect timing, catching them as they brought the cows in the horse pasture and then into the corral.



Lunch was eaten.
Plans discussed.

They began sorting the calves off, returning the cows to the pasture.

I think the entire time we were there, we kept exclaiming, “Look at all this GRASS!”

We took a touristy circle to the backside of the pasture, while the guys loaded the semis with calves…

Here, Vernon is watching the trucks up the alley.Vernon

Soon, they were all loaded.


We left, exclaiming as we went… “Look at all that GRASS!


Three Years

Well, I caught the cold everyone’s been passing around, so I was miserable today.  I’m not thrilled, this week is going to be busy and I’d prefer to be able to BREATHE.

Nevertheless, it was a Big Day, as grandson #1 turned three!  Those three years passed very fast!


He had a great cake and a great time, and lots of people turned out!  Believe it or not, it was warm enough at the end, the kids even ran through the splash pad for a bit.


You’ll be happy to know, brand new tractors hold up to cold water.

I gave him one of Brandon’s favorite toys that I had stashed away… one of those marble mazes you can build.  Since the original box was destroyed, I made him a bag for the pieces.  It has his initials, QJG, and 3 on it, plus a train, which is his favorite toy right now.


I guess I’ll put off my bee/honey post, and my visit to Born in a Barn.  If I feel better in the morning, I’ll be riding, taking those pretty fall photos I like so much, plus listening for the bugle of bull elk.  I hate to miss that ride, I’m hoping my sinuses agree it’ll be a good thing to be higher in elevation!  We’ll have to see what the morning brings!



Still cute.



I’d like to introduce you to … uh.



I’m still not sure what her name is going to be… as Lucas’ breeder can tell you, sometimes it takes me FOREVER to decide on a name…  It will probably have something about fire, or light, or red dirt!  Lucas’ registered name is Rimrock Lone Firelight of Shepherd’s Way… as in “then those long, long nights by the lone firelight while the huskies round in a ring howled out their woes to the homeless snows…”  (as in the Cremation of Sam McGee).  Lucas means ‘bringer of light’.  Dally is Rimrock Rimfire Dally.

She’s from South Dakota, from Ruth at Badger Hole Ranch.  I saw this posting on facebook, and had to just LOOK at the photo!


If you’ve been here a while… you might see the resemblance.  She (her name is Ginny) looked like a dark shaded “ungolden” Elsa.  And she had twelve puppies!!!

I couldn’t believe the resemblance, so I investigated.  Sure enough.  Ginny’s dad was Elsa’s brother!

Oh, the English Shepherd community is a small one…

I asked Ruth if she had any sable females that might make a good cowdog… since they were just born, it was hard to tell… but we kept in touch… and now I have a new dog!

If she turns out to be cowy, and there’s no reason she shouldn’t… in two years, perhaps she and Lucas can create some nice pups of their own.

Of course, Lucas isn’t impressed so far… neither is Dally.

Dally may have come to the end of her breeding career…  I haven’t decided for sure, but it would lessen the chances of hormones and bossiness creating more trips to the vet.  For now, we’re settling in… figuring out how to get along… and looking for a name along the way.

Whatshername just doesn’t cut it.