Last time on our program, our hero discovered no signs of a queen in one of his hives, so he took measures into his own hands.
Whelp, I checked the frame of brood that I transferred into the “queenless” hive a few days after I placed it, expecting to see a queen cell. No luck.
I checked again a few days later, and still no queen cell – but I magically saw a bunch of eggs! And upon further inspection, I found my queen! I don’t know why I was having so much trouble finding eggs or the queen previously, but she seems to be doing her job. There I go trying to be in control, and they let me know that they were just fine on their own, thank-you-very-much. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that they know about what they’re doing a lot more than I do…
I was planning on opening up my hives today to get a picture, but it started raining just as I went outside. I’m going to have to actually start paying attention to the weather, since it directly affects the things I do now.
In other news, though, I’m ready for chickens!
Well – maybe not completely ready – but I’m ready for eggs. (At least in this case, the eggs are coming first)
My father-in-law’s college roommate gave the above incubator to my mother-in-law to give to me, and I picked up an egg turner from some folks on Craigslist last night. Also got another heat lamp while I was there. (I asked them why they were getting rid of all their hatching gear, and they said they went vegan. Yup – it would make sense to get out of the chicken game if you won’t eat meat or eggs…) I thought about doing without the egg turner, but my brother wisely encouraged me to get one – otherwise I’d have to turn them manually at least twice daily. I told myself it wasn’t a very big commitment, but he shed light on the fact that for three weeks I would not be allowed to be gone for a day or two. Plenty of people have friends feed their dogs/cats while they’re on vacation, but I’m not sure folks would understand the need if I said “Hey – can you swing by on Saturday morning to turn all the eggs, and then come by in the evening and put them back to how they were originally? And Sunday, too?”
I’m hoping that I’ll be getting my eggs this weekend from my brother (some from him, and some from another farm that he orders from). I’ll then have 21 days to figure out exactly what I’ll be doing for their different stages of life after that. The immediate need of a space for the chicks is not a concern – there are a hundred options for that. The thing that will keep me working is building a coop and run. I’m also considering trying to build a chicken tractor (small movable coop/run), that would both buy me a little time on the big coop, and could act as a quarantine if I’ve got some sick birds. And it would also allow them to eat some of the goodies in my yard.
I’ll have some land flowing with eggs and honey soon enough! Though, I’m not sure I really want to see eggs flowing through my land…