We got back from the road trip to pick up our new dog, an Anatolian Shepherd. She is settling in nicely and has made herself at home. Most of our basement (she is not yet allowed upstairs) is carpeted, but she threw herself down on the tile floor in the utility room, where it was cool. She even tried out the shower floor, which I found amusing.
The dog is crate trained, which is nice, and had no hesitancy entering or remaining in her crate while we ducked out for a couple hours in the afternoon. She walks pretty well on the leash, but tugs more than I would like. We started working on that right away as I took her around the property and down the road.
When the chickens saw her, they ran to the opposite end of their run, which I thought showed good common sense. The dog glanced at them, but did not display any interest in them and no motivation to chase them. That’s a good sign because we don’t want our livestock guardian dog to attack our chickens. I’m going to station her outside the run for a couple of hours tomorrow under close supervision and see how that goes.
She and the cat have looked at each other, but the cat is keeping her distance upstairs. The dog seems nonplussed by the cat. Later, when she heard the cat meowing in excitement as my wife fed her, the dog perked up at the sound of the cat’s vocalization.
With the dog, my homestead wish list for year one is complete.
On the way home, we stopped by the home of a beekeeper who was selling some old equipment and bought a stainless steel honey extractor that extracts four frames of honey at a time. It’s a manual, hand crank model, which is one reason I am glad my daughter is coming to help me with this year’s harvest; we’ll be doing quite a bit of cranking. This is a pretty small piece of equipment, but it should be plenty large enough to get us through this year and probably next one or two as we;;.
Upon getting it home, I got to see how nice stainless steel equipment is when we gave it a thorough cleaning using the power washer. The former owner said he left it outside for the bees to clean out, but this only removes any leftover honey. The power washing removed the old sticky wax and an application of soap and elbow grease has it looking and working like new.
Earlier in the week, I examined our honey supers and while we have a good amount of honey, at least half of it is not capped. I think the high humidity is slowing the rate at which the bees convert nectar to honey. I hope they can finish most of it in the next 10 days. Honey has to be
The bees have been bringing in nectar and pollen, so after a short drop off, we are in the middle of a honey flow again. This will help them prepare for the winter.
Two bees stung me this week. One bee worked his way inside my glove, and I think he stung me at the base of my thumb simply because he got stuck. I tried to take off my glove when I felt him buzzing, but it was too late.
The other bee stung me on the nostril while I was watering a potted plant close to the hive—apparently too close for her liking. That is the first time one of my bees stung me while I was not working on or inside a hive. I was worried my nose would swell up to the size of a golf ball, but thankfully that was not the case. Apparently cartilage is not subject to swelling.
Beekeepers reportedly develop resistance to stings. Here’s hoping this is happening to me!