February 02, 2011

News from Fox Hill Farm: Bees, Birds, Bunnies and Brrr!

Northern Wisconsin in early February is filled with lots of snow and very cold temperatures. Last weekend brought an additional eight inches and today is very cold and windy. It will be interesting to see if spring comes early again as it did last year.

We've spent time building some additional beehives for the upcoming season. Our bees have been successfully overwintered every year, even in our very rigorous climate. We feel the key is making candy boards in the fall and putting them on the hives. The bees love them and feed on them throughout the winter and make it to spring successfully. This eliminates having to purchase bees every year unless you're adding new hives.

Some of the ponies have started shedding their winter coats, but some won't let go of their coats until June. I have noticed that our palominos and buckskins are the first ones to shed out each year, with the roans staying furry far longer. The birds on the farm love it when the ponies start to shed and especially love it when we thin manes and tails. Then in the fall we find the abandoned nests and see which pony was the favored choice of that particular bird.

Our rabbits enjoy their winter quarters, in the former milk room of 1932 bank barn, the milk room is heated to 50 degrees and the rabbits are so happy, neither hot nor cold... and just like the three bears... they're "just right." We acquired another breed of rabbit last fall, the Harlequin, a beautiful breed with loads of friendly personality.

Photography and writing keeps us all busy as well, we've had some good snow sessions with a few breeds of dogs and plan to attend the Three-Bear Sled Dog race this upcoming weekend. Loads of dogs and sledders and hopefully it won't be so cold this year. March will bring Klondike Days with a sleigh rally, horse pulls and dog pulls. Lots of great opportunity for capturing unique images. Last year's sleigh rally was a lot of fun.


Jenna said...

I can't believe that some of the ponies are already starting to shed their winter coats! It's still pretty chilly down here in GA; it must still be freezing up there!

Rachel Neil said...

I love the bird's nest.
I use to find empty wasp nests and keep them as decorations for my house.

Armani's-Thoughts said...

Ah the birds nest photos are beautiful and so are the rest of the photos

Anonymous said...

Great blog. My sons raise honey bees also. I have a question what type of candy do you feed your bees. Thanks for any help. from texas val. if you would email me at valentin_escobedo@yahoo.com.