Cold November Day in Mendota

It’s a nippy 24 degrees today in Mendota.   I washed an old quilt that Luckie wallows on and hung it on the clothesline.  It took it almost all day, but it came very close to getting dry.   Miracle!    Yesterday I removed the sugar water feeders from our beehives.  I also changed out the spacer which provides them with their opening to come and go.

My Bees

As of this morning,  they have only a tiny hole as their entrance.   This will keep the hive a little warmer.   They will remove dead bees through this hole as well as their waste.   Just noticed this picture has dead bees that they’ve already tossed out.  Gross.   Apparently, bees aren’t much on ceremony for the bees that pass on before them.  Just toss ’em.

Bee Hive in the Winter

I’ve been watching the temperatures.   On Tuesday night,  it will be about 15 degrees in our area.   I won’t do anything special to the hives as they can survive that type of temperature every once in a while.    Each one of these hive boxes is full of honey.   It has to last them until the honeyflow in the spring.  I’ll say a prayer tonight for these little pals.

I’d told you about the woodboiler earlier this week.   We had to go get a part for it in Peterstown, West Virginia.


Mike and Gerald got it up and and running, and the house is so warm, and whatever improvements were made are working.  It’s not using as much wood.  Yay!  I went over to the guesthouse, and it’s toasty warm, too.   We heat both houses with one woodboiler.

We do not have the woodboiler heating the water in the guesthouse at this time, but we do in the main house.  It’s really hot.   Because of this, I went back to my “homemade” laundry detergent.    It’s the recipe you see all over Pinterest and the internet using Fels Napta soap.   Here’s the recipe from the blogger I got it from.      I do not like using this recipe with cold water and my high efficiency washer.  It stays on dark clothes.  However, if I use it with hot water which helps dissolve the ingredients, it works very well, so with my free hot water from the woodboiler, I can use this detergent which costs very little.

I’ve been looking at Pinterest and thinking about next year’s vegetable garden today.   Gardens are so rewarding, but they are especially rewardng in the winter.  I’m making soup tonight and instead of store bought tomatoes, I’m using my own.   Here they are…looking fine in a cabbage stew that is on the cooktop.  It smells so good.

Cabbage Stew

I’m taking these pictures with my iphone, but on Black Friday, I am getting a new camera!!




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  1. Eva, John had 7 frames of bees just up and leave the hive in the passed 2 weeks. Just up and left with a hive full of honey. Bees are strange creatures!

    • Beverly,

      Ouch! That hurts! Gerald’s acted like they were thinking of swarming a couple of weeks ago (they didn’t). The terrible thing about what happened to John’s is that they would have been safe in their hives during the winter, and they are now probably dead with no honey nor adequate shelter. I hope next year we all have a better year. We only got about 20 pints of honey this year from all these bees!

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