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Animal Instinct

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 6/9/20

Last week while working in back of the store, after one of those pop up rain storms, Pebbles came around the corner of the warehouse with a huge patch of mud on one of her back hips. Now let me be …

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Animal Instinct

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Last week while working in back of the store, after one of those pop up rain storms, Pebbles came around the corner of the warehouse with a huge patch of mud on one of her back hips. Now let me be clear, both Lily and Pebbles love to get muddy, so seeing her with a patch of mud on her was no big deal.

By the time we went home at night, the mud had dried and fallen off of Pebbles. Later that night while sitting on the couch, Pebbles jumped up for a belly rub. While petting Pebbles I noticed, where the mud had been earlier that day, that she had been stung by a wasp or hornet.

Now my question is how does she, a dog, know that putting mud on a sting takes the pain away? We didn't teach her. But the fact is that putting mud on a sting does help with the pain. For us, using mud is a last ditch effort if other remedies aren't available, like when camping or hiking, but for dogs it is really just the only remedy. It is amazing the animal instinct that they have in these situations.

Now we were working out back cleaning around our recently reactivated beehive. A few years ago, we tested a new type of beehive, the Flowhive. The Flowhive has a way to extract honey from the beehive without opening it up and disturbing the bees. It is quite remarkable, how they have created new frames for inside the hive that can be shifted with the turn of a key so that the honey in each of the cells will flow down to a collection area at the bottom.

Once there, it is just a matter of turning a tap and watching the honey flow out a tube and into your jar. We wanted to try the new system to see if it was as good as advertised and to see if it would be worth selling at the store.

Well, our Flowhive was as good as advertised, however, because of the initial success of the product the manufacturers decided to sell the product direct to consumers only, which is a little costly here since the company is in Australia and freight is pricey. Our hive was going great all season and even produced another queen, and we had to start another regular hive as well.

It is a good thing we started carrying beekeeping supplies so that we had an extra hive at the ready. But disaster struck over the winter as our bees made it through December, January and February, only to be killed by a late spring thirty-eight inch snow storm that we received in March.

So now after a few years we finally got some more bees for our hive. Needless to say, with all the flowers in our garden center they are quite happy. The bees have certainly been doing their job as we have apple trees that are bearing fruit and tomato plants that have to be stacked up from all the tomatoes hanging on them.

This winter we will be adding some extra insulation to our hive so that we do not repeat the disasters of the past. I will have to use a little animal instinct of my own to keep our bees happy and healthy for years to come.

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