It’s the glory days of summer and we thought it was high time for at least a quick update. This time highlighting a few farm residents that are often overlooked! A beautiful flock of Muscovy ducks has called this place home for over a decade. Recently, their squabbling, mischievous family has grown with the surprise arrival of 13 ducklings!

The proud mumma of these cuties had been escaping every day for months. No harm there, she returned every evening without fail before dark and settled into the coop for the night with the others. Surprise! – apparently she had been escaping to incubate a secret clutch of eggs hidden in the woods somewhere. Last week, she marched into the farmyard, midday, with a long trail of 13 healthy ducklings following awkwardly behind her. Welcome, fellows!

Just ducksMuscovy MAyhem

Duck and ducklingsProud muMma

In other news, BEES! It has been a couple years since we’ve kept any hives on the farm. With the hive boxes empty, we had been on the lookout for feral swarms looking for a new place nearby to call home. Well, we found 3 swarms this season (thanks, Sarah!) and all three are now happily buzzing around the farm, pollinating, producing brood and stockpiling honey.

Swarm of honeybeesA hearty Swarm of honeybees

Examining the swarmExamining the swarm

UPDATE: We lost one of three swarms; our suspicion is that they lost their queen and couldn’t produce another in time. The other two are now into their first month of winter and still alive and well, with a healthy population. Overwinter colony collapse has been an issue for many beekeepers, so we’re keeping a close eye on these guys. Will update in the spring!

About Adam Zinzan

Adam has a background in design and brings his experience with the design process to homesteading and natural building. He has designed and built several off-grid cabins, making use of salvaged materials and self-harvested timber. He is an experienced timber frame builder, self-taught draftsperson, homesteader, and visual artist. Adam lives and works at Snow Lake Keep homesteading community.

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