126-Farmer’s Market Plus Farm Improvements

Market season is in full swing. This episode discusses our first Saturday at the 18th Street Farmer’s Market and what we are doing at the Farm.

We are continuing to be open at the farm on Fridays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, then at the 18th Street Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

For the time being, at the Farm we will have a limited set up in the crib so that everyone can be outside and safe. Most Fridays we will have a baked item available to order that is not offered at the market on Saturday. Watch our social media for more information on what is offered week to week. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) We will also add these items to our online Mercantile.

Stay safe everyone.

Until next time….

Donna, Julia and the Felines


120-Honeybees and Market Updates

Spring is here and we are moving toward Farmer’s Market season. This will be a different experience this year, but it will happen!

The 18th Street Farmer’s Market will begin in Charleston, IL on May 16, 2020 and we’ll be there. We are planning now for expanding our online ordering, plus how we will process and package orders. Soon, we will have additional information about Market Thyme in Casey.

This episode also gives an update on our apiary, adding two more hives of honeybees from packages.

If you are interested in ordering from our online Mercantile, you can have our non-food items shipped anywhere in the U.S. Food is only available when we are open here at the Farm (next time is May 2, 2020) and at Farmer’s Markets.

Be sure to follow us on social media to get frequent updates: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time…

Donna, Julia and the Felines

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117-Honeybees, Spring Flowers and More

We are blessed to have plenty to do while under the stay at home order to combat coronavirus. In fact, many of our spring tasks are ahead of schedule.

While Donna has been planting in the eighteen new beds around the property, Julia tended to the honeybees and ventured a little too close.

In this episode, we started with an interruption by Honeybee

and ended with a cowbell for Julia’s latest post “5 Rules To Eat By”

View at Medium.com

We are looking forward to seeing everyone as soon as safely possible.

Until next time….

Donna, Julia and the Felines

Do Honeybees Hibernate?

One of the most frequently asked questions about Five Feline Farm is about the honeybees. This year has been a start over year. We presently have two thriving hives and are determined to keep these colonies alive if at all possible. Our goal is to avoid the tragedy we experienced last year in losing colonies and increase the number of colonies in the spring.

We did harvest a very small amount of honey this year from one colony. Although the bees did produce a fair amount of honey, we made the decision to prioritze the health of the bees and leave this additional honey for their winter food supply. This will increase their likelihood of making it through the forecasted harsh winter and is more important than any profit potential we might realize by removing more honey.

What do honeybees do in the winter?

This is a common question. People often assume that honeybees hibernate in the winter. The reality is that honeybees do not hibernate, they cluster.

When temperatures drop, the colony huddles together in a ball with the queen and her attendants in the middle. The bees on the outer edge form an insulating layer. The inner layers of bees vibrate their abdominal muscles to generate heat for warmth. Periodically, one of the inner bees will move to the outer layer and push her cold sister into the middle of the ball to allow her time to warm up.

The bees also pass food from one to the other and to the queen. The entire cluster moves throughout the hive over the winter to where the honey reserves are stored. It is important for the beekeeper to leave enough honey for the bees. Yes, we can and do supplement with dry granulated sugar as needed to ensure they have plenty to eat before the spring nectar flow begins.

If all goes as planned, our colonies will overwinter.

You can follow the progress of Five Feline Farm through these weekly blogposts, and our social media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.