Requeening a Honeybee Hive – Things We Didn’t Know…

By Texas Homesteader ~ 

Hobby Beekeeping is enjoying quite a popular resurgence. Many people are becoming interested in raising their own bees, whether for pollination of their own gardens, that delicious honey, valuable beeswax or just to care for our beloved pollinators.

Today I’ll be talking about requeening our hive. There are many reasons a beekeeper might want to requeen their hives. Maybe their existing queen is older and not productive anymore. Or maybe over the years the bees in the hive have swarmed and requeened their colony so many times the hive is becoming more aggressive, or ‘hot’.

You see, each time the colony makes their own queen, she must make her maiden flight for breeding with the surrounding bees. Oftentimes those are wild bees and some might even have more aggressive Africanized bee influence.

If you have very many generations taking those steps you’ve gotten too much opportunity for aggressive characteristics to be introduced into your hive.

There are several reasons beekeepers like to requeen their beehive. Recently we made a split and requeened two hive boxes. #TexasHomesteader

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Safety From The Storm – Part II: Outfitting Your Storm Shelter

by Texas Homesteader ~ 
*includes affiliate link

We had a concrete underground storm shelter installed, but we probably don’t stock it the same as others might.

There are some things that we feel are important and others that we just don’t. Wonder what made the cut?

In wondering what to store in our storm shelter I polled our wonderful  Facebook followers. They were so helpful with their suggestions (as they always are). 

Using their suggestions as a guide, here’s what we decided would be stocked (and what WOULDN’T) in our shelter.

Now that we have our underground storm shelter installed, what should we stock in it? Read how we decided what items should be included #TexasHomesteader

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5 Frugal Things – Meal Planning, Garden Tips, Coupons & More

By Texas Homesteader ~

As it always is this time of year, this was a busy week for RancherMan & me. Between garden chores, PG checking cows, ordering new honeybee queens, doing hive splits, etc. we’ve really been working sun up to sun down.

But even when the days are filled to the brim there’s still ways to save money during our typical day-to-day life. Come see the 5 frugal ways we’ve been able to save money (and oftentimes with a positive environmental impact as well!)

5 Frugal Things we did this week to save money. #TexasHomesteader

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Living Mulch Using Vining Plants

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Here in NE Texas the summers can be hot and dry. So veggie garden plants can benefit and be protected by using mulch to cover the soil. It protects it from the drying heat of that brutal Texas summer sun.

It also helps preserve the precious moisture that can be zapped by the hot and dry summer months.

You can buy commercial mulch of course. But I’ve been known to use natural (and FREE) products when mulching around trees and plants. Things such as grass clippings, Free Bark Mulch or even spent hay from around the hay rings.

But for my vegetable garden I’m using something even easier. And it’s something that doesn’t need to be purchased in a plastic bag nor hauled to the garden. No hoe or rake to spread, no extra work at all.

Check out this work-saving Homestead Hack, y’all!

Garden plants benefit from long vines shading the soil. It's like growing your own living mulch. Work smarter, not harder. #TexasHomesteader

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Supper Made Fast: Chicken Fried Rice  

By Texas Homesteader ~

I’m a big fan of Planned Leftovers. That’s when some of the components of today’s meal were actually prepared for a completely different dish yesterday.

It’s a super-fast meal since some of the ingredients of tonight’s entrée have already been cooked.

For instance, I have leftover grilled fajita chicken and some plain long-grain rice in the fridge needing to be used.

So I’ll combine them deliciously to make a completely different meal tonight with an oriental flair. Chicken Fried Rice!

Chicken Fried Rice makes good use of leftover meat & rice to get supper on the table fast. #TexasHomesteader

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Closing The Loop In Charitable Giving

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Did ya ever think about closing the loop in charitable giving? I mean, you’ve made a wonderful donation of household goods to that thrift store. That’s awesome! But then what?

Several years ago we began to be aware of our environmental footprint and took several steps to reduce that footprint.  (HA! I said STEPS & footprint – see what I did there?)

First we took a good hard look at the overabundance we already had and stopped ‘boredom shopping’ for yet more stuff to overfill our home. That was a pretty big step.

But today I want to talk about something that can make a larger impact:  Buying used instead of new. It’s good for your finances and good for the environment. Yet it’s oftentimes very misunderstood.

Your donated goods to 'charity' don't help their cause. It's the SALE of those goods (and money received) they need. Buying Used From Thrift Stores Is Good For The Environment. You help a good cause & you often get higher quality at a lower cost too! #TexasHomesteader
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All-Natural Cutting Board & Wood Utensil Conditioner

By Texas Homesteader ~
*contains affiliate link

I have a couple of large wooden cutting boards. And many wood utensils too. I’ve owned and used them all heavily for years. 

But I’m mindful in taking care of them. They’re always hand-washed and dried before putting them away.

I don’t put anything made of wood in my dishwasher. Doing that could ruin your wooden items. Even utensils that are steel but have a wooden handle need to be hand-washed.

But even with proper care, over the years your wooden items might need a little extra love. Maybe they start drying out a little. So they might benefit from a little conditioner.

I make my own all-natural wood cutting board conditioner using only natural beeswax and organic coconut oil. #TexasHomesteader

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Garden Update: March – Mystery Seed Edition

by Texas Homesteader ~

It’s only March, but there’s much to do now to prepare for your vegetable garden. Spring is almost here, y’all!

Decisions need to be made. Do you know what you’ll plant this year? What does your family like to eat? What about companion planting?

 I’ve been both planning for (as well as actually working in) my garden already. For my garden, I’ve made a Simple Spreadsheet to track the data on my garden each year. It helps me see what I grew where last year and I’ve noted companion planting data too.

Your garden will obviously be different, but it’s easy to set up a spreadsheet like this. Or some people just use a notebook and hand-written notes. Whatever’s easiest for you.

OK, so you’ve got the garden planned. Now you need to get started. Come see what’s going on this month for planning our garden…

It's only March, but there's LOTS going on both in preparation of as well as in the garden. Come see what we're doing. #TexasHomesteader

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