Friday, 24 June 2011


Today the home-ed group met at the seaside which was lovely and the first time I have been to the beach for an awfully long time. So, ignoring the heebie-jeebies I get when driving the old route to the children's school, we managed to meet Laura and co at the top of the path. I took some photos despite not being able to see what an earth I was looking at with the sun on the camera screen:

I think some of them are my children

Inoceramid fossil
They were building a crab sanctuary apparently
So after our picnic lunch us mums started getting cold so we came home as the wind was picking up. I thought I should go and check the bees at the farm and with my new policy of never leaving all three children alone for more than 8 minutes as fighting ensues, I volunteered Rosie to come and be my apiary assistant.

Having spoken to knowledgable bee friend John at length about hatching queens out of their cells so that they don't swarm, I thought we'd have a go at hymenopteran caesarean sections as this colony is enormous but extremely placid, plus there were a number of queen cells:

Can you see her? Nurse bees (or are they paparazzi?) getting in the way of regal photo op
So that was very exciting and it'll be intersting to see if they swarm now. Although they are rather bursting at the seams:

Go back in! Nothing to see....
So many thanks to my able assistant Rose who I then sent off to get a drink as the next hive I did was extremely grumpy and the bees were all stinging my veil and gloves which is rather anti-social. I don't think they had a laying queen though which does make them very out of sorts - the queen releases a pheromone which keeps them all in check and once she's laying eggs and they've got baby bees to look after, the house bees calm down.

It's now looking rather gloomy outside but here's hoping for a sunny weekend...

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