Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I went to the bee farm this morning having not gone yesterday as it was too hot. It was too hot today but I was sort of ready and child-free, plus the man from FERA is due next week and the hives need to be ship-shape. Putting on my beesuit over flimsy summer dress and leather boots I made a start on the WBCs:

In the rose garden
The bees were not best pleased about being disturbed and I was using the water mister rather than smoke (mainly so that I could spray my face with it) but Hive 1 was really cross with me so I had a quick check and bundled them back up again and went and sat under the oak tree for a few minutes until they left me alone.

Hive 1
They probably thought I was trying to take their honey (I wasn't!) and these bees haven't been checked for a while so must have wondered who I was. I tried to do Hive 2 but got stung 3 times through my gloves and beesuit so had to walk away as once they have stung, it releases a pheromone that calls others to the cause so it was back under the oak tree. They followed me all the way to the house which is a good sign that they're pretty fed up so I made an executive decision to leave Hive 3 for another day! I checked round the hives in the top paddock and there were no swarms but it was not a very productive morning at the apiary.

Here's Mary enjoying a newly-created dustbath with additional shading - I think the hens got fed up with having to scuff my very expensive dahlias out of the way when they were bathing in the borders so have started a new row under the hedge:

I had about 50 million marigolds last year so hopefully I will be able to use some petals in some soap or other concoction.

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