Sunday 27 May 2012

Top Bar Hives

We now have two top bar hives set and bees are in situ, we put the bees in just over a week ago and have left them alone to settle in, the good weather has helped and there has been plenty of activity, today we opened them to see how they were doing, hive 1 at the front of the picture was the smaller of the two swarms, and they have just started building comb on there 6th bar, and the hive at the back number 2 was a big swarm and they are making good progress as well and are on there 8th bar with comb, I was really surprised how quickly they have built comb and of course pleased they have settled in and it is all working well.
The door way to a bees world.

The national hives we have were checked today, brood is coming on plenty of pollen and honey, one of the nationals swarmed a few weeks ago, we got them back from next door and set them in another hive, that hive is our number 4 has been working like crazy and there super is filling fast so we are ordering some extra supers this week for all 3 of the nationals and frames and foundation, of course with a top bar you don't have any of that expense, today we settled in another swarm that was given to use in a national, so will have to wait a few weeks to see if they are going to settle.

Next week we are off on holiday in S Wales for the week so will check in again when I return.

Friday 18 May 2012

Recycling Those Rags

Last Saturday we had a Love Bletchley Day in our local town to re-introduce people to the high street and to show them what we had to offer, it was a brilliant day with over 80 stalls, selling and promoting goods and services, we had a street theatre , a fashion show put on by charity shops, the sun shone and a good time was had by all, the high street was bustling just like the old days, we had a stand outside our craft shop, and we decided we would take the opportunity to demonstrate old country crafts, I spent most of the day rag rugging, and when our local mp Iain Stewart came along I took the opportunity to have him try his hand at a bit of old fashion re-cycling with rag rugging, then we had him trying his hand at bobbin lace, I explained a bit of the history of both crafts and explained about some of the other crafts we had on show, who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks. An enjoyable day was had by all it took us a couple of months organising it all, but it just goes to show what you can do when you all pull together.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Collecting A Swarm

The other evening we were told of another swarm in next doors garden, this was the second one we collect from there this week and it was an awkward to collect, low down under a deep ledge and the evening was creeping in fast light falling along with the temperature, we tried to encourage them up into the box with gentle persuasion from smoke, we left the box over night and next evening when we checked they were all happily in the box, today neighbours told us another swarm in the hedge, so off we go again for the third time don't know who's hives they are coming from, we now need some new hives desperately as we are full at the inn and both travel boxes are full, we have ordered a couple of top bar hives for the next couple of swarms about the ones we have collected will be going into national hives as they will have settled on the frames in travel boxes.

Monday 7 May 2012

The Good and the Bad

Good  Boy Mushrooms

Bad Boy Mushrooms

We have spent the afternoon foraging for St Georges mushrooms to go with our rabbit dinner tonight, and we got bag loads, if we cant identify a fungi we pick a couple and put them in a separate bag to be identified at home and bubble off Downsizer identified the bad boy ones as Verpa Conica a member of the morel family so after a bit of research we found out that some say you can eat them others say they will give you an upset tummy so into the compost bucket they went, not worth taking a chance.

Sunday 6 May 2012

Busy as the Bees Day

Not a day of glorious weather but decent enough to get outside and catch up on all that the rain has prevented us from doing, today started with finding out our bees had swarmed and settled in next doors garden in the hedge, donning suits and gathering all our bits we set too getting them back, just as well the spare hive was set up last week in preparation of getting a swarm, they seemed to have settled in there new home, we will inspect the other hive tomorrow weather permitting and check that there are no more queen cells. Other half has been busy this week shooting pigeons I think we have had about 6, and today managed a couple of rabbits one had really bad mixi so we settled for one that's it marinading in the yellow bowl for tomorrows dinner, made a mixed fruit pie as well from some of last years fruit, and as we have a glut of eggs again made up a bacon mushroom and asparagus flan that will do for lunches along with some Herman Friendship Fruit Cake.
Everything is coming on great in the greenhouses it will be nice when this cold spell finally breaks and we can get things moved into the ground, we did get some sprouts out today and broccoli last week-end, the sweetcorn has also gone out it will just have to take its chances as we were desperate for the space. The strawberries are all in flower so I got straw put around them, on time for a change, usually I am so busy with all the young plants I don't get the time to see to the strawberries until its too late and the fruit gets all muddy, so while you are held up with some jobs you catch up on others, next week end we are hoping to go to the smallholders show in Wales, usually we go to Ardingly in Sussex so it will be nice to see a different one, that's all for now things to do.