I’m having a very uncomfortable evening, at least mentally uncomfortable, thinking about my bees. The problem is wasps, as has been the case, at this time of year, for the last three years. Part of the problem is the fact that my property has become a great habitat for wasps. Lots of trees, banks, fruit, vegetation, and masses of insects. Allowing lots of nests to thrive through to Summer, at which point they start to try to get into the hives.
I’ve not had too much to write about the Coppice and Orchard recently, as it’s just quietly growing, with little need for any intervention. For the last few days I’ve been spending a bit more time there, doing my annual ‘defence against wasps’ duties, and for the first time, the 2009/2010 trees are getting above my head.
If you’re reading about this for the first time, it might be worth checking out the Pictures, Design, and Plans page, to see the overall pattern of the tree planting.
I wanted to get some current pictures of the Forest garden posted, with a short account of where I’ve got to so far, and what’s next. For those who haven’t visited the blog before, it might be worth you checking out the Forest Garden paragraph of the Pictures, Designs, and Plans page, before continuing.
The first picture is a view from the top (North East) corner of the Forest Garden, which is about an acre in size.
The pink bands that you can see running across the picture are the swale banks, which are covered in Musk Mallow. This is a wonderful plant, perennial, edible leaves and flowers, great bee forage, deep rooted, and able to compete with grass. I planted most of these as self seeded plants from the vegetable garden,and they have started to self seed, and expand. The pictures below show a bit more detail.
I’ve not posted for a while. Part of the reason is that I did a skep making course last weekend, to make it easier to catch bee swarms. Since then I have been catching up with my planting out, and thinking through a new system for growing some of my food, which mixes small scale wheat growing, polycultures, hugelkultur, and possibly bamboo.
Another hectic day makes me think back to April and thinking that I was getting ahead. Foolish. Again it was bees that took up most of my time. I also saw two queens within what acted like a single swarm, rather than two swarms. This is how the day went.