Today I had arranged to do some scything tuition, but had told Andy that I may have to pause to house a swarm. He picked up the peening pretty quickly, which was good, but by late morning the sound of bees just kept getting louder. So I suited up, as did he, and we walked around the field looking for a swarm. There wasn’t one, but with thirteen colonies and a strong nectar flow, everywhere that you went sounded like a swarm.
I was pretty sure that at least one colony would go, so I did the rest of the session in my bee suit, and checked regularly. Again, no swarm. So we finished up, and I gave hime some lunch, and then, as he was interested in permaculture and Forest Gardening, I showed him around. On the way back down the hill, I saw some scout bees checking out the empty hive left strategically ready to use in the other field, and pointed them out, only to see more bees checking around the hive. No sooner had I said that there must be a swarm out, than I spotted a dark shadow on the far side of an apple tree, and had to say my goodbyes, and deal with the swarm. As I went back up the field, it was obvious that this was a big swarm, so I went and got my camera for a few pictures.
If you have read my recent posts, you could be forgiven for thinking that all I’m doing at the moment is catching swarms. I did think that if ever I wrote an autobiography, this chapter would be entitled ‘Summers in a bee suit’, but I’m trying hard to keep up with all of the other chores that need doing. With no swarms for two days, and after a concerted effort to get ahead of the bees in terms of hive and frame assembly, I have actually managed to spend some time repotting, potting on, planting out, and thinking about the future.
It’s that time of year again, where everything needs doing now, and I find out all of the things that I didn’t get done over the Winter. Having not posted for about three weeks, there is also a log jam of things to write about, but rather than try and catch up with everthing in one post, I’ll explain why I’ve not been keeping up with the blog bits here, and then try and put the other stuff into shorter posts, by category.
The frozen ground has set my plans for the Autumn/Winter work back significantly, but much of the tree planting for the new Forest Garden is finished. The jobs that have slipped are the preparation of the Vegetable beds, and wood cutting.
I had hoped to get all of the tree planting done by the end of November/early December, but the snow interrupted work, and once the ground started to thaw, I was caught up in all of the family festivities and visits.I also had to do some remedial work to a beehive that was attacked by a woodpecker, and protect the remaining hives.