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.
Yesterday I boxed up the ninth swarm from my own colonies. This was a much smaller swarm, and was close to the hive from which I think the previous swarm came. The timing is about right too, with almost a week elapsing since the prime swarm came out. Having finished, I got a call to tell me that one of the colonies that I manage had swarmed.
Yesterday I housed my sixth swarm of the season, and far from becoming routine, the process threw up a number of questions, including, do swarms travel with a spare queen? In the end, I think I can answer that, but at the time it was an interesting question to mull over, whilst observing the swarm taking up residence.
Today the weather warmed up, and I was surrounded by bees foraging whilst I worked. Well, surrounded isn’t technically correct, I was between them, and their forage. I took a bit of time off to take some pictures for this post, and got one or two really good shots. I also noticed/remembered a couple more useful bee forage plants.
Today was a pretty good day, and seemed significant. The bees were all active, I broke the back of this season’s tree planting, I saw the first signs of willow catkins starting to break, and I put the first seeds of 2011 into the propagator. However, it seems that every silver lining has a cloud, and there were some aspects of the day that were a bit worrying.