Bees update

13.6.2017 I moved two frames with foundation (relatively new foundation) amongst the 6 frames from Juro as they were not building out, will be checking again sometimes this week. They are busy, calm, quiet, nice.

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Meddy has been with us for 3 months now and

 she has been an absolute joy to have and be around. Of course there are little odd things and naughty things that she does but who does not, we did not want an angel. I did not anyway. She has actually just finished her season which she dealt with pretty well. Had to stop walking her and Ares the Rottie together for 5 days just before the finish it was getting a bit out of hand. She was really whacked half way through it. Otherwise she is very good, knows how to relax, she is getting used to us working outside, she is learning about scything, we did our first field last Monday, at the beginning we left her at home as there was nowhere for her to go but once we cut some strips Mike let her out and she was pretty good, slightly angry with us waking her up I think was her biggest complaint. I took some pictures as she has grown a bit and I wanted to update Radka the girl who looked after her before us.Meddy loves water, can’t get enough of it actually, I think she would dive if she could but we have not found water deep enough yet to try it out, but she likes to drop things in the water and dive her head to pick them up. we have lots of fun. I am also going to add a couple of pictures of the Heuchera bed with the Cercis that really suffered this winter as has the Acer that is next to it, they both got huge die back that we cut out, the colours of the Heuchera is just  . Last picture is from the Eye bed by the bees and the Hellebores that is amazing.

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Bees arrived

Hurray we have got a Nuc, a friend of mine from the village has rung to say whether I still want bees last night,  I mean what a question !!! of course I want bees except by the time it came to us getting the nuc a storm arrived and it was raining so we postponed it for a day.

Tonight when he rung it was relatively clear, cool and no rain, he made me a Nuc, 6 frames of bees and eggs and stores,  which I left closed till tomorrow morning  and then during the day I will open them and move them into my hive that I cleaned 2 days before.   It is very exciting, the fact of having bees here again, feels great. Really really excited.

Will take some pictures and post them here so you can see.

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Bee Safe

I have looked into cleaning up my hives etc, just in case there is something that I should not put my new bees into so I spoke to my very good friend and a man who got me bees last year Rudo and he sugested BeeSafe a Swedish product based on Iodene so of I went and reserached it on the internet found a company in the Czech Republic and ordered it straight away. Today we had a bit of time or I had a bit of time and got myself sorted out for cleaning up the gear, it went so well that I managed to spray or brush all my gear with this stuff. I wore gloves, had a brush to help me get into little corners or places where the sprayer did not get to, otherwise it was relatively easy to do, I layed it all out on the patio and left it all, drying and airing as I went on doing the entire collection. By the end off it all I used 2 x 750 ml of BeeSafe, which is 30ml of BeeSafe in 750ml of water.

Mike helped me put it all back into the roof space of our woodstore we have got it in two stacks super that are empty and supers with empty or wired frames, plus 5 floors right at the beginning. It feels great having done that.

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Meddy and the weather

From April to May we have had some pretty wicked weather see for yourself,

As you can see Meddy features in most of these, she has settled in pretty well, is well behaved (most of the time), we had hail the other day – first she was chasing them later she decided it was a bit painful so got under a roof, she is really friendly with the sheep to the amount that she licks them and they allow her to do it and just accept her. Meddy and one of the cats are the greatest of friends, except when the cat gets Meddy into trouble.. she loves walks but she is also a really good dog to have around, she knows how to relax. She wants to be involved in everything. We love her to bits. She blows bobbles in water as she dives her head into it, honestly she does some wicked things. Just watch and learn and or be amazed. She loves water no  matter how dirty it is she has to be in it. The last photo is from a walk we did we walked for 1 1/2 hrs solid, I thought she would sleep once we got home but as we were working she kept going by the time she had her dinner though she was shattered and just went to sleep in her bed. What a character. ;-))

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Bees

The reason why I have not mentioned that much about my bees is due to the fact that I only have a little amount of them left. I had problems with robbers again so I moved them, and then put a branch from a conifer on top in front of the entrance which worked really well, but then moved them again as they had a normal hive and there was too much empty space so I took 4 frames and put them into the Nuc that Mike made ages ago and put the Nuc on top of the water containers by the shed. I have not looked at them since then but seen the od bee fly in and out with pollen and heard them buzzing. The Queen is there but she really has not been in a rush to lay eggs but they survived the winter so I am reluctant to chuck them out.

I have, fingers crossed, managed to obtain a couple of colonies later on and we wanted to change the “apiary” area as that was the other reason I thought the previous bees suffered, cold winds, heat in the summer so we build them a shelter. Pictures as follows from the beginning to the end – Finished product, inside – the hives will sit on a wooden shelf and I have space behind them to walk and work on them, as and when needed. Have a look, Mike painted it, and of course helped big time, as always.

As soon as I have bees in the new Apiary I will let you know, My Nuc wont go into there till they nice and strong again.

When I told other beekeepers that my bees were getting robbed in the spring they did not want to believe me, I have a pretty good idea where the robbers fly from and I believe they do it because it is an easy option, they were robbing at the beginning of May when the Dandeloin flowers were just coming on, once they were out and cherry blossom was out they were not interested. But I am worried that they will do it again. I have read some interesting articles about robbing bees and prevention, the reducion of entrance is a big must, the branch was really effective, some people spray the robbers with diluted detol which confuses the home bees as they don’t recognize their own family and believe them to be robbers, robber screens are good as well I need to improve mine, and opening the hives when there is not many other bees flying around is not a good idea.

We left gaps in between boards for the wind to get through and for ventilation, the wood and two sheets of the roof were all recycled from the old chicken coop or from other projects, we only had to buy two sheets of roofing to finish it off. There is enough room for 6 hives.
We had so many bees in the garden as the Berberis bushes are in full bloom as were the fruit trees, right now we have strawberry plants in bloom as well as alliums the bee bed under the apiary is really good, all the bulbs I put in there last year came up and it looked really good and the bees loved it, even though they were not mine.

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Warm and sunny, ..

it arrived, the fields are sooo green, well except for the yellow dandeloins and the purple orchids, etc, but the grass has decided to grow, we had rain, and cold and now we have sun and warmth, what more could you want.

The bees, well I moved them into a Nuc, and moved them on top of the water containers with a conifer branch on top, helps  not to be found by the robbing bees, which we are going to have to sort out.The robber bees that come here are so “clever” as soon as I put a new hive out with even the slightest amount of stores in there they are there.

I have seen the Queen in the Nuc, there is about a handfull of bees, I just don’t want to throw them away. 

We are going to built a new Bee area in the original place just going to give it a bit more protections on the sides and in the back and from above.

Meddy doing pretty well, she is lovely, most of the time. Will post some pictures some time soon.

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The perfect April weather

 It honestly is living up to its standard, we have had it all, well just about.

The sheep are in, we had about 10cm of snow on the ground last week. Put the sheep in before it all settled in and actually took the fencing down as well. Everytime Ewe-Ewe sees sun shinig outside she is sure they should be out and lets us hear her opinion. Maybe tomorrow. Except the weather forecast for the end of the week is not that brilliant.

Have not been doing anything in the garden since last week it is too wet and soggy.

Meddy is doing pretty well. I have put a 100% natural anti tic treatment on her last night, it is from ARAVA made in Israel, and is full of essential oils. Honestly though, it said on the box use in well ventilated area and they were not kidding, I decided, in my wisdom I will put it on her at the end of the day, give it time to get into her skin. Well what a daft idea that was, it was so strong that she kept walking up and down, here and there, I took her out for a while trying to get rid of some of the smell, she really did no settle in for the rest of the night. Poor Meddy!!!  The smell is pretty strong, today is the second day, as soon as she walks past you, you can smell it so watch out ticks.

When we went walking today we started off in sunshine, suddenly we were surounded by black cloud and snow fallling on either side of us, few minutes later it reached us as well, it was crazy and amazing and wicked. By the time we got home we were back to blue sky and sunshine. Then it was snowing again, right now we have clear skies and a bit of cloud.

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The weather changed

It got really cold and we had snow on the ground, once more. On the other side it is only April. But to go from 20 degrees to about 1 was quite a noticable jump. I don’t think Meddy had a problem with it, mind you she wasn’t the one who had to be outside as it was we put the sheep in just in time and left them in the barn while the cold weather lasted which was a couple of days. The bees seem fine, just took the lid of today and they looked pretty all right. It was quite nice today, the sun was sort of shining and if out of  the wind and in the sunshine it was lovely, otherwise a bit chilly.

The sheep were soooo happy to go out again, Willow and the lambs had a race around while Ewe-Ewe just ate. Willow has mellowed down again now that she is with the rest, she is very good with the lambs, plays with them allows them to eat with her.

Took some pictures from the day in snowed and a day after, the last few are of Mike showing Meddy his thumb that she accidentaly bit and managed to leave a blue mark on it. She looks sorry, Sorry Mike, I am really sorry, is that the look or what?? It wasn’t me, surely. 😉

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Another great day

It was – 5 this morning but by the time the sun came out about 9 am the temperature in the greenhouse rose to +20,8C that is amazing. Except for the cold wind it was a very pleasant day and I managed to spent most of it outside as I was fortunate enough to escape the work inside. Mike was making Mango chutney I only helped at the beginning and at the end. We make it as it is expensive to buy and fresh mangoes are easily available and are not too expensive and we like to make it ourselves.

The bees were a bit slow to come out today I am hoping to have a look at them tomorrow we are not suppose to have a cold night and during the day we are due to get +14 degrees, it is suppose to be sunny and warm, if it is I will have a quick peek at them. I am interested to see how they are doing and clean up the floor of the hive.

I have found out that Meddy loves to run in streams up and down it does not really matter how clean they are, wet is the goal really. She also loves to play with a ball on a string, watch out fingers we are working on the give command as it can be quite painful. Went out just above the house with Mike and saw some amazing clouds forming in the sky. Look how blue the sky looks. Meddy and the cats are getting on pretty well really, there is the odd chase but it can be controlled much better from Meddy’s side than the cats.

Have been skiing over the weekend, it was cold during the night so the slope was ever so hard, not much fun really.

 

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