Last year every post I seemed to write started with ‘ it’s raining’. This year has been exactly the opposite and as a gardener I am now desperate for rain. The rhubarb is in flower, which I think is a stress response to being to dry, and lots of the other plants are not growing as quickly as expected, even with watering.
The big water butts, fitted last Easter and filled within weeks, are now almost empty. Plans have been made to use the old butts under the shower downpipe. It’s a solution I don’t like but it has served us well in previous years even if I did think we had seen the end of them with the new tanks. The problem with waste water is that it has to be used quickly as it soon starts to smell. I get over this by attaching the tap to a long drainpipe and just empty it straight onto the lawn everytime it builds up. It greens the grass a treat!
The bees have loved the dry weather and all the hives have had to have extra supers put on them. The honey is not quite ripe but should be by next visit. There have been a lot of bees around the garden recently and as I know there are no beekeepers near I have a feeling there is a wild swarm somewhere close. They have been paying a lot of attention to my toilet breather pipe and although there are worse places for a swarm to settle I didn’t fancy the ladder climb to deal with them. I set up a swarm hive with some left over frames in the garden . Old comb is often enough to persuade bees to move in.
I sold one of the Bee Buddy’s hives this week. These 5 are to many for me so the second from the right has now gone. Hives have to be moved in the evening after the bees have returned for the night. The apiary is in the middle of nowhere and as I didn’t know the beekeeper I persuaded hubby to come with me. Hives are heavy and it takes two to lift them. I know hubby is strong enough but didn’t want to be stuck alone in a field with a wimp! As it happens the new beekeeper was well up for the job and within minutes we had it loaded onto his lovely new trailer and we were admiring all his shiny new tools, suit and equipment. He was keen and organised so I’m sure the girls will be happy.
On arriving home we were just in time to see the back end of a swarm vanishing into the bait hive in the garden. In one day I had managed to sell one and gain one. Just what I didn’t need!
This looked a small swarm in the twilight. A quick peek told me I had missed the main group entering the hive and that these are just the stragglers. On moving them to the apiary last night I find it is almost more than I can lift. If they stay I will check them in 48 hours and make them more comfortable.
Just have to decide whether to set up another bait hive. More bees anyone??