Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Wednesday 30th May 2012
Not much to say about this sunrise.
Anyone seen a swarm of bees?
I got home from work today and had a late afternoon catnap. So, about 5 o'clock, I wandered out into the veg patch and saw Don, who had just been pulling ragwort from his field. I was most surprised when he asked me if I had lost some of my bees!

He then gave me a vivid account of a swirling cloud of bees moving through his orchard.

Damn! My bees had swarmed. Despite everything we did to try to discourage them, they were clearly determined to do so. So that's it. Half my bees just gone. We did go looking for them, but no sign. What will we find when we open up the hives? Probably not a lot.

And double damn! I have never seen a swarm of bees before and would love to have at least had the chance to wave goodbye to them!

A new arrrival
Normally, when I write of new arrivals, I'm talking hatched eggs or multiple piglet births. Or it may be my birding obsession taking over, getting all excited about some unusual migrant or other.
But today's new arrival was most unexpected. There it was, shyly pecking away at the weedy base of the fence inside the veg patch. It allowed me a close approach, then walked towards me.

Yes, a homing pigeon seems to have got lost and chosen to move in with us.
He (or she) is clearly unable to fly for some reason. Last year we had a moribund Collared Dove do the same thing. I guess they're attracted by the other birds, or the bird feed.

Talking of the other birds, Chick of Elvis is still sitting. I have now put 7 eggs under her, though when she went for a wander today there were 8.

Spare Veg patch taking shape.
Last year I struggled to grow any crops down near the pigs as the rabbits periodically nibbled them. So 20 sweetcorn plants would be 18 in the morning and 15 the next and so on. Gerry has done an excellent job preventing the rabbits from multiplying this year but I still wanted to protect the area with fencing. Also, I witnessed a chicken just strut past a young squash plant and peck off a leaf. It won't take much of that, along with their determined scraping at the ground looking for seeds and insects, before my vegetables are losing the fight again. So this evening, up went the orange fence. If I need to, I can connect this up to the end of the electric fence, but at the moment I am hoping that the physical deterrent will suffice.

Tomorrow we open up the hives and inspect the damage.

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