Moths and Ducks

We have just had the solstice here, although as often happens with the longest day, the cloud cover was so pronounced it wasn’t particularly obvious! There has been copious rainfall, but at least the ducks are happy. I keep ducks mainly because they are always so enthusiastic and contented with rain and mud, unlike the chickens who get themselves in to a profound sulk. They … Continue reading Moths and Ducks

High Summer at Shawpits

It’s taken a while, but it’s lovely to have some proper summer weather. There haven’t been many swarm calls which has meant I’ve been able to focus on some other garden projects which I didn’t get round to last year despite going literally nowhere for 15 months…anyone else in that situation? My friend helped my tie in the roses (that’s to say he did it … Continue reading High Summer at Shawpits

Love your Aphids

Any of you who have been following me for a while will know that I am first and foremost a naturalist and nature-lover, and beekeeping gives me an excuse to indulge this longstanding interest of mine. It also requires and inspires me to think holistically about how I can help my honey bees and consequently the other insects (birds, mammals, plants etc etc) around them. … Continue reading Love your Aphids

Themosolar Swarm Update

A glorious day, and the daisies have popped up almost overnight! Great to see such a swathe of these: they are not only good pollinator plants but also provide some nice tall cover for mammals. The blackthorn has gone over now, as has much of the hawthorn but this late spring does mean the traditional “June Gap” that beekeepers dread – when the trees finish … Continue reading Themosolar Swarm Update

New colony in the Thermosolar Hive

I was called out to a swarm (thanks Georgia!) at Arlington Reservoir yesterday evening: handy as I needed a swarm for the vacant Thermosolar hive about 500 yards away as the bee flies – in fact I did think there was a possibility that they could be a swarm from the occupied Thermosolar. The other possibility was that they were from a colony living in … Continue reading New colony in the Thermosolar Hive

Comfrey

Bees on comfrey. There are lots of big stands of this robust perennial growing in many places near me – right outside my front door for one! – and the bumblebees absolutely love it. They often chew a hole in the top of the flower to access the nectaries and I do find that these plants don’t have many viable seed. They are collecting pollen … Continue reading Comfrey