Friday 27 November 2015

What the bees do now....

So it's been a long time since I mentioned my bees so just thought I would let you know what's happening now.

Well quite frankly...not a lot!!

No bee in sight....all tucked up keeping warm!!
No bee in sight....all tucked up
keeping warm!!

Chilly days mean quieter bees!
Chilly days mean quieter bees!

Honey bees don't hibernate over the winter. They are certainly a lot less active and I won't carry out inspections over the winter as I don't want to drop the temperature of the hives as this could be devastating to the colony within but I will keep 'hefting' the hives which is where you lift them slightly to check the weight and if you think they are feeling a little light then it may be because they are getting low on honey stores so you can slip some fondant in to give them a boost.

I have made sure my bees are as prepared as I possibly can for the winter. I have used hive alive and fed them ambrosia syrup to give them a boost. Then just before the weather turned really cold I put some fondant in a feeder on the hives just as a little extra security.

As you can see from these few photos there is some clearing that needs doing around the hives which I will sort before spring. It's hard to do this on balmy autumn days as the bees will come out and fly and they can be a bit 'tetchy', this is due to there being less food about so I like to disturb them as little possible and wait for colder days to sort things out!

Although around the hives is a bit messy looking down the plot from the hives looks nice and I am pleased with how it's looking as winter approaches.

Looking down the plot from
the hives.
Although it looks nice and tidy I am thinking it is looking a bit bare and I am thinking next year that I might add some more herbs and fruit bushes to fill in some of the 'blanks' and to make it a more productive space as although I want to keep it low maintenance I also want to gain as much as possible from the plot and also to provide the bees with as much as possible.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

A few more photos.

Wasp nest in the ground.

My cutie Tro with his tongue sticking out!!

 A wonderful sunrise.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Bee Pond Hair Cut.

The first of November came a few weeks ago now and we were blessed with a glorious day for it. It started out with incredibly thick fog that soon cleared to leave us with gorgeous sies and a lovely warmth from the sun. Such a glorious day wasn't to be wasted and yet it was a Sunday and deserved to be enjoying and relaxing. So what dd I do?? I spent some time playing with a rake and a leaf collector  and then I went down to the allotment and sat giving the pond a gentle and relaxing haircut!!

Bee pond long over due for  a haircut!!
Bee pond long over due for
a haircut!!
 So with a pair of scissors and a knee pad in hand I sat and soaked up the sun whilst trimming here and there with a pair of scissors for an hour or so. The weather was so balmy I didn't even need a coat. How weird is that for November!!

See how lovely it looks? This will be the
last cut this year!!
So that was how I spent my day on the 1st of November...truly glorious!!

Monday 23 November 2015

Out on a Saturday Night!

It's not very often we go out ...and certainly hardly ever go to a black tie event so I thought I would share with you the fact that I can, on occasion, look like a real girl!!

So last Saturday saw the Hubby and me getting all dolled up for a charity event. It was at the Rugby club to raise funds to take the under 13's on the 'Dublin Tour', or something along those lines!!
It was a black tie affair and we decided to go as my friends son is one of those who will be going on the tour. It was a nice evening with nice company and a nice meal. There was an auction of things donated by people. Some were things such as signed Rugby shirts and original glasses to as extravagant as a weeks vacation in a Spanish Villa. 

Smile for the camera!
I know the photo is a little blurry but at least we are smiling!!

 I did my bit for the event by offering to auction off a bee taster morning for up to five people. I'm not sure as of yet if anyone took up the offer as we left before the auction finalised but I am hoping if nothing else that Grantham Beekeepers got a little bit of publicity as I did a bit of a 'Visual board' and took some of the course posters along too.

I don't know how much was raised for the tour but I am hoping that people were generous and that the evening raised plenty for the tour.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Not sure where I'm at!!!

Well I wrote my last post and had intentions of writing more sooner than this, then I realised I couldn't actually remember where I was actually at with what I had and hadn't written/told you so had to do a little bit of back tracking.

Then I remembered I had actually took photos that I hadn't yet posted so this is going to be a bit more of a picture post for you depending on what ever I find on the camera...let's have a look shall we.....

Cherry tree leaf with a weird pattern, any ideas what this is??
Cherry tree leaf with a weird pattern,
any ideas what this is??

before shot of the corn and raspberry canes.
This is a before shot of the corn
and raspberry canes.
 The raspberry canes and corn looked a real mess at the end of the season. The corn produced well for me but unfortunately I didn't benefit from it as I just didn't manage to get them harvested. Didn't have much time to harvest raspberries this year either but I am sure the wildlife enjoyed them!

Finally got those blackcurrant bushes cut down.
Finally got those blackcurrant
bushes cut down.
 Now the currant bushes are all cut back you get a lovely view of Annabels hive. It is all ready for the cold winter moths now!!

corn and raspberry canes have been cut back
Tidy space after the corn and raspberry
canes have been cut back, just need to
dispose of all that rubbish now!

Unruly gooseberry bushes still need taming!
Unruly gooseberry bushes still need taming!
 So that is a little for you to be going on with...there is more to come but I don't want to bore you to quickly. Enjoy your evening!!

Friday 13 November 2015

Check, Check, Check!!!!

Well yet again it wasn't my intention to be this long in posting...that seems to be my standard mantra of late but I promise you I am working on getting timings down better so that I will get more posts up in a timely never may happen!!!

Anyway after the immense amount of work I showed you I had accomplished n my last post I did keep going but took things a little steadier as boy did I ache come Friday...seriously the closest I can describe my aches to was the one time I had the flu...not pleasant at all...luckily with a days T.L.C. I was mostly recovered and I could do some tasks that needed completed down the plot that were a little less back breaking and more akin to 'fun' maybe not the right word for it but certainly more enjoyable.

I still haven't got the main crop potatoes out of the ground but I am hoping to get it done at some point this year....however the thought of it with all the rain we've had of late really hurts my back...we will see how things progress I guess.

I was asked in an earlier comment what my summer weather had been like...well I guess as usual it was a bit up and down....we had plenty of this...

Sunny days.

But on the down side we also had plenty of this.....

Rain, rain,rain!!!
That was pretty much our summer. A wonderful heatwave giving lovely warmth and good starts to the crops late may and June but then lots of cooler weather for late June and July. Now it wasn't cold as such...but it wasn't warm either. Perfect breeding weather for all the weeds of course and not great for the potatoes. The earlies didn't suffer the main crop didn't get much size too them. The weather did lead to wonderful fruit crops though. The roots all stayed rather small!!

The other down side to this weather was for the bees. Because of the wet they couldn't get out for quite a while which led them to eat a lot of stores...which of course meant less honey harvest which isn't so much of an issue as I can deal with that. the main problem as for the swarms that didn't have the time to build their stores up before the bad weather came and so there was quite a large number of colony starvations this year. Luckily for me all my colonies were strong and well fed so I didn't suffer any losses but i know that many people did.

So that's the summer in a nutshell. Will be back later with a few pics showing you of the progress over the last couple of weeks and what things are like as the seriously cold weather (or so we're led to believe) approaches!!