Monday, 27 July 2015

Moving the chicks

chicks July 15

Last night we moved the chicks from the brooder box in our house to the chick house on the allotment. This morning I opened the chick house to let them out into the enclosed run. They stayed put for a couple more hours before venturing out. They haven't yet worked out that they roost in the chick house, not on the run! I found all 6 huddled in the corner of the run tonight. I had to pick each one up and pop them into the chick house. Give them a few days and they will know to do that of their own accord.

How to make goat cheese flan

We have a large amount of milk from Pinkie, much of which is turned into cheese. That's lots of cheese to use up so recently I made some goat cheese flans. Usefully, it also meant I was able to use up lots of eggs and milk.

Moving hay when the sun shines

hay stack July 15

Our hay stack was moved recently as it was partly blocking a path to the allotment which is now being paved. So, the goo have was moved to a new stack (see photo above) and the not so good hay, which can be used for bedding, was put in a large pile in Pinkie's goat house.

goats July 15 (1)

This has turned out to be a great boon for Pinkie. The hay has become a comfortable mattress!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

And along came a third

bee swarm July 15 4

We had our 3rd bee swarm of the week today. I am baffled as to why the bees are swarming so often and so late. I hope there are enough drones around to fertilize the new queens. It's all very well swarming - the existing queen leaves with a significant proportion of the worker bees - but if the new queen left behind can't be mated, the colony will simply die out. Fingers crossed that there are plenty of sex starved drones around looking for virgin queens.

bee swarm July 15 5

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Yet another stash of eggs

eggs July 15 2

We've now found, by accident, where our cream legbars have been laying and hiding their eggs. I was watering the potato bags in front of some of the hives and there they were. Since removing the eggs, the hens have stopped laying there. So far, we've failed to find the new nesting site.

Late bee swarms

bee swarm July 15 1

On Monday I discovered a very large bee swarm on the hedge of my allotment. This was a bit unexpected. The swarming season should have been over in June. I came to the conclusion that a large hive on my allotment had simply run out of space and had swarmed in response. I collected the swarm and in the evening, put it into a spare hive.

beehive July 15

Yesterday, just as I thought the swarm box could go back into storage, we found another swarm, this time on the neighbouring allotment.

bee swarm July 15 3

This too has been rehoused in another spare hive. I have no explanation as to why swarming is continuing to happen other than to say that the relatively cool weather of May has set back activities and growth by about 3 weeks. Even so, we had the usual levels of swarming in June so these swarms are in addition. If any other beekeepers are experiencing something similar, I'd like to hear from you.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

How to make gooseberry and cherry jelly - the video

Gooseberries are high in pectin, cherries are low. Combine the two together and you get a lovely red jelly.