Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring cometh

After the perpetual cold winter that the majority of the northern hemisphere seems to have suffered, last weekend saw what is hopefully the first proper signs of Spring in my garden.   We've been very busy over the last weeks and blogging has taken a bit of a back seat unfortunately.  

Last Saturday, we were working out preparing the new polytunnel for the season when we heard this strange sound like a distant jet plane.  It turned out that the bees had discovered the warmth of the afternoon sun and come outside to navigate their way around the place.  Their loud humming was wonderful to hear.  It's the first time that I'd seen them flying properly this year so it was a massive relief.  I'd given them some "ambrosia" - a type of liquid sugar feed before we went on holiday in early February but only a few workers bothered to pay me any attention.

This will be my first full season as a beekeeper and so Saturday was my first experience of the emotion of seeing a colony making it through the winter (fingers crossed!).  I hope that feeling never disappears.

As far as other news is concerned, I can announce that we have adopted a new canine friend in Laurel Cottage.  One of  Elva's friends decided that it was necessary to go abroad for work purposes and approached us if we could foster their collie dog, Jesse.  We agreed to take the little fella and try to give him the kind of love that Marie and Jason had.  Jesse had needed a leg amputated a few years ago and taking him half way around the world to Oz wouldn't have been fair.  Anyway, Jesse is now happily living with us and the other two hairy mutts. So far, so good and there's been little upset between the three of them.  I wonder how he will react to the bees! Will post some photos soon.


Kat said...

I have been wondering about you! Good to hear from you.
We took in a displaced dog a year ago almost, and it took a while for my other dogs to adjust, but now they are pretty much settled in and Buddy, the displaced dog, is not as needy as he was when he first came. I hope that is your story soon.
Glad the bees made it through what was a unbelievable winter in a lot of areas, including ours.
Looking forward to more posts.

Lynn said...

Hey Cliff - I've missed you. Glad your bees have survived the winter. As Kat says, it's been rough everywhere this year.

I found my second year as a beekeeper to be so much more enjoyable than the first. I think you get over the freshman jitters, begin to relax and really appreciate the joys of beekeeping. There's nothing better than being in a peaceful garden surrounded by the soothing hum of thousands of busy bees.

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thistledew said...

Hi Cliff,
Approaching spring is always a relief, a fresh chance for me to make more mistakes. I am planning to visit my bees deep in the wood this week if the weather holds. I`ll post a blog then, hopefully with equally good news re the bees survival.
Best regards,

ngaio said...

Kia ora Mr Irishman - well, hello, good to see you back ! I feel autumn in our air now, slightly cooler days and the light mellowing. My bees are still frantically busy, I hope to take a small amount of honey from my TB hive soon - just a taste !
Good luck with the dog, I am not really a canine person, but think what you are doing is really nice ..

PhilipH said...

Cliff, that's quite a coincidence about your new Border Collie. And what a fine looking animal too; beautiful in fact.

Flossie, the 13 yr old here at Mellerstain Village is missing her proper owner, who went to Canada and then on to N.Zealand doing volunteer work on organic farms.

She has returned to the UK but is not returning to Mellerstain so Flossie is to stay for the rest of her life with Alice in the East Lodge cottage here. Flossie is a lot better after her recent stroke and we hope she gets a lot out of what life remains for her.

You've some superb photos on here Cliff. Very well done!