Flowers and bees

Yesterday I pottered down to our allotment as usual determined to make serious inroads into the jobs list. And, as usual, very few were completed!

We fed the chickens who were all pleased to be fed at an earlier time than normal. However, they took exception to what followed. Over the past few months, some of our girls have had scaley leg, an uncomfortable condition where the scales on the legs begin to rise and deform. Due to the ages of some of our chickens, I think it’s more common. You can buy a scaley leg cream from a pet shop but it will cost you a small fortune for a tiny pot of antiseptic cream. On our site, Sudacrem (the nappy rash cream) is the scaley leg treatment of choice. It is an antiseptic cream, is cheap and comes in large pots and as an added bonus, makes their legs look white so you can easily work out which chickens have been treated!

My husband is a superb chicken catcher and successfully catch every chicken swiftly and efficiently. As expected, the Vorverks and Cream Legbars were a nightmare to catch. He managed to block three chickens into the nest box. Upon opening the lid and stretching out his hands to hold one, two chickens to leap out towards his face in a desperate attempt to stop being caught. Molly who was clearly confused and wasn’t sure whether to follow Polly and Emily or not. This indecision meant we could finally catch her. The shrieks she let out on being caught had to heard to be believed.

Chickens sorted, my husband disappeared off to work whilst I made a start on weeding the top part of the plot. I got a distracted shortly after starting and went off with Steve to check the bees.

The bee hive that has been split into three was our first priority. This hive is working well, the bees are busy and calm. We didn’t spot the Queen but there was more brood this week which shows she is laying well. The nuc box was also better for brood although again we didn’t see the Queen. We assume this one has a queen because of the brood and larvae we saw.

The main hive was full of massive (and I do mean massive!) drones with few workers. We didn’t see much worker brood but plenty of drone brood. No sign of a Queen either so we aren’t sure what is happening with this colony.

Upon refilling the smoker, we ambled across to the other hive near Phil’s shed. This is the hive that had a difficult winter and has been struggling. There was minimal brood of any type unfortunately which means the colony isn’t out of the woods yet. The Queen showed herself and she seemed busier than last time which was good. I guess we will have to wait and see!

On a side note, the bees have decided to reject the foundation and decided to build their own comb on one frame.

After the hive inspection, I attempted to go back to weeding but my work was cut short by the tea bell from the club house. We all had a break and then put the world to rights again as we are want to do. Sadly, I had to head back and deal with the mass of paperwork I had waiting at home.

Next job is to clear the weeds by the fruit bushes and on the strawberry bed. Plus plant a few more bits and bobs to make the weeding easier!


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