Unexpected Fish

Upon my arrival on site this morning, I was greeted by Phil who asked had I seen the fish? Fish? The only fish we have on site are the three that Cliff rescued and live his in pond made from a converted bath. There are no other fish on site. Phil was quite insistent that I should check my pond. I walked over to find two small goldfish in the pond. Hearing a snigger from behind me, I knew something was up. Peering closer at the fish, I spotted something unusual. Neither fish was moving independently. Odder and odder. Of course, they weren’t real fish! Cliff had apparently found two plastic fish and thought it would be hilarious to put them into my pond. It was a brilliant idea and I intend to keep them in there.

Down in the coop, I checked on Pop who was keen to get some fresh air. I placed her outside near the food bowl and I was pleased to see her holding herself up for a bit longer than yesterday. I left her to enjoy the fresh air whilst I fed the others their treats. They are all getting a lot braver with being handfed especially Rey and even Molly is edging a little closer. I made sure Pop had some mealworms and sunflower seeds and pottered off.

As I was making a start on weeding, Phil reappeared and asked if I could help with a bee check. The weather the last few weeks hasn’t been suitable for checking – either wet or too windy. Steve and Phil had checked most of the hives yesterday in the wind which hadn’t been appreciated by the bees. Both of them had several stings for their trouble. I sprinted back home, grabbed my bee kit and legged it back. I threw on my kit as Phil got the smoker going and we made a start on Hive 6. This one is currently an odd colony. Yesterday, neither Steve or Phil could find a Queen and the super contained patchy drone brood. Our job today was to double check there wasn’t a queen. Scanning each frame carefully, we were fairly certain there wasn’t a Queen in residence. Phil had ordered a new Queen but it was important to check there wasn’t a resident queen as the colony may kill the new one. If they don’t take to the new Queen then the colony will die out. The good news is that there are lots of young worker bees so it should survive if it accepts the new Queen.

Before we finished, we opened up Hive 4. This was the hive Phil and I set up when we caught the swarm in May. It was also the hive with the very blue Queen bee. When we got down into the brood box, I spotted a Queen. But she wasn’t blue. There wasn’t even a spot of blue on her. She could have been the old Queen without her paint but surely she couldn’t have got rid of that much paint in such a short period of time? We decided that she has probably superceded the Blue Queen. There was loads of worker brood and we left them to it.

I wandered back into the coop to check on Pop. Surprisingly, she had managed to shift herself several feet forward. She isn’t moving in a very dignified manner but it’s a considerable improvement on not being able to move at all. Gently, I placed her back in the nest box, topped up her food which she had a good go at and put in fresh water. Her crop had some corn in which means she is continuing to eat and digest food. Hopefully another week of care and she will be back on her feet!

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