10th May 2019
The bees have arrived! It is looking promising for them and for us in the wildflower patch, still not many flowers but a lot of ox-eye daisy buds and some yellow rattle, also a new flower to the patch, borage. A slight touch of air frost one night singed the flowers of the big pink azalea but left the tender vegetable plants untouched.
The hives are made of expanded polystyrene, a new idea which should keep the bees warmer than a traditional wood design. They are named - on the left is Mulberry and on the right Morwell. Morwell is already a very active hive, while Mulberry is currently waiting for babies to hatch. I have been given a protective mask to wear to cut the grass in front of them!
4th May the bees were transferred from their “travel boxes” seen under the smoke puffer, and each rack of bees was moved to the new hives. Natalie is checking to make sure that the queen is moved with all the workers, nurses and drones. The bees do get a bit feisty during the move but I can report no-one got stung. I kept well back and used the telephoto lens!
I’ve finished building the wall which is needed to step down the soil level in front of the tank. We’ll make a bed at the lower level and plant one of the acer trees there, giving it shelter from wind which they hate. Also after a trial with some low fencing which has kept the rabbits out and is very unobtrusive, we’ll put more of that around both beds and put in border plants which are normally rabbit food.
The yak is flowering! It has been a mass of buds since we planted it late last summer after seeing one at Bodnant Gardens. The wretched deer ate some - the bare patch in the middle did have buds - but it should be quite a sight in a few years.