More bee problems; the queen in Hive 2 disappeared last week. I opened it to find no eggs or open brood. I saw her last week, and there were eggs then, but she must have just stopped laying, or there would still have been a little open brood when I looked. It was probably down to poor mating in the awful weather last year.
With Hive 3 dwindling fast, I combined the two. I suspect the problem there was a fungal disease, Nosema, though I did treat for it last autumn. Hopefully they'll pull through. It's infuriating though; if that queen had just lasted another couple of weeks, I'd have been able to raise a new one.
I've spotted that Hive 5 has more mites than the others, despite having been given the same oxalic acid treatment on the same day. It had quite a large patch of brood all winter, and they must have been in there. That explains the bees I keep seeing with crumpled wings due to a mite-vectored virus.
I've got most of the potatoes in now; Pink Fir Apple is the only one left. It's been hard going as a lot of the area has had to be dug before I could plant. I've put in a dozen tomato varieties, which are coming up merrily.
I had a seed swap parcel the other day from some of the people from Allotments4all; several of the toms came from there. I don't know what I'd do without that site, it's priceless. I'm getting beans, squashes and sweet corn as well, and I'll add some more toms before I send it on.
Early mechanical carriages
3 hours ago