Friday, 26 June 2009

We're having torrential showers this afternoon, which are badly needed. Everywhere that isn't mulched, the soil has been getting seriously dry.

I checked the bees yesterday. Hive 1 now has nine frames of brood, and the bees have started moving up into the supers, shallow boxes of comb which the honey crop goes in. Left to themselves, they'd soon be filling the first super, but I'm going to be splitting the hive in another week or so, to raise a new queen. you can see the bees in the super in the first pic. the second shows a nice patch of brood in one of the frames. You can see the flat-capped worker cells, and that there are few empty cells, This indicates that there are no brood problems in the hive.

The third pic shows some nice queen cells being raised in Hive 5.

Hive 3 has two frames of eggs in the upper part, showing that the new queen has hatched, and is healthy. In another week, I'll be able to see whether she's laying worker brood, but given the weather and the number of drones I have, I'd be amazed if she hasn't mated satisfactorily. Hive 4 has brood on 7 frames, and seems to have settled down at about that number.

Apart from that, I've dug over a weedy patch, barrowed a lot of grass cuttings to mulch it, and started digging over the area I want to plant the tomatoes in. The peas had their tips nipped off by pigeons before I planted them out, but they're recovering now.

The last pic is a tulip tree flower. It's a nice little tree which grows just on the other side of the hedge. The flowers aren't conspicuous, but like many greenish flowers, the more you look, the nicer they are!

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