I can't remember who sent me seed of Carolfiore di sicilia violetto , but if it was you, thanks!
Hive 1 seems to be settling down nicely, but Hive 5 is being awkward. The new queen has laid flat-capped worker brood, so no problem there. Yesterday morning, I put her broodbox at the bottom, and moved the original broodbox onto the stand next to it. By now, all the flying bees (the ones that sting) should have gone back to the original stand, and joined the new hive headed by the new queen. That should leave nothing but docile young bees with the old queen. This afternoon, flying bees were still coming out at a rate of several per minute, the broodbox was still packed, and they were decidedly in a stingy mood. So I put off sorting through for the queen till tomorrow. Hopefully the polder bees will all be gone by then.
I was looking through a £1 bookstall in town the other day, and found a gem, 'The Transplanted Gardener', by Charles Elliott. Elliott (why do we refer to authors by their surnames? It brings back horrible memories of schooldays) is an American living in England, who brings his own point of view to British gardens and garden history. It's a refreshing change from the utilitarian style of garden writing, which so often just repeats the same old advice we've all heard before, larded out with lots of glossy photos. OK if you're being paid to write it, I suppose, but it's not much fun to read.