Saturday, 30 August 2008

I've put numbers on the roofs of all four hives. I tried numbering them before, but I put the numbers on the broodboxes, and it got confusing when I moved colonies from one box to another. I can easily move the roof with the colony.

Colony 1 is the weak swarm. It's had less brood week by week, and this week I discovered queen cells, so it's given up on that queen. Rather than have a queen from dodgy stock, I broke down all the cells, and gave them a frame of brood of my own strain, to raise one from. There's plenty of time yet, native strains will often raise queens in early autumn.

Colony 2 is the 'foreign' hive. No brood as yet.

Colony 3 is the strong swarm, which is looking really healthy, with lovely black bees.

Colony 4 is my old colony, which again os looking rally good.

The peas have finished, and I've started getting seed off them for next year. I left the Ne Plus Ultra too long, and I'll have to supplement what I've saved with bought seed. Someone sent me some Lancashire Lad, a purple-podded variety, and Salmon-Flowered Pea, to try next year.

I've got rid of the tomatoes, due to hopeless blight, and started digging out one or two of the weedy areas. That's going to be the main job for the next few months, along with mulching. I want to do more winter mulching with dead leaves, as it should help keep the weeds down next year.

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