Friday, 21 November 2008

A few warm days hasn't helped much, as I haven't been feeling well at all. I did manage to open the beehives, as I found them all flying strongly, bringing in ivy pollen. Hive 1 has a small patch of eggs, while the others had no brood at all, apart from a few stray cells which were just hatching out. So they'd all been broodless during the last cold snap. I saw two of the queens in the broodless hives, so there's no reason to assume there's any problem there.

I won't open them in cold weather - received wisdom says not to open in winter at all, but with care, there's no harm done, and a lot can be learnt. I know very little about behavious in cold spells as a result, but this tells me a little more.

Most of the alliums are now in, apart from some of the garlic. A lot of the overwintering onions are showing, and just as well. I've been a bit worried, as if they don't come through before the winter sets in, they're a dead loss. I'm not bothering with autumn planted broad beans this year, due to the losses last spring. If I start them in February, and plant out when they're 2-3 inches high, they'll have a better chance if there's another very long winter.