Both new queens are now laying. I just need to leave them another week to ensure that they're producing worker brood, and I can squash the old queens and sort out the hives properly. Then after a couple of months the drones from those queens will be gone, and I'll be able to raise another batch of queens, and, hopefully, have them mated as I want.
Hive 2 has four frames of brood, and is looking good. Almost all the brood in the top box has hatched, and most of the bees have moved down to the bottom. There's still a small cluster of decidedly nasty-tempered bees there.
There's a small patch of blight among my Charlotte potatoes, and many of the others have dark brown patches of dead tissue on the leaves. I'll still get a crop, but it'll wipe out my tomatoes before I get anything from them, for the third year running. There's no blight reported from farms closer than Woverhampton, about 15 miles away. I think it's overwintering on the site, in volunteer potatoes. A campaign to get people to be ruthless about rooting them out every spring might make some progress.
The denarii of AD 268
1 week ago