Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Birds and The Bees

Well I've created a monster. Having been a bit disheartened at how non hands on or engaged dh was being in the whole smallholding thing I hatched a cunning plan. I knew he would need something complex and bordering on philosophical without too much hard work and I had the answer.....BEES.
I lured him to a two hour taster session as I said I fancied the company and he was hooked! To the point that he is finishing his 10 week beekeeping course tomorrow, has a colony ("his girls") and is a bore at dinner parties....luckily we don't go to many!
Never have I seen the like - before the bees arrive he would come home every night from work and get out TOOLS and BUILD his hive. Those of you who know and love him will appreciate the enormity of this statement. Then it had to be painted. Well it didn't "have" to be painted it but he wanted it royal blue with yellow flowers (Everton FC colours of course). Unfortunately his new found enthusiasm took him a bit too far and the dingbat painted the inside of the box too (I think he was hoping they would all become Everton fans) and then had to spend another two evenings sanding it off.
After much anxting about where and how to get bees (its better if they're local and they're in short supply after the harsh winter we've had) we sourced some form a man in Carlisle. So off we went one Wednesday evening, in convoy with his new beekeeping pals to pick up a Nuc (a nucleus of Queen bee and her subjects). It's an hours drive home from Carlisle which had to be done with all the windows down and frequent spraying of the bees to stop them overheating. At this point I am starting to reflect on whether it was such a cunning plan after all.
So two weeks on they are happily expanding to fill the hive and I have become a bee widow. As you will see from the photos though this is purely because he likes to do a lot of sitting with them.....I wonder if he's singing lullabies????

Meanwhile I ordered myself some Indian Runner Duck eggs. 6 arrived through the post and after a long 4 weeks in the incubator three of them have hatched. They are just the cutest little things - just like the rubber ones you get for a bath, but fluffy.