Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Hen Fostering and Honey

Hello Fellow Frugellers

Been another busy week. Quite a lot of bee work, dog sitting, weeding, pricking out, gathering and processing of veggies, honey spinning...............

  It is still hot here and we would like some rain or we will have to do another shed-load of watering. I believe that rain is forecast and we might even get some thunder storms. I LOVE a good thunder storm.

 We are picking tomatoes and cucumbers in earnest now. I am processing some into passata or paste to put  in the freezer for winter, eating some fresh and selling some
 Here are some chicken pics (Hello Stu in Scotland and Sandie in Leicester!) of the fostering arrangements in the nursery house.

First up is Manny Mummy. She bought off the black chick (now nearly a hen) some weeks ago and then proceeded to sit again. The black chick stayed sitting next to her all the time until the little yellow chick was hatched. They are now sharing the care of the chick.
 Next is Sister Buff with two stolen chicks. She has gradually steered these two chicks ( from different mums) into her cosy, chickless bed and they are now HERS!!!
And finally, here is Foster Mum. These are the chicks that she gathered behind her when the fox took Flump, Mummy Buff and Black Mummy. Only one is hers, she hid them in a corner until the fox had gone.

The bees are as busy as ever. I thought would put up these pictures of their favourite flowers that grow in our garden.
Borage
 Nasturtiums
 Cosmos
 and of course..Buddleia (this one is "Black Prince")
There a couple more plants they love, but I ran out of time to take photos.

As I mentioned earlier, we have started the Honey Harvest. We took honey from Hive No.5 yesterday , which yielded 38lb honey. Not bad really. I now have the signs out so hopefully we can recoup some of the beekeeping expenses. We will be looking at the other hives that we know have some honey in, in the next couple of days. As some of the hives have newly collected swarms they won't have any honey for us until next year, providing they are strong enough to make it through the winter.

  I realised today that if my mother were alive it would have been her 100th birthday. Now that would have been a good party, she was some lady and I miss her still !!!

  With help from my youngest daughter... who am I kidding, she did it all!... I have loaded a video of Adam the sheep with his doggie friends. It will be in my next post. Hope you pop in to see it.. it's a classic!

 Off for a shower. I have just finished burning a mountain of bush and tree clippings and I smell of smoke.

Back Soon
Gillx

19 comments:

  1. We wont be taking a honey harvest this year I dont think, there was the hive I split I will leave those two to re-build, and the the other was only a small colony I moved from a top bar into a national so dont expect anything from that one. I hope you do well with your honey sales :-)

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    1. I suspect only three, possibly four at a push, hives will yield honey this year as the others have swarmed more than once. They all have SOME honey in, but we don't like to take all, preferring to leave some for the bees for winter (much better than giving them sugar syrup
      Why have you moved from top bar to National?

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  2. Wow, that sounds like a lot of honey to me! Loving those nasturtiums, so glorious and bright. One of my favorite plants x

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    1. We should be getting some more honey soo, will put up a total when we finish spinning.
      Me too. They are such jolly creatures, loved by the insects, good to look at and edible too!

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  3. Even though I don't eat anything sweet, I do envy your beekeeping, and honey making, activities. In another life maybe I will become a beekeeper and cheese maker. Perfect.

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    1. I used to make goat's milk cheese when we had a herd of goats. Just a soft cheese with or without herbs or pepper. To serve that up with some home made bread was a great feeling.
      I think I would have liked to be a baker.

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  4. Thats a lot of honey! Local honey was selling at £5 a jar here on Saturday I thought that was a bit too expensive for me so didnt buy any. :-( Daughter in law is busy making Bee Boxes for the same chap, its a nice little earner for her. Love the flower photos, happy chickens a d happy bees :-) xx

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    1. We shall be selling our honey at £5 a jar. Beekeepers have a gentleman's agreement no to undercut each other and the price is settled at £5 around here and I think that is steep too!
      Enterprising daughter-in-law there!

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  5. Good load of honey. How much do you sell it for? Where I was working the other night it was all I could smell in the air dues to a local bee keeper. He sells it for £5 a jar I think. And as for fostering mummies - it used to be a nightmare with the sheep trying to stop them pinching lambs before they're had their own!

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    1. We sell it for £5 a jar too. it's a standard charge and hasn't altered since last year. If you sit in our garden you can small the honey all around.
      We had a thieving mummy sheep once too. We had to put her in the goat house until she had lambed.

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  6. £4.75 Honey, locally produced, selling like hot cakes in the village post office!
    Don't think I'll go in for raising chicks here, these 3 keep me busy enough lol!
    I've got climbing nasturtiums in my raised be, they are making a bee-line for the neighbours' fence.
    We had rain here yesterday evening, had to race to get my onions under cover, they were drying off nicely on welded mesh over the shopping trolley! Don't think it was a great amount of rain, though it would have ruined my onions.

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    1. Cheaper than us Sandie.
      three hens is quite enough (until you get the bug!), but without a cockerel it's not going to happen any time soon!
      Still no rain today, but more or less promised for the weekend.
      Have you had a good onion crop this year?

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  7. You have been busy Gill. Friends of mine in our village put jars of honey at their gate leaving an honesty box by it and a sign with the price. So far everyone has been honest. They do the same with their eggs.

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    1. That's what we do. The honey, eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers are out there with an honesty pot today. never lost anything to the honesty pot and there is often more than there should be there!
      We have also put a sign out asking for honey jars.

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  8. That's a good amount of honey, I bet it sells well. Your nasturtiums look fab. I've given them a miss for a few years as I made the mistake of letting mine set seed and I'm still pulling out seedlings now. I've sown some Peach Melba this year but I won't be making the same mistake with them this time.

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    1. My friend in Cornwall LOVES Nasturtiums and casts the seed everywhere she goes (parks, side of the road etc) and grew Peach Melba last year, she also has Strawberries and Cream which is a nice one too.
      All my nasturtiums are self seeded too. I just pull out what I don't need, like a weed and leave the rest.

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  9. Your flowers are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you. They make you smile don't they?
      Gill

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  10. Ravishing garden, Gill! I giggled about the bee antics… we are new beekeepers and have so much to learn. Doing well so far, but gosh, those bees keep us hopping!

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