Saturday, 28 April 2007

Hive renovation still on-going

Just a picture as evidence that the renovations of our hives are still on-going! With so much equipment it's a real marathon but as long as we have 2 or 3 full hives in order by the time our nuclei arrive we shall work our way through the rest at a more leisurely pace. Incidentally it's the 'bluebell walk' at Lytham Hall tomorrow (29th April) so for a lovely walk round the grounds pop down in the afternoon and enjoy a spectacular sight.
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Mosaic puffball

I also grabbed a snap of this Mosaic puffball (so called due to it's patchwork skin appearance) , a few of which seems to appear regularly in Spring and Autumn just off the track that leads to the emergency exit. I have to admit this particular puffball is no longer there as it ended up in an omlette I had for lunch last week, but at least we have a picture!
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Peacock butterfly

Thinga are a little quiet on the bee front at the moment as we are waiting for our bee nuclei to arrive from Hoy Lake so I thought I'd post this snap of a lovely peacock butterfly I caught warming itself on the bark chipping path outside the bee shed.
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Thursday, 5 April 2007

Rhododendron update

Just an update on the previos photo of the beautiful flowering mass!
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A hive of activity (sorry!)

I have taken advantage of the recent good weather to start the renovation of the apiary hives which we decided would be my task. We have ordered 4 nuclei of bees from each of which we intend to nurture strong colonies and hopefully harvest some honey in the near future. I am flat out getting 4 hives completely over-hauled so the new bees (which incidentally will be certified disease free) will have a thoroughly fresh start and hopefully no sign of varroa mites. Alan's job at present is preparing frames and fitting them with wax foundation, photos of which will be posted asap.
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Equipment galore

Alan has amassed a large collection of hives and associated equipment pertaining to bees, largely manufactured by his own hand. The time has come now to restore it to it's former glory and get the apiary buzzing as loudly as it ever has in the 18 years Alan has kept bees at Lytham Hall.
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Inside the bee sheds preperations are in full swing. I managed to find and then heave into place this shelving which I think has been used for shoe torage in the past. It's perfect for storing all the little bits and pieces you need to get on top of those numerous apiary jobs.
Everything from smokers to mouse excluders, veils, hive tools, straps, matches and kid leather gloves and all is conveniently stored at the higher levels so we can save Alan's back from coming to harm!
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