The bees swarmed in April (before we’d mastered queen control) and a ‘swarm’ we acquired to establish a 2nd hive turned out to be a cast with far fewer bees and no queen. A second swarm was more successful, and from a slow start the two hives eventually produced rather less honey than one last year—but not too bad considering the wet summer.
Goggle the non-Christmas turkey-hen came to a sad end in June -- as did a large number of the other poultry in a series of fox raids, despite increasingly desperate defence measures. We incubated some turkey eggs under a hen, but the resulting nine chicks seemed to inhabit a particularly gruesome Victorian melodrama -- a sordid tale of murder, disease and rapacious industrialists (one Squire Reynard). One surviving poult could take it no more and drowned itself in the water trough. Only three now remain: Nelson, Wellington and Emma. If they are spared by the squire (and Christmas) we hope to breed more next year.
Back to previous page