Monday, 10 February 2014

Bees? Yes!

June 2013
I have been shameful with my neglect of our bees, although my non-interference is probably to their liking because they have been left to get on with their lives, doing what they please. So they swarmed twice last year, which could have left us with no bees at all.
Yesterday I thought I would have a quick peek inside the hive. We still have them! And they came out to see what was going on. And I stood and let them thoroughly investigate me. (I did have on my beekeeping suit). We never made friends last year. Too much else going on. So I am going to make an effort to bring those bees on to our team, although they would probably prefer not be on anyone's team apart from their own.
Lester has been out in Home Field, repairing the flood damage of recent days. Only a couple of poles knocked over by the flowing water, but floating detritus  had compacted on the fencing wire to nearly half a metre in depth, thus creating a wall of drying vegetation which could allow any future flood water to push the fence over. Lester was right. It was expensive to put the acacia fencing poles in, but they have stood strong against the swirling current of river water during the recent floods.
The wetness of the ground has still not allowed for us to get the fencing poles up in the Back Field, leaving Max and his girl to endure their paddling pool of a paddock for a few weeks more. But I do make sure that they have adequate bedding, so at least they can have a little bit of comfort in their hut. Everyone else is indoors. They might not like being cooped up, but at least we know that they are warm and dry.
 It has been just over three months since Lester's job with the UK finished, and he became a full time farm man, leaving me more time to do what I needed to do. It has taken time to make the adjustments though, and I miss being outside as much as I used to be. I also miss the contact with the animals by way of their care because Lester now looks after them, and I have become more the observer. I have felt curiously redundant though. Odd that. And being pushed into spending more hours in the kitchen has been hard on me. Producing so much of our own food requires far more work in the kitchen. It will be easier when I have a proper kitchen, but that is still work in progress, so I have to manage in what is a chaotic and untidy environment.
Not to worry, life is good. I need to learn how to be organised so that I am not overwhelmed by the amount of work that running a farm kitchen requires. I can do it. And to see the jars of stored food on the shelves, and the freezers full of food, makes for a sense of wellbeing. To have Lester walk in after a morning of farm work, that is good as well, as if everything is in its rightful place.
During the last three months we have changed the pattern of our life here, and I feel blessed that we have. Lester is learning to be a hands on farm man, and also learning to be a DIY man at the same time. I am learning how to be a farm girl, and also learning how to spend hours on the computer without letting my mind get too tired so it then decides to surf the Internet, thereby wasting precious time. For this moment in time, we are where we need to be.
I had a look in the hive yesterday, thinking that all the bees had succumbed to their own mortality. To my surprise they are still managing to survive. So I made them some sugar water, and let them have a close look at me so they get to know me properly. I shall try to do better by them this year, although to them it will be more like interfering!
Signing off for now. Hope you have a good week.


rusty duck said...

Your June garden looks so lovely Vera. Hang on in there (and the bees), it'll soon be Spring. I hope.

Rhodesia said...

Glad to hear that you are still above the water level. This weather is ridiculous. Our garden is just like a swamp. I brought seed potatoes back fro the UK to plant but they will just rot if I put them in now.
I could never make friends with bees but I do love their honey!
Keep up the good work and take care. Diane

The Broad said...

It is good to read, that no matter how busy and how challenged you are, you sound so happily content with your life. I look forward to watching your kitchen take shape -- I'm sure it will make all the difference -- and having to wait you will enjoy its luxury all the more.

Vera said...

Jessica, without wishing our lives away, I think we shall all be glad to be done with this winter.

Diane, oh dear! You must be quite upset about your swimming pool of a garden! But at least it is mild, and we are not suffering from freezing temperatures and lots of snow!

The Broad, I am also interested in seeing my kitchen take shape! I might then be tidier!

Denise said...

Bees, as I know full too well (!) are tricky customers. And they NEVER read any of the books about How To Keep Bees!

Vera said...

Denise, I think that our bees are not particularly wanting to be involved in teamwork. I think that they are wanting to do their own thing. I think that I have a battle on my hands!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

that picture is great - gives me hope for summer! yay!