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.