So we regrouped over tea and toast, and decided that it was not fair to split the swarm as we had done last night, but to get the swarm members all back together again so that they could then decide what it was they wanted to do. In truth, we hoped that they would b*******r off. We were tired. We were not happy beekeepers. We just wanted Sunday to be a lazy, do nothing day, which was silly of us because after all we are smallholders, which means that we don't get days off unless we collapse on to the bed with exhaustion, which I have to admit sometimes happens.
So back outside we went, and Lester carried the box of bees, at arms length and with a very hurried stride, back to the others, who were by now starting to fly about. Some bees flew out of the box to mix and mingle with the others. And soon we could see that they were developing a plan.....
......which was to build a bridge of bees, this bridge being made by the ones who had not been got into the box the previous night and who had parked themselves on the inside roof of the rabbit hutch after having first made a pow wow cluster in the corner of the hutch.
And now, Tuesday, this is the box:
...everyone is nice and calm. All are tucked up in the box, with enough of a gap in the top of the box to get in and out. And tonight, in an hour or so, the bees are to be transferred into their new hive. It has been a hectic few days.
Orpy Junior. October 20th 2012
And now here is a strapping young cockerel boy. How proud he stands, coming into his prime, full of energy to see to the hen girls.
But look at him now, because sometime during last night he must have had a tremendous battle with the white cockerel boy, because when they were let out, this is what we saw.
For all of the day Orpy junior has skulked away in corners, and here he is, at the bottom of the hole which is one day going to be a pond. And it brings a sadness upon us, because he has been a good cockerel but now he has the look of defeat upon him, and his spirit is broken. He will be dead soon. And here is an oddness, because yesterday we went to investigate a ram for our sheep girls. And there, over in the corner of the small chicken run, was the most glorious of cockerel boys which Lester said just had to be purchased. But I said that we would then have too many cockerels, which would be too much for our hennies. And Lester said that it was time for Orpy junior and the white cockerel to go because their genes were now in the flock, and for the health of the flock new blood should be introduced. It looks like nature has sorted this out for us.
And here is the white cockerel:
....he should be pure white.......and he does not want to come in to the courtyard but is remaining by himself out near the pig paddocks. It looks like those two cockerel boys have bashed the very life out of each other, and neither is the winner. As I say, nature is strange sometimes, and it looks like the new cockerel boy is to take the place of these two.
It with sadness that I see the state of these two boys. Orpy junior has been a good cockerel, looking after the hens like a real gentleman. And the white cockerel is the one who grew up big and strong by raiding the tomatoes in the veg plot last year. Ah well, life moves on........