Sunday, 21 September 2014


All was quiet in our corner of the world,
no guns sounding,
no dogs howling,
not today.
For it is now the hunting season,
when men with guns and dogs go merrily shooting.
They shoot anything which moves,
so it is best to take care.
Their aim is better in the mornings though,
but not in the afternoons,
when they have had a drop or two of wine.
But today, they were somewhere else.

'They're back'
'I've got another one!'
'....And another.....'
could be heard coming from our corner,
from time to time,
throughout the day,
and the previous day,
and will be heard in the days ahead....
because those horrid giant hornets are back.
And they have killed off one of our bee hives.
But we did not realise that it had happened
Because our attention has been taken up with other things painting the kitchen...

and getting the shelves in the larder filled up....

Bless me, but I have remembered to label every single jar this year, something I learnt after spending ages trying to remember what the jars held after last year's harvest. 

....So back to the beehives:
We had two, one is now done for,
one is just about functioning.
But we counted six hornets yesterday evening,
waiting to pounce on the homeward coming bees,
armed with our fly swats we went onto the attack.
And thwack again!
And today the same.
And we shatter the peacefulness of our corner of the world
by yelling our enthusiasm for the hunt.
'There's one! Get it!'
' missed!'
...and so on.
And the hunt for those hornets has become a passion,
such that I can understand why the French menfolk
like to go a-hunting over the woods and fields,
except that they have guns instead of fly swats.
It is the way here.

And this is what Lester found inside the dead hive:


A pile of wax,
which he has put into a bucket with the instructions to
'Melt and strain', he said.
Anyone know what I can do with a pile of wax?

And here's a strange thing....
that beehive was empty,
we know this because Lester had a look inside it,
as he was removing the top box.
A couple of hours later.....
And so why were there a bunch of bees flying around it
and going inside,
and not coming out again,
as if was their home.
Where did they come from?
Not from the other hive surely....
but the hornets were gleeful,
because they now had two hives to attack again,
and so we spend another hour or so fly swatting them,
and killed quite a few.

Apparently about one hundred French farmers torched their local tax office the other day, after dumping a load of rotting veg in front of it first.
They were complaining about the cost of living.
I think we can all identify with their concerns!


northsider dave said...

Can you make bees wax for your beams and furniture, Vera? The French farmers dumping rotten veg made me smile. It's very difficult to make any money on a smallholding.

rusty duck said...

It may have taken your eye off the bees, but the kitchen is looking fabulous Vera!

Vera said...

N.Dave, now that is a good idea! As for making money on a smallholding, I agree, it is difficult. We subsidize our smallholding by other things, which helps us to just about manage.

Jessica, thanks, the kitchen is coming along.