Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Aren't they sweet!

We hatched some chicks on 1 April and they are beginning to become quite adventurous. Here they are at three weeks old, enjoying the sunshine. They were all sitting on the ledge cuddled up together. Four golden and one black who's been named Obama - well, what else!

Hiving a swarm of bees

We were quite busy last week catching swarms. This is the first swarm which very conveniently came to rest in a low branch of a pear tree in the garden. Our son spotted it - or rather he heard it as buzzing around before it settled it made a fantastic noise! Subsequent swarms involved ladders and straw baskets but we forgot the camera. Suffice to say that we now have an additional three colonies and are waiting to see which of these are strong enough to continue on their own and which need to be united with another colony.

The swarm settles in the tree

Contemplation! Unfortunately we didn't get a shot of Max cutting the branch and lowering it into the box. I think our cameraman was preparing to do a runner!

Oh boy, did they buzz around!

All is calm -the first bees have found the queen in the hive and are fanning, indicating to the others where to go. It's amazing watching the swarm just march up the stand (well all right, the plastic box!) and straight into the hive.