Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dry and cold but still food to eat.

yes its been a difficult spring this year for the garden and the bees!  Very little rain in the last 2 months making it difficult in the garden with the late frosts and cold have kept us on our toes protecting potatoes and runner/french beans.  I found cut down plastic milk bottles much better than fleece as crop protection. I spite of the cold we have had plenty of salad, early peas, strawberries and beetroot in the poly tunnel and lots of purple sprouting.  The purple sprouting is an interesting case as it was stripped to a skeleton last year by cabbage white caterpillars and yet recovered to give us a great crop!  The tomato plants in the green house now have small fruit and over wintered broad beans will soon be pick-able.  On the negative side the overwintered carrots (under polythene) which we would be eating now have nearly all gone to seed - maybe I sowed them too early in the autumn?  On the bees; I had the same (new) problem as last year with two of the hives with queens that weren't laying?  I am re-queening them with queens from an early swarming hive.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ok, so I didnt quite get elected!!

I got 1.2% in the election but I am not downhearted (in spite of loosing my deposit).  It was a positive experience for me with lots of positive feedback and good networking/ connections.  Now its back to local campaigning - the Essex shoreline management plan is up for consultation - sounds innocuous enough doesn't it?  It proposes abandoning Jaywick and Seawick to the sea (anytime) in the next 30 years. I suggested to the environment agency representative that they might make an effort to talk to the people at threat about it. Their answer was that they had consulted with the 'stakeholders'!! Not good enough!!, lots of work to do here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The first Swarm of the season

The first Swarm of the season today - not great weather with a cold north east wind making it cold when the clouds covered the sun.  The went for a raspberry bush which meant they ended up on the ground but were persuaded to clime into my bee basket when it was placed over the pool of bees.  I hived them from a sloping board at about 5.00 and they went in  OK but with a large lump hanging on the front of the hive.  Hope they will have taken up residence properly by morning.  I am up late for the count tonight, three o'clock they say which is very late for me the I will see if I have lost my deposit (I am expecting to!)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A lesson in survival of the fittest

I had a lesson reinforced yesterday as our next hen hatched her chicks.  There was one late chick having trouble getting our of the egg.  Against my better judgement I helped it out.  It stayed next to our stove under a hot water bottle for the day and went back under the chicken for the night.  The next day I was optimistic as it was weak but mobile. But as time went on it was clear it couldn't look after its self - not brooding under its mum often when it needed to and getting stepped on!   So it came as no surprise to find it dead in the evening.
Nature is hard but efficient in ensuring that the strongest survive, we can interfere but it is rarely successful.  The human race should remember that nature will deal with us in the same way if we destroy the systems that support us!