Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Birds, The Bees and Me

My birds and my bees have been feeling cooped up. I heard that we have had the second rainiest June on record. The rainiest June was in the 1800's. It's been raining pretty much everyday with the occasional partly sunny day thrown in there. A British friend of mine tells me this weather is just like 'home'. Know that I haven't any plans to pull up stakes and head for Great Britain anytime soon. 

Last weekend between rain showers we were able to throw up a temporary fence to let the chicks explore the great outdoors. They loved it!
They pecked and scratched and rrrrrr-a-c-e-d back and forth. Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to empty out and scrub their coop. Gee, that was fun. Not. 
Victor started to dig a trench for the permanent 'chicken run'. Since then, it's been raining non-stop so all work has come to a screeching halt. This weekend is d-day though. We've got to get it done. Thankfully there is actually sun in the forecast. None-to-soon as far as the chicks are concerned. They just look too big and cooped up in their roomy hen house to be crammed in there day after day. It's supposed to house up to 14 hens, but still, the girls need to get out and stretch their legs!

Incidentally, I got the biggest giggle when at some point this week Ripley was outside the coop throwing them some green wild blueberries he'd picked, and he called out "Girls . . . . over here . . . " referring to the hens. So cute.
My bees have been most unhappy. The poor things have been doing their best, sending out a handful of foragers in the misty, rainy, overcast weather. Yesterday it was overcast and misting the whole day and you'd think it was 80 degrees and sunny. They had foragers zipping in and out and new foragers 'training' outside the hive doing orientation flights. It was a regular bee party. Poor things. They have had to lower their expectations. Me too.

The unsettling thing is I haven't been able to go in and check on them. At any point now, they well be ready for the honey super (the next box of frames in which they typically put only honey). As I've mentioned before, you don't want your bees to run out of room. However, you can't 'work your hive' in the rain. And, if you work your hives on an overcast misty day after days of rain, they will be most unhappy with you. This strikes me as being worse than cleaning out the hen house. I'm planning to go in today. Sun is in the forecast for the afternoon, but I'll believe it when I see it. 

1 comment:

The Domestic Goddess said...

Now you know all about the birds and the bees! Bwa ha ha ha!

(I'm so sorry, I just couldn't resist)