Spring in the Garden

Spring in the Garden

Monday, 14 January 2013

Snow in the Garden

We only had a little snow when we woke up this morning, just a dusting really, but the lower temperatures meant the chickens' water was frozen so the container needed refilling. 

Hubby also thought he ought to check the bees were OK because it's important that the exit holes in their mouse guards don't get clogged with snow.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Feeding the Birds and the Bees

Last weekend it was pretty mild and the bees were flying and even gathering pollen, we think from a neighbour's Winter-flowering jasmine. You can see the bee on the landing board, to the right, has lots of yellow pollen stored on her leg.

Hubby let the chickens out of their ark for a bit of a run round and a dust bath.

This weekend it has turned much colder and there is the forecast of snow on the way, so we have made sure the bees have plenty of fondant. The colder the weather is, the more vigorously they vibrate their wings as well as huddle together, so they'll be needing plenty of energy.

This was a slab of fondant hubby had put in the hive a week or so ago. You can see the bees have made quite a big hole in the middle already.

The bees were looking busy just below the crown board.

 In the second hive they were even busier and they had a lot less fondant left.

The birds will also be needing more food to help them keep warm, so I topped up the bird feeders this afternoon.

We also stocked up a bit on dried fruit, nuts and pulses etc from the health food shop today after buying a new sack of chicken feed, so hopefully we're prepared for any inclement weather.

I am hoping we won't get too much snow, though, and if we do, that they'll keep the roads clear. It's no fun walking down a hill on compacted snow.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Honey Bees Enjoy a Warm Winter's Day

As yesterday was sunny and fairly warm quite a few of our bees were flying.

Honey bees don't hibernate but huddle together in a cluster for warmth. As they are awake and active, moving their wings constantly to create warmth, they need to eat, and you know what you need to do after you have eaten.

Bees probably don't eat so much in the Winter as they do in Summer, but they do eat and so they do need to get rid of waste matter, something they can't do when the weather is too cold. They need to get out to 'void' at least once every ten days otherwise the inside of the hive gets messy and the risk of disease and infection increases.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Signs of Life and Hope

Our garden isn't much to look at just now. There is a lot of bare earth and plenty of dead looking plants. I don't cut my perennials back much until the year so that the birds can enjoy any seeds and because if there is a heavy frost the hearts of the plants will have some protection.

However, there are promises of green foliage and colourful flowers to come.

I was pleased to see the broad beans are poking through the soil.

In the flower garden quite a few bulbs are starting to poke through the soil, including these crocus.

This Lenten Rose is in bud, too.

So, on dark, dismal days at least I can look forward to cheery crocuses and lenten roses not too long from now and the taste of tender broad beans in May, although maybe I should cover those beans to make sure the pigeons don't get to them first.