19 May 2018

The busiest week for Bees

The split up donor hive has settled down to a more normal routine, but the queen-right hive placed in front of the donor is lacking in foragers I fear.  On the 17th May I discovered that a European hornet had entered via a back door hole inadvertently left open. It had begun nest building from a top bar in the void behind a follower board. I removed the bars adjacent to hers and doused her with a cap-full of metholated spirit, normally used to light the smoker. She fell to the floor but quickly revived,to fly off at speed only to return five minutes later. Meanwhile I had stopped the entrance hole and she gave up after a few minutes.
Back in the village, our churchyard has plenty of trees in blossom and three colonies in the church stonework; all quite active, except for one on the north wall.
I had deployed my bait hive 18 feet up into a tree a couple of days earlier, and yesterday the 19th, was delighted to see bees entering during a lovely warm afternoon. A swarm appeared later and hung about for a few minutes, and gradually made for the north face wall. It moved into a void some twenty feet above ground level. Next day only one or two bees are entering the bait hive - probably scouts. Our Vicar is quite happy for me to work in this way, since the bees have occasionally put fear into the hearts of wedding parties entering the church.

European hornet beginning her nest in my hive

15 May 2018

Israel Zero Dead --- Palestine Sixty Two Dead

Today I became a hater of the Jewish nation and its people. 
I despise those who choose to defend the indefensible.
 American support of Israel's killing fields is a disgrace.
Netanyahu is responsible for those deaths.
Lethal force against children armed with a sling is murder.

Bee Split of Cathedral Top Bar Hive

During a spell of settled fine weather, and having a hive about to swarm, I chose to remove the queen into a new empty hive, together with her nurse bees, plenty of honey stores and some brood. About 9 combs in all were transferred, and they remained remarkably calm throughout the procedure. The donor hive was alarmed, as they well might be, having lost their mother queen. I had the misfortune to break one or two combs due to sheer weight of honey and partial cross combing. This being one drawback with the top bar hive design - the bees free to build without the support of an all surrounding frame. The advantages of this hive design is however, well worth the trouble and has many advantages.
After closing up both hives I realised that bees were not entering the new hive and remembered to place the queen right hive close in front of the donor hive, such that returning foraging bees have the opportunity to fly into the queen right hive.

Inner end farthest from entrance


Honey being laid down here


New Combe


End follower board prevents bars from toppling over


Plenty of brood comb to be transferred


After procedure completed the queen right hive (on the yellow stand) is placed in the flight path of the flying bees which now have the choice of entering the donor hive or the  newly formed queen right hive


The third hive to the rear and right is not involved in the work today


Some broken comb - Oh Dear !


Adjacent combs are kept in sequence as near as possible


Third hive not yet strong enough to swarm. Recently turned through ninety degrees so that it catches more sun. The original end entrance to the right will soon be sealed up and the side entrance fully opened.


Time to walk away - Further inspection to be made in a few days time.



6 May 2018

Back in Britain

The run towards home is tinged with a dose of nostalgia as we drive along the coastal motorway heading east. Names of previous happy holidays spent at resorts along this beautiful coastal region.
San Vicente de la Barquera  and Ribadesella amongst them. Romantic names and romantic memories of seafood snacks, like razor clams and barnacles.
Having more than time enough to re-visit them, a decision has to be made to divert seawards, or head straight on to the ferry port. Our choice not to go down memory lane was made - far better to return home with memories of our new found treasured destinations.
Helen rued the day she chose to sit in the passenger seat on these longer trips away.  I am warned this will be the last time.  But once we reach our little village home in South Devon, that  doubt is cast aside and we are talking about the next venture, off into the blue hills and misty mountains.
The Morgan is so right for the way we travel, and such a delightful machine to enjoy the open road.




Puente románico de la Ramallosa


4 May 2018

Putin the Salisbury Poisoner


I know Salisbury well. A beautiful cathedral city that quite undeservedly, has become a crime scene extraordinaire. 

The victims of the nerve agent attack received swift NHS medical attention, and help from the experts at Porton Down Research Centre, located just a few miles from the scene of this crime.
It appears likely that that was no coincidence. MI6 seem to have placed their charge (or ex-charge) close to a facility that would provide aid quickly in such circumstances. In all probability, working as a spy openly without concealment, and described by Russia as a traitor. An invitation to that rogue regime that was probably unable to resist the tempting chance of retribution. All three survivors will suffer life changing consequences but the vast majority of victims abroad in this deteriorating world of ours, pay a far higher price and perish in chemical warfare.
Porton Down Research normally has to rely on animal experiments to further their work. Many human fatalities have also occurred here in the past. The atrocity will have provided some new victims for the scientists to study. This cowardly act of aggression reveals why nerve agents are banned under the Geneva Convention.
Putin supposedly has tasters sampling all his food, but is unlikely to be poisoned by any Britain,  because that’s not cricket. What Putin would do well to remember is the fact that Porton Down is probably the only place in the world where a victim of nerve agent poisoning has any chance of being treated and saved such a horrible fate. He could do worse than book into Salisbury District Hospital for a regular check up.
I appear to have some readers who are from within that rogue regime, which operates a system of widespread dis-information. My small drop of counter information will of course never balance the huge quantity of propaganda that is fed to the Russian people.  At least it is not fiction or toxic.

Salisbury Cathedral