Thursday, 3 May 2012

The birds and the bees..

Quite a sad post this one.

Our colony of bees didn't make it through the winter. I can't give you a thorough diagnosis, it could be Colony Collapse Disorder, it could have been due to extreme cold or it could just be one of those things. When we regained the colony last spring they looked a bit weak, but by high summer they had really picked up, maybe they still weren't strong enough.

If anybody knows of a swarm of bees causing a nuisance is south Warwickshire then please give me a call, leave a comment or send an email!

We also lost two hens in March in the space of a couple of weeks. We lost a big girl and a bantam. The big girl appeared to go broody which is not too surprising at this time of year but then next day she was stone cold dead in the eglu. A real shock, and completly unexpected. At least she had had a good couple of years, as an ex free range farm laying hen she's done well.

The biggest shock was poor Margot, our favourite hen (don't tell the others). She was absolutely beautiful and was found dead one morning in their eglu nest box...

Here she is last summer when she was 20 weeks old....

So we're down to 3 hens at the moment. 1 big girl and 2 bantams. Not a good start to the year for our livestock, but we'll be building up numbers again come summer. If Amy lets me...

It's a waste of 2 eglus not to!



  1. So sorry to hear about the loss of you bees and chickens.

    Regarding your lovely comment on my blog - keeping a lovely lawn with free-ranging chickens. Well there are some weeds in the lawn that need tackling when we get some sunshine for several days in a row - but the reason my lawns look good is because of the bantams - not inspite of them!

    Bantams are just gorgeous and do not dig holes in the lawn - like the normal sized breeds which I used to keep years ago - rescue hens. Which lived up my allotment freeranging in the summer but came home in the autumn.

    Last summer for a couple of weeks at different times, I moved their run onto the lawn at the bottom which was really tatty - whilst we added more paving slabs to their run where it is now.

    They scratched away at the lawn whilst confined to the run, and did a really good 'scarifying' job for me. Their little droppings worked wonders and now that end is weed free and very very healthy grass. Their little droppings here and there over the rest of the lawn are so small that they wash into the lawn, and those that don't get 'hoovered' up when I mow the lawns. If I could get the big cube and long run through the side gate, they could do the same on the front garden - but alas I would have to dismantle it and it's too much for me to do!

  2. Oh that is a great pity about the bees.

  3. Such sad news. I hope you manage to get up and running with the bees again.

  4. Oh, such a shame about both the bees and the two hens :-(

  5. Oh, it is so sad you lost your favorite hen. My Fancy died a dramatic death after I doctored her, nursed her, did a gyno exam on her, bought meds, administered them. And, then she died in a most horrifying display. If she had not been in the house in a cage three feet from me, I would never have seen the drama. So, I am glad your favorite and the other one just were dead and you did not witness and agonizing death, if it was agonizing.

    I hate the loss of the bee colony. Maybe someone can share their hive with you.

    Big bud? What is it?

  6. Sorry to hear about your bees and your girlies. Hxx

  7. So sorry to hear about your losses.
    Having a hen fall off it's perch is always a bit of a shock, and very sad. I try to console myself by reminding myself what a good life they had with us.
    It's a shame that your bee colony didn't survive, hope you find a replacement swarm soon.


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