The bee saga continues, bees still not quite right. Bees are VERY complicated. More complicated than people, I think.
Yesterday, Sunday, was bleak. Rainy, misty, humid and a really ugly day for July. Poor bees were sad as confused. When bees swarm they have a leader, a queen. But this queen failed her bees. She probably died and now they are hanging out on the mini hive (the nucleus) in the rain, feeling aimless and lost. This evening some bee experts are coming to help…but in the meantime there are 10 highland bullocks and young heifers needing to be moved.
Two huge beech trees were blown over two winters ago in the winter that devastated the Somerset Levels. West Dorset had extreme rain through late December until late January. Winds and water did so much damage to trees, landslides contributed to the devastation. So now, with a winch grabble, log splitter, tractor, digger and some other bit of equipment, they are ready to attack the beeches, laying precariously on the hillside. ‘They’ being son, Archie, (week off university job placement), Richard, major helper, and Matt, lovely local chap, hard worker. ‘Hard worker’ is an understatement for many of the boys around here. They get stuck in, go hard at it, never complain, have a good laugh, tea and homemade cookies always appreciated, with cider after!
Now to the Highland cattle…some are in the same field as the fallen trees. So we move them to a nearby field, out the gate and down the bridleway. Easy. Not today. As the group is led out, ready for new richer pastures, and very used to shifting up and down the bridleway, one idiot bullock decides to jump over into a woodland area, charging around, while the others have their little jog into the next field.
There is nothing worse than a young bullock on his own. Panic. This field is actually a set of three fields, all together. The top is flat, the middle a steep slope and the bottom more level. So idiot bullock runs up to the top, threatening to jump fence into either a field of dairy cows, or into the wood of Lewesdon Hill. Not good.
Stay turned, haven’t even mentioned my gorgeous rare breed Portland sheep.
Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.