My one remaining bee colony gave up the ghost earlier this year, and so I decided to invest in a nucleus of Carnolian bees from the lovely Mike at EasyBee in Gloucester. Carnolian bees are supposed to be gentle and non aggressive, so I was very happy to pick up the new bees this morning, and was looking forward to transferring them to the new hive later in the day. "Feed 'em and keep 'em warm" was Mike's advice as I drove off with the box of buzzing bees in the boot of the car.
Imagine my surprise when I went to get a couple of bits from the "bee area" of the hen run, to find the old beehive fully occupied!! A swarm must have come in during the last day or so. and taken up residence in the old hive. I had a quick look at them, and couldn't find the queen, but then I never can, there were no eggs or larvae, but then there wouldn't be if they had just arrived. So I quickly closed up the hive and left them to it, hoping for the best. I've put my new Carnolian bees down at the other end of the vegetable garden, just to avoid any antagonism between the two new sets of bees. So I've gone from no bees to loads of bees in the space of just a few days. I'll have to see how the two hives compare.
The four baby ducklings that hatched out in the incubator a week or so ago are doing well, and eating for England. Their home has moved from the side of the Aga, where it was really in the way, to the other side of the kitchen and then today out into the hall by the front door. I'm hoping they will grow a few feathers soon and can go outside in the run and eventually join the three other adults. If one at least of them turns out to be a drake we might be able to breed from them next year. My two adult black ducks are real stunners and I'm hoping for a good black drake to go with them.