Garden Views-04-April 2019

The first week of April had everything – winds, rain, wonderful clouds, sunshine, warmth, and even heavy wet snow!Things then settled down to weather dominated by a high pressure system, bringing in cool conditions with little rain, often Easterly winds, and fortunately only one slight frost to minus 4 degrees C, on the night of the 11th. So nearly 2 months on from the wonderful warmth at the end of February, the temperatures and conditions still haven’t yet reached those “balmy” levels again.

Already the honeybees are bringing in huge amounts of pollen though, whenever the weather permits, and building new comb at a great rate.

Here’s a quick sequence of images walking round the garden on April 11th.

The weather became wonderfully warm and sunny for the Easter weekend, around April 19th, when we held our first short notice pop up opening. Our 5 grandchildren and their parents visited.We had to remove a queen hornet from the house.Saw Nomad bees around the cae efail bank.And spawning Brook lampreys, Lampetra planeri, and Bullheads, Cottus gobio, in our stream (all for the first time). The month ended for me in a stressed and overtired state, as my enforced speedy bee hive making ratcheted up a notch after a bout of bee aggression from the by now very active and rapidly expanding bee hive one.And then an unexpected early season swarm on April 30th, which by a pure fluke, I managed to capture on my trail camera – the ten minute slot when most of the bees left the hive.




This resulted in me speedily chopping a branch holding the swarm, barely 15 yards away, into an old butter churn I’d been preparing for such an eventuality, but hadn’t quite finished!! Very much an “in at the deep end” introduction to the intellectual, physical, psychological and management challenges of deciding just how I want to keep some honeybees here.The month’s total rainfall was modest at 94.1 mm, and the PV inverter record was reflective of the week of very sunny and dry weather around Easter, after a generally cold and grey beginning and end to the month. Though a bit spikier than many months – either mainly sunny, or quite cloudy days.