‘He was as fresh as is the month of May.’*
We, like many other families across the country, are approaching GCSEs and this quote, above, is from the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales which I read for English Literature many years ago. The reference is to the Squire, son of the Knight, who was a young carefree and creative young man, living life to the full and enjoying every day. Doesn’t this month of May inspire us to take life in both hands? The apple blossom is in full display, the peaches, almonds and plums have set ready for maturing, figs are appearing by the day and the asparagus is growing in front of our eyes. May – we welcome you.
May we welcome you?
We had both a school group and a pack of Cub Scouts visit us last week. We looked at the fruit and vegetables that we are growing, the chickens and the eggs they lay, we watched the bees (safely behind glass in the observation hive) and ended our time together planting pots of sorrel to take home and nurture. Whilst I was explaining the roles of the different bees in the colony, one of the cubs pointed at the frame and said ‘Is that the queen bee?’, I assured him that the queen was not in the observation hive and that she was easy to see as she was marked with a white blob of nail varnish. ‘Well, that one looks different…’ continued the cub, and as I looked closer, I think he was right. It did look very much like a queen which could only mean that either two ladies were reigning or one was just taking over from the older monarch. I shall look into this more next week and hope that this clever boy can earn a Bee Keeping badge for his smart green uniform!
We haven’t seen much of our beautiful Bunty recently as she’s currently sitting tight on 12 fertile eggs. She’s not had the opportunity to do this before as we used to use Butternut but, as Butternut sadly died earlier in the year, Bunty is rising to the challenge and only leaves the eggs for 5 minutes each morning to relieve and refresh herself before returning to her babies. We bought the eggs from a couple of different breeders and chose 6 mixed Pekins from Gillian at South Yeo Farm East and 6 Polish Frizzles from a breeder found on Ebay! They are due to hatch on Tuesday 12th May, so our course guests and visitors will get a preview of cuteness as we watch Bunty nurture her new family, hoping all goes well and we get some successful hatchings.
Coming up at the Corner – Half Term Specials!
We would love to welcome you to one of our courses that we have running right throughout the year. This month brings Intro to Bee Keeping, Bread: Sweet and Savoury, Perfect Pasta and a new course, A Day at Hen Corner. During Half Term, 25th – 29th May, we have Family Feathers and Fun! on Tuesday, Urban Hens – Keeping Chickens in London on Wednesday and Pizza Together on Thursday. Hopefully, we will be able to see Bunty proudly displaying her new chicks as a special treat to all our Half Term visitors.
- Essential Surrey wrote this lovely article about us: Of hives and hens: country courses in May
- We’ve been talking to the London Kitchen Project and are hoping to run some courses from their exciting project in Battersea
- Sara was pleased to have helped with a recent session at the Ealing & District Bee Keepers Association, explaining how to set up an apiary and the importance of keeping records.
Jobs for this week:
- Pop up to Grand Designs Live at Excel
- Bake my Honey & Oat Cookies for our Bee Keeping Course
- See how the bees are doing at Kew Gardens
Join us on the Journey!