Friday, 28 August 2015

Honey, I'm waxed

My plans for a hive-full of honey have been poleaxed by the wax moth, Achroia grisella. Against the advice of my mentor, Miguel the honey man, I had kept a hive without a queen. The results - a weakened hive unable to defend itself against the moth - are dramatic:

Moth invasion

Coo-coo cocoon

I took down the hive at the weekend, scattering the few bees left there to the four winds, and incinerated the whole lot as a precaution.

Burn 'em all

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Dropping Beauty

This is the Two-Tailed Pasha, Charaxes jasius, feeding on chicken droppings outside the Croft.

Pasha-nate about poultry products

Beautiful, isn't she? Despite the diet...

Thursday, 6 August 2015

And over to Skye...

Benbecula, the sheep who lived, has given birth. Our second lamb in two days. 

The new boy on the block is called Skye, and he's a strong wee chap:

Likes a drink, does Skye

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Thistle and Spike

Yesterday evening our oldest ewe gave birth to Spike. Born at only 3.5kg he is underweight.

Thistle's thirsty boy

Thistle is not the world's greatest ewe, and has never been very good at feeding her lambs. We have lost some as a consequence. 

So we all helped; we dried Spike off and then spent an hour trying to get him onto the teat - in vain. I milked Thistle to get some of the precious colostrum, and then fed it from a syringe into Spike's mouth. By midnight Spike was still not feeding, but he was looking a lot better. 

This morning he was still wandering around the place a bit aimlessly, but when his wanders took him near Thistle he suckled. He will probably be fine, but I will be checking him each hour to make sure.

Lambing - it's a nerve-wracking business.