“You’ve strangled me?” I said to the nice man, moving Moaning Mia out of the way with my hip.

“Throttled. Yes Ma’am.” 

“So.. TonTon I cannot play with your ball from in here! Think about what you are doing! Mia stop that, stop jumping! Wait.” I said to the little man.  “Mia,  Get OUT of the chook house. I have got to fix this door. Stop that, this is a phone not a toy. Listen” I said to the little man,  as Moaning Mia and I finally  get through the chook house  door with the eggs intact and the phone back to my ear. “I have called to ask you why my internet is so murderously slow. And you tell me I am garroted. Mia get down! Go find your kitty.” 

“Throttled back Ma’am. Is Mia your Dog?”

“No” I told him “she is a very BAD SHEEP!”  Mia is finally quiet. Sullenly chewing on my jacket pocket.  “Now, please explain to me in tiny words why the little man on the internet bicycle is pedalling so bloody slowly. ”  I sit down on a big rock in the field,  in the afternoon winter sun.

“Oh.” The little man on the other end of the phone rallies. “Well ma’am you have used up all your gigabytes. So you get slowed right down. Throttled.”

“Giga- whats- its? Mama what do you want. It is not dinnertime.”

“Bytes ma’am”

“More like nibbles then aren’t they. (silence) Well what do I tell my people? I can’t tell them anything can I. I can’t read their pages, or download their pictures.  AAH! (girlie scream.) Hairy don’t sneak up on me like that!”

“I’m sorry? Are you OK?”

“My ram, Hairy Maclairy. Just tiptoed up beside me and stuck his nose in my face. No manners.  Hairy back up, you are making me nervous. But My readers, my people, they are waiting to hear about my bees! And I can’t even load an image.  Or answer my comments.  Or comment on their pages. I write a blog about my little farmy.  ”

“You have bees?”

“Mmm. we have bees too don’t we, Daisy? We are off to check them in a minute.” 

“What is the name of your blog?”

“The Kitchens Garden.”

“Cool. Well, the good news is that your next round starts on the 8th. That’s in two days.  So I will go and check out your blog on Sunday then?”

” Well that is good news. Thank you.  Ok I have to move, I am being mobbed. See you Sunday then.”

I am pleased. All is not lost. The little man on the internet bicycle sighs with relief and forgets to try and sell me a better package.  He thanks me very much for my time, wishes me luck with the animals and goes back to putting the brakes on me for two more days.

And so to the bees.

Two of the hives including the Blog hive seem to be doing OK.In the warm weather they have been tolling their bells and bringing out their dead. A certain amount of attrition is normal.  Bees do not have very long lives.  You can see in the centre of this shot a healthy housekeeper bee dragging out one of the dead ones and dumping it over the side.

Except for this hive who had so many dead that both their entrances were blocked with bee bodies. I cleared them with a stick. Not good.  This was always the weak hive. It is still heavy with honey so I can only assume that they broke ranks on those warm days and were not fast enough at cuddling back together when  that flash of very cold weather hit us. For bees there is safety in numbers as they wait out the winter. Big numbers are best. 

I have put protein patties into the tops of all the hives.  But this is an instance when I do wish that the weather would stay cold (but not too cold) and constant.

When farming we have to take the good with the bad. Sometimes everything you do is not enough. Mother nature is a big part of the equation. So I will order a new Queen and possibly another brood of bees as well and in the spring we will strengthen this hive with some newcomers.

Dawn is here.  I am so relieved that that little internet peddler is pedaling at a reasonable speed again. 

Good morning!


91 Comments on ““You’ve strangled me?” I said to the nice man, moving Moaning Mia out of the way with my hip.

    • Morning rosemary. Our internet connection is usually quite slow, so when it was throttled back it was dreadful. The trouble with better packages is that they do not have a better price.. So utube has been banned unless absolutely necessary,c c

  1. Have a nice day my dear Cecilia, as always you are amazing, fascinating me all your photographs. Blessing you all! It was a wonderful reading again. With my love, nia

  2. slow internet connections is one of the banes of existence! i never thought of this before but i guess have these warm spells is not good for bees. they think it is warming up but when the temps drop they die. so sad!

    • Exactly right Jaz. They need it to go up and down slowly. This hive is having trouble because it down not have a big enough population.. c

    • We will have a great week, evidently it will be mild for a while yet.. all good for me, and as long as there are no more wild temperature swings good for the bees too.. c

  3. It was good to hear the latest goings on with all the gang. They all keep you site busy, don’t they?

    I love the image of the little man on the internet bicycle. With al the sophisticated technology, you manage to bring it back to human proportions!


  4. Naughty Mia! And Hairy Maclairy has a noble chin. How many hives do you have? We have only two, but will add another this year. We’re adding them one by one to see how many we can support. My soon-to-be daughter in law makes her lotions and potions from the wax cappings of the honey harvest. Our bees don’t like the temperature swings either, but so far, so good so far as we can tell. I haven’t found a body pile-up like yours as yet. You didn’t mention how the warmish days allow them to fly out to ahem, relieve themselves, being the neat housekeepers that they are…The bees are a marvelous wonder, aren’t they?

    • Morning maggie, I only have three hives, but I will keep adding one a year.. I love working with the wax, and especially make my own lip balm that everyone uses around here. They are such neat little housekeepers aren’t they – the bees. c

    • Hello Maggie, I believe the phrase you’re searching for is “cleansing flight” (a little less embarrassing (or could I say em-bare-assing?) but, either way, better than Dysentery, eh?
      Sorry, not lurking Cecilia, just found you this morning and have been enjoying your lovely bunch (of postings & friends) immensely! (Oh, and by “friends” I include both the two and four footed kind; ).
      Thanks so much for the TonTon StopActionShots – he’s such a lovely scamp – and truly brightened my day!

  5. An intriguing post. My internet package is unlimited, but it. Do you tidy up your computer regularly – eliminate duplicate docs and pics? I find the whole thing works much better when I’ve done my housekeeping! I hope the bees are all right from now on.

  6. Rant on.
    Spending as much time as I do in Michigan away from the Big City, it’s a pet peeve of mine that large tracts of America have the same level of internet connectivity and speed as was available in 1980. I know that no one wants to hear about more government but something should be done. The big companies are busy building a G4 network when large segments of the country are barely at a G2 capability. As it is now, rural America pays top dollar for incredibly lousy service and with few or no alternative providers to offer competition.
    Rant off.

    Silly bees. Stick a calendar outside the hives to remind them it’s only January! I am very familiar with the “look” that TonTon is sporting. “PLAY WITH ME!” Max will be donning his in about 30 minutes when it’s his late morning romp time. Welcome back!

    • EXACTLY! and we really do pay, i could get bigger and faster but i would also have to sell every gate on the farm to pay for it! What aboutt hose cities where it is free for everyone.. Is it denver? or detroit? I should look it up. Hopefully there will be changes before the whole thing implodes! c

  7. The close up of Hairy McLairy looks like a postcard for the farmy! Slow internet is a pain, and I’m glad yours is fixed…wouldn’t want to miss all these great images.

  8. I am certain you need to write a Children’s book series. That is not to say that us adults aren’t appreciating your very excellent and humorous writing because we truly are. And we are very lucky. I just think children would be so delighted wtih your characters you have created on your farm. Love it. You need to buy a speedier plan with more gigabytes my friend. There’s just no way around it. You deserve it. 🙂

    • Eventually I will have to capitulate and get a bigger plan, just imagine if i had speed. When i travel i am always shocked at how quickly it all works!

  9. We are blessed to have a child who seems to have been born with internet and computer knowledge! He’s saved us on several occasions and even when we need to call our internet provider, we have him come over and talk to the guy. Ha!

    As always, I loved your pictures!

  10. Hi Celia, I popped along to say thank you for your message over at mine but am immediately, and irrevocably hooked. Where have you and your bees and Hairy McLairy been all my life?

    You lead a wonderful life! Hope the internet speed is all you would have it be now…

  11. What a great post. I am new to your blog but I will look forward to reading more from you. Hope the Internet keeps moving for you!

  12. So sorry that you got throttled, but now so happy that you’re back! Another really fun and funny read here, and thanks for that. 🙂

  13. Ah bonjour! good to see everyone back up and running (or should I say cycling). It’s something I’ve wanted to learn more about – bees not cycling, a friend has hives and I have had the pleasure of eating the honey for a few years. I really should go and visit them one day.

  14. Aaah, you should have two teenage sons who keep downloading games. 20Gb gone, overnight, for several nights in a row, and suddenly we’re back to closing our eyes and counting to ten as each page loads. Sigh.

    I’m glad you’re back though, as it’s very interesting to read about your bees. Sorry you’ve lost some due to the cold, hope the hive recovers…

    • Hmm that is very interesting. Johns two teenage sons just left a few days ago after a long stay! I wonder! That might have been the problem Celia.. c

  15. Bees are one of the most important of God’s creations. I don’t think some people realize how much we need them.

  16. You must feel you’re back raising young children when you get down low to work and get mobbed by all the beasties, each importuning with his or her own list of demands or just wanting to crawl all over you! Having a slow-mo cyclist running the ol’ computer doesn’t do much to relieve the pressure, either. 😉 I’m glad you’re all surviving (Mama seems to be pretty perky again, I’m happy to see) and business-as-usual humming along on the farmy. Hugs to you! May you have a moment or two to slow down in the midst of it all!!

    • he is in slo mo.. poo.. and it was funny sitting down on the rock and very slowly it became apparent that i was surrounded in animals, just looking! c

  17. Well, I’m now home and back from dinosaur dialup to broadband once more, so I can see all of your gorgeous photos! You sound like a mother with a brood of naughty children – though animals’ naughtiness can certainly get more serious.

  18. A perfect post Cecilia..I am sorry about your weak hive..this is all new information for me so their little deaths do not go unrecognized. Am so glad you could load your photos and especially love the one of Hairy’s smile!

    • he is the strangest ram, and i must take a photo of his mouth for you one day he has perfect bow shaped lips, I am desperate to lipstick him! have a great day tomorrow chris.. c

  19. It’s good to know I’m not the only person who puzzles the internet provider helpful person on the other end of the phone line. 🙂

    Bees have become a new fascination around here. My husband has taken an interest in beekeeping, and got to suit up and help my sister with her hives back in October. The bees were irritable and not up to company at the time, but settled down once they were given some food. He is considering setting up a hive or two of his own.

    I am enjoying getting to know your farmy animals. I wish I could visit your farm. I’d like to learn more. I’ve thought about getting a few chickens, but haven’t a clue what to do with them. They need a 4H Club for adults.

  20. With broadband I get an email on the third week of the month with a threat to throttle me!
    I was watching the bees this morning in the borage flowers; they are just so busy.
    Lovely to say hello to your family most mornings; thank you for sharing.

    • Bees love the borage don’t they? And thank you as i almost forgot to order some fresh seed. Mine do resow themselves but lose their vigor after a few seasons! c

  21. I just LOVE seeing TonTon and Daisy. They are the highlights of the farm.. besides you of course :). And I just love these stories.. but I must admit, when I saw the bee’s I cringed a bit lol.

    • I know it is sad, but we all have to take the good with the bad.. and the farmy is not always pretty. You could not trust my narrative if I hid stuff from you.. c

    • Oh thank you, I did, that is terrible I thought I left a comment, I went through that post and visited a few of the other people on your very impressive list, i am in good company!! Thank you Aimee. and I shall pass it on soon. c

  22. You had such a lovely fellow over at customer service.. I just get the ones who keep repeating the same phrase (after I’ve screamed and raged) “This is not the kind of service we hope to provide.” I love when I get the customer survey afterwards and score 0 on all counts… but still never see an improvement. These companies have a monopoly!!! They need regulating!!!
    On to more important things.. I’m mourning the loss of your little bees.. I’m not sure why but I felt like it might be me that was getting thrown over the edge, what with my love of warm weather and all..

    • They are fairly ruthless the bees. We will just have to cross our fingers that the weather does a slow dive when it finally goes down, then stays there for a bit and warms up slowly, that would be perfect for bees.. c

  23. Wow! Just look at those amazing bees! I’m dangerously allergic to them, so seeing them captured in your brilliant photos is great. Well done, Celi!

  24. Great opening.
    As you can imagine, I have been concerned about your bees. I feel I know them, having ‘worked’ with them and entered their world through the minds of my children. Waiting for the BB to get time to scan the poems for you. They are here by my desk, not forgotten.

  25. Brilliantly surrreal conversation with the internet bicycle man who seemed to take it all in his stride! And so pleased you could upload the gorgeous photos 🙂

  26. I find your bees intriguing; here in the North East they are in a bit of danger..numbers are receding. There is a company in nearby Greenwich..BetterBee…perhaps I will check them out for more info.

    Be Well, Celi ( I wish for faster traveling (internet) for you.

    • Your place would be great for bees. In the old days many families had their own hives. As much as the threats to their health we need to factor in the decrease in small apiaries. With so much cheap, imported and dubious honey about it is not cost effective anymore, it is simply a wonderful thing to do.. c

  27. You brought a(nother) smile to my face this fresh morning! Getting a phone or internet provider so flummoxed that they don’t try and sell you more time or another package is a feat in itself! Much less …
    I wonder about your bees – I hope they have not got that parasite that is killing so many honeybees across the country and here in Hawaii.
    Moaning Mia – HA! Does she live in a toilet? 😉
    Love your posts, they always brighten my day!

    • yes i hope it is not some nasty either.. they are organic so we really do depend of strength for health. The other hives are fine. We will see what happens in the spring! mia is such a noisy girl, she just wants to come out of the field and follow me around and we can’t always do that, so she just moans!! c

      • Hi again, not sure if it’s too late in the season to bother, but if you’re ever in the same situation again, the weaker hive can be put on top of the stronger to share heat for the winter. You’d need to seperate them with ten sheets of newspaper and (make sure to do this when it’s cold enough so that everyone is snuggled up and want to stay that way)being sure to turn the entrance of the weaker hive so it doesn’t face the same way as the other/host hive.
        This way the two will amalgamate amicably by the time they chew through the paper and you’ll have one really strong hive to split come spring. I probably shouldn’t say “amicably”, as the stronger will take over (somewhere between a merger and a hostile takeover; ) Bee well, Deb

        • Thank you Deb, this is something i tried earlier in the season but did not realise that i could do it in the winter.. thanks you and welcome, stick around I need all the help i can get! c

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