Sometimes piggies are not pretty but bees always are …

At last the farmy is looking springy. I even mowed the lawns yesterday. Gardened for hours wearing a heat wrap to protect my back. And look at our new header, it says it all.


Charlotte’s shape is slowly changing.


I told her to open her eyes for this picture or it would look like she was dead. “She is too Fat to move her eyelids!” smartly grunted Sheila from out the back.


“Shut up in the cheap seats.” called back Char.


Donna’s magnolia is flowering in her garden out to the South.

Now, here is something interesting at the bee hives. Look below: This hive is very still the bees just sit all day. It is the weaker hive that took the brunt of the cold that first night they were here. bees-23-022

Compare their inactivity with the hive below. It is busy, pollen is being brought home, bees are fanning at the door and they have set up the guards and the doormen.


Our little hive has lost its queen, almost definitely. They are drinking more sugar water (not foraging) , despondent, disorganised and still, just clinging to the side of the hive. The other hive is roaring along. I shall call the bee man today and see if he can fedex out a new queen for them. Hopefully they can hang on until she arrives.  But isn’t that interesting, the huge and very obvious difference the queen makes to the hives mood.  I shall keep you posted.

Good morning. Let’s hope all MY worker bees turn up today. I had better get going early so that everything is ship shape before they all arrive. With two crews (roofing and dry-walling) working in the same space it will be busy.  If they all arrive that is, you never know.

Have a lovely day.

your friend, celi




52 Comments on “Sometimes piggies are not pretty but bees always are …

  1. I know exactly how Charlotte feels! Sorry about the queenless bees – it just shows how important a good female is to any species. Our men would be lost without us.
    Enjoy the excitement of roofing and walling progress today. No doubt there will be pictures soon…
    ViV xox

    • it is later in the morning now and evidently the roofers cannot be here until tomorrow (maybe) and the drywaller got his dates mixed up and should be here next week.. sigh.. sigh.. however it is a stunner of a day!! c

  2. Good morning Celi ; glad to see the one hive doing well the queen is very important to the hive their director in the movie of life . the pigs are looking great very comfortable . mine is not even bred yet finding a boar is proving a little bit harder than first believed have a blessed day mike

  3. A bee hive is an incomprehensible thing to me. They have guards and doormen? How do they all know what to do? How do they communicate to each other that the queen has died? It’s just too amazing. (Or am I just too dense?)

    • Oh you would love the doormen, they are quite picky- girls in very short skirts carrying water get in before the fat older bees lugging in buckets of pollen strapped to their legs!! It is wild! c

  4. Have you read about something inexplicable killing bees (and hives) all over the US, miss c? I meant to mention it before when you lost the hives. My dim little brain can’t recall any more, but Google will remember.

    • morning sweetie, yes i have read about it, it seems that it is almost definitely thepollen from the GM crops and a terrible lack of wild flowers.a weak hive is so susceptible so my plan is to build strong hives. i am not ready to give up yet though! nor are my bees.. c

  5. Good morning Miss C – I hope your back continues to improve with the heat pack. And doesn’t Miss Charlotte look ever so comfy? Snug as a bug in a rug.

    I do hope your Queen Bee comes soon, there is something so sad about the little hive all sitting around when their neighbours are so active and busy (and buzzy).

    Now, a funny thing: I was sure I had left a wee note here somewhere to ask if I could have a tree in the Fellowship Forest, if it wasn’t too late to ask, but I think WordPress ate it. So now it might be really, really too late – but what do you think? Could I have a Fellowship Tree? In my head they are all going to be Ents and Entwives, of course.

    • Your name is on my list for a lovely tall silent Ent. It is never too late. The Fellowship Forest will be a slow process but you shall have your tree! c

      • Oh Miss C that is wonderful! Thank you, so much. I wonder what I can offer in kind – I will have a think x

        • We can ask for a tree in our name? Does your future forest have room for one more? 😀
          You might have to start a page just for your forest of friends. Or forest friends? LOL
          We have always wanted to plant a tree for every Christmas tree we have had. (I need 20 so far!) This spring we are planting 2 Lilacs. 18 more to go.

  6. that is so very interesting bout the bees. a little piece of the universe at work right there! i hope they can cheer up and live if you get them a new queen! when is the piglet due?

  7. the trials and tribulations of the Farmy….Bees with no Queen, and Miss C with her babies…Bless them all…I do hope that you will be able to get a new Queen , they look so sad without any work to do…. Great day to you too m’dear

  8. VERY interesting about the bees and I hope that you manage to get a new queen A.S.A.P. to fill that pheromone gap!

  9. Yes, hurry we need to crown a new queen!! What an amazing thing though, that without one, a whole hive is lost and that their only purpose is to bring up their next generation…It’s also amazing that not even one bee from that hive will or can join the other one so close by….Bees are so much more complex that anyone could imagine! This is honey for thought!!
    I hope she gets there as fast as she can!! But I’m wondering…will they accept a new queen?? Yes, I think they will!! 🙂

  10. The look in Charlotte’s eye is priceless! That’s truly a hairy eyeball look if ever there was one. 🙂 It truly is remarkable the difference a queen makes to a hive…I had no idea. Sure hope they can hang on. Can’t wait to see you fellowship tree project coming along. We love trees.

  11. hi c! i was working in my garden today and was thinking about the coupe. when i did my gardens, i had them install some 4 season water outlets. since they are running water to the coupe, i was thinking maybe you could ask them to install one for you so you would be able to use it in the winter. it sure comes in handy! they run the line deep enough so it does not freeze in winter. i was just thinking about it and thought i would mention it. joyce

    • Joyce that is an excellent idea, and no i had not thought of it, thank you for the brilliant thought i shall mention it tomorrow.. c

  12. Here’s hoping for a new queen and soon for that hive to get those bees busy and in a good mood again! Loving the captures of the piggies – pigs are smart:) Happy Monday

  13. That is so interesting that the bees without a queen sit rather listlessly. I wouldn’t have guessed that. Huh. Love the new spring look of the header. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy. 🙂

    • you should get a prize, being the only one who noticed! I love it, it is a little fuzzy but focus is over-rated! .. c

  14. Perhaps if the bee man cannot help soon, you could take a frame of eggs from the healthy hive and put it in the weak hive for them to create their own queen? I’ve never had to buy a queen in yet… but the bees making their own is of course slower!

    • that is an excellent suggestion emily thank you, i shall keep that in mind if this happesn again.. i hope your bees are doing ok, i must pop over.. c

  15. The difference between the two hives is marked, Celi. I was listening to On Your Farm ( I think it was) where they were visiting beekepers who have lose half of their hives over the Winter. Very hard; and if there’s one thing our world needs more of, it’s bees!

  16. I’d no idea how the bees would react without a queen. Isn’t that something! I hope you can get a new queen soon before you lose that hive completely. As for the contractors, you’re at their mercy. If only they were as energetic on the job as they are when they apply for the job. Glad your back is doing better and this has been a fantastic day. Tomorrow will be better. Yay!

  17. The color of the buds and the flowering magnolia are just lovely. Lovely to my winter weary eyes, although we have had spring for two days in a row now. Weather forecast calls for a plunge back into the 30s by the end of the week.

  18. Your flower buds look beautiful! I thought of you this morning when I heard on the news a widely used insecticide has been banned in Europe and they are reviewing its use in Oz; because of its link to the destruction of bee population.
    I’m very fortunate there are flowers in blossom most of the year in my garden, lots of frogs and flocks of visiting wee birds.

    • Poor wee darlings, clinging to the walls .. waiting for their queen to return.. 5 days is an awfully long time to leave your hive untended.. c

  19. The difference in the two hives is very clear, and I had no idea just how important a queen is in the hive – the others are lost without her, don’t know what to do; so sad. Hope you are able to get a new queen for them real soon.
    The weather here in Queensland is perfect today, I’m going out for a walk soon round our lake with a friend (after walking the dog of course!)
    Have a great day Celi!

  20. Hhmph: tradespeople all over the world always seem to have an excuse! Frustrating, especially for as organized a person as you! Those bees are sad to see: do hope the hive can be saved. Yes, there has been talk in the Oz media about damage done to our bee population too: hope the pros outshout the cons!!!! We have ‘community’ sprying programmes here a couple of times a year – guess who the obstreperous one is who refuses 🙂 ! But we are ‘green’ enough here now for me not to be forced . . . . Thanks for the blossoms, I only have some sasanqua camellias at the moment . . .

    • what is a sprying programme? are they a bit Do Goody? Bees are having a hard time.. I am not sure why those news media people are so surprised actually.. sprays kill insects you know i want to say to them.. with a good old teenage – DUH! c

      • Can’t spell, can I: it was meant to say ‘spraying programme’ – am ‘stuck’ in a ‘gated sort of’ community and ‘those things’ are taken care of!! It’s still kind’of taken for granted everything has to be sprayed all around for weeds, unwanted insects etc; I have refused since day dot!! The guys know me, grin and say ‘OK, OK, Eha . . . we’ll walk around all your stuff’ 🙂 ! I’m then there to pull weeds or pour boiling water over them . . . with great pleasure!

  21. C. Do you think the queen has gone on her virgin mating flight or met some early demise? Have you ever combined two hives using the newspaper trick? I’ve successfully done this a few times. If you want to try it, give me heads up and I’ll email how I accomplished it! Then your queen less bees will survive and you can order another complete hive. Awe…bee keeping-nothin’ but problem solving! Let me hear from you!

    • I have joined a hive like that and it was very successful, I cannot join these two though as they would tower their way straight up the two supers. however they do seem to have joined all by themselves so i am going to split them back and give them a new queen, it is still so early in the year to settle for just one.. this is on the advice of my bee man so fingers crossed… thank you though.. c

  22. What a difference in the hives! Charlotte knows she’d better get her rest now, won’t be much after the piggies arrive.

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