Welcome back to Hen Corner!
This week has brought us our first spears of asparagus, sore thumbs (as we’ve been making frames for a new beehive) and a lovely group of people for the first of this year’s courses; but let’s begin with the next film in our series ‘Ten Top Tips for Keeping Chicks':
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As our subscribers know, we love to live a little bit of country life here in London and encourage others to ‘Join us on the Journey’. This weekend, we were pleased to welcome three adults and four children to join us for the first of our new season of courses. Whilst we covered all the topics of our Urban Hens course we made sure that the youngest delegates enjoyed egg hunts and crafts as well. It was a relaxed, sunny afternoon and everyone had opportunity to cuddle a chicken before wrapping up as usual with ‘Any Questions’ over tea and cake. If you are considering keeping chickens and would like to visit Hen Corner, ‘Of course you can!’ We’d love to see you…
When the course had finished,
Andy very kindly finished assembling the new hive that we are going to shake the bees into. The plan is to find the queen bee (who I haven’t actually seen yet) and make sure she is safely in the new hive before shaking the rest of the colony in after her. We are doing this to eliminate European Foul Brood and any Varroa Mites that may have sneaked into cells of developing larvae (this can really damage the bees as they are forming). It’s an annual job to give the colony a fresh start on new clean frames. We needed to make up eleven frames for the brood box (where the queen shall lay her eggs), the first couple were a bit wobbly, but we soon got the hang of it. Eleven nails are needed in precise locations for each frame and hammering late in the evening was both loud on the ears and sore on the thumbs, but it’s all done now!
- The asparagus season has begun at Hen Corner; four spears already this week
- The rhubarb is ready for first pickings; pink, tender and perfect for a syllabub
- During our course on Saturday, we found nine fresh eggs; every girl had laid one… Spring is definitely here
Jobs for next week:
- Check the Planting Plan and see what needs to be sown
- Pot on some of the seedling in the cold frame, they are getting big now
- Replenish the codling moth traps with pheromone to catch the male moths before they mate; we’re after a bumper apple harvest this year
Have a good week yourself…
Join us on the Journey!