Saturday, 22 August 2015

Hen Harrier Day

Not many people will know that the Hen Harrier is critically endangered with approximately 4 breeding pairs in England and slightly more in double figures in Scotland. To highlight the plight of this beautiful bird, many Hen Harrier days took place around the UK. The Hen Harrier is the icon for the Forest of Bowland so what better place to have an event is there than Abbeystead village hall! The day consisted of a wonderful collage of films of the Hen Harrier in action by Bryony, paintings by Janet Mary Robinson, (part proceeds going towards the event), harpist Celia with other musicians played lovely evocative music, just right for the occasion . Attending were the cycling Mayor of Lancaster Jon Barry and greetings were sent by MP Cat Smith.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Natural Beekeeping on the farm

We were very lucky to be given 2 colonies from Aaron and John, local beekeepers who practice natural beekeeping--allowing the bees to build honey combs without a rigid structure. Because of the cold, long spring they have to be fed at the moment as there is a lack of pollen and nectar.
Unpacking the nucleus after being cooped up in a box for imminent transfer....

their old home...

gently separating the frames apart with a knife.....

lifting a frame out, showing a lovely natural comb..
placing the comb into the new hive....

each comb gets gently transferred....

into the new hive....

the frames now in situ in Rod's handmade beehive...

spacing the frames..

the hole is big enough for bees but not predators...

the next nucleus being set free...

the second hive being filled with frames

the frame full of bees..

Rod's hive with lid safely placed on..

second hive with lid

last check of the operation is to insure tired bees on clothes and boxes don't get taken back in the car!!!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Goldfinches love seeds

Goldfinch on common sow thistle                              Photo courtesy Anand Prasad

Goldfinch courtesy of Anand Prasad

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Keeping Some Thistles for the Bees and Goldfinches

The camping barn field is full of plant diversity for wildlife

A species of bumble bee-Common Carder -Bee (Bombus Pascuorum)

All weeds like thistles have a value for wildlife and for repairing the soil. Different weeds bring different nutrients to the surface.