A novice's guide to producing his own food

Down to one hive


nuc floor final

Dead bees littering the floor of the nuc

Paid my first visit of the year to the apiary just to see how things were ticking over.   As expected, the nuc hive  (which consisted of three frames of bees) didn’t make it through the winter. The colony was completely dead.

I wasn’t too upset as I knew its chances of survival were very slim. That leaves me with just one colony. Thankfully, it is looking pretty strong. Five frames of bees all snuggled together.

It might still come a cropper as the time when most colonies starve is just at the start of spring when the weather gets warmer, the bees start to fly, but there is nothing to forage. I will have to remain vigilant, and make sure there is food for them.

In other news, I’m hoping to get chickens next week! A new venture for the new year. I’m blowing nearly all my Christmas cash on buying a second-hand coop and run along with eight one-year-old chooks. They will go in the garden, not the allotment, but exactly where has yet to be decided.

I’m majorly excited about this new aspect of my foodie experiment, and have already devoured a couple of copies of the magazine Practical Poultry. Potentially, I could be getting eight eggs a day. Quite a lot, but I’m sure they’ll get used somehow.

Only seven more sleeps to go!

5 thoughts on “Down to one hive

  1. You’ll be amazed at the difference in the taste of the eggs. Sadly my 5 are currently only laying on egg every other day, but they are getting on a bit now. At their peak I was on 35 eggs a week, but by selling a dozen or so a week I could almost pay for their food every month. I kept records of eggs laid for the first year and got well over the 300 each I was expecting. Have fun!

    • Thanks, Andy. I was quite surprised to read that a dozen eggs almost paid for all your food. That’s great! I had read somewhere that it was DEARER to produce your own eggs. Obviously wrong

      • Almost ! I sold dozen for £2 every week and mine get through a sacfkul of layers pellets every 5 weeks or so at around £9 a pop. Obvioulsy there’s other stuff (corn, bedding, new chickens, coops, mite powder etc etc) to be taken into consideration, but when you see how much eggs are in the shops (and you don’t know how old they are) then you’re certainly up on the deal – unless you count the time you spend cleaning them out and generally just sitting watching them !

  2. Apart from the eggs, I’m looking forward to just watching them the most! Thanks for the heads-up on some of the costs, Andy. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in about this new hobby, although I am a little anxious about getting the whole thing fox-proof!

  3. Sorry to hear you lost a hive, fingers crossed for the other one making it through the winter.
    Very exciting about your newest endeavour! Keep us posted!

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