Writing this in what has been one of the hottest summers in Suffolk for some time, it is hard to remember what a miserable winter we had. There was rain then snow in December, then it warmed up and did not seem to stop raining until we hit another cold snap in February, then rain again and a final deluge of snow.
All this a played havoc with my bees. I went into the winter with two reasonably strong hives and diligently fed them throughout the winter. Unfortunately, sometime between the two spring cold weeks, one of the hives died. From the look of it, they must have gone out foraging and on their return failed to find the food stores. All very sad.
In October 2017 we finally got some chickens. Thanks to the British Hens Welfare Trust, we picked up three rather bald former cage birds.
I was really impressed by how well the BHWT organised the event with minimal upset for birds or their new owners.
The new hens needed some help finding their way into the coop and up the gangplank but soon picked up the idea. By November they were running about as though they owned the place, laying regularly and feathered with bright combs. The snow did not seem to faze them too much and they all seemed to get on well through the winter.