Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Beekeeping year so far

Started this year looking good for the bees, then lost 10 colonies due to Woodpecker damage during the very cold part of the year. Also couple went due to lids blowing off and chilling the hive. I've fed Fumidil for Nosema in Feb as outlined on the label.

In what was my best site checked in mid march I found 10 colonies dead from 17 seen two weeks previously, the medicated feed untouched in many hives classic symptoms of Nosema cerana. I've seen this in two other sites in previous years, could be that the disease is spreading north west taking apiaries in its wake.

The season since then has been very early, colonies building up rapidly in the unusually warm and dry spring, I,m hoping this will give the the opportunity to split the larger hives and make up some of my numbers. I've starting cell raising before April 23, earliest ever so providing the weather holds we could make up some of the ground I've lost, time will tell.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

My first breech

Was left at home with toothache while Nicky did the market, she left our latest ewe giving birth to what I thought was twins, both healthy although Nicky had to intervene due to a "leg back".

So this novice was left with the after care of mum and babies. Then the ewe produced a bag, Oh oh, I think this means another lamb. Still should be OK provided there is no complication then that is probably be fine provided its not a breech. Quick check, just a tail.... its a breech
OK the main thing is not to panic, luckily my son Sam has just turned up. He being a joiner also has no experience of lambing.
We check the book, get the gloves, soap flakes, warm water, iodine and take the book to the shed.
With Sam holding the ewes head I get up close and personal with the ewe pushing the lamb back into the womb so I can bring the two back legs pointing outwards and delivered her out backwards. All was well she was soon up and suckling after some encouragement. Just to be certain that she had colostrum, we made some up and fed her from a bottle.

What a buzz my first difficult delivery and we were duly delivered one healthy ewe lamb that otherwise would not have made it.

Some of the earlier lambs out and about with their mothers.