A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

I'm Back!

After quite a long hiatus I have returned to the blogging world. It's not like I haven't had anything to blog about, on the contrary, I have had lots to write about but due to the time lapsed I think it would be better to bring you up to date with a summary. First off I will give an explanation to my lapse in writing. There were a few factors but firstly was ill health which I will say little of other than our toilet roll expenditure went up somewhat for a period. Then when all was settling down in the bowel department I was hit hard with the loss of a close friend. Along with me loosing my Bees and 3 out of our 5 chickens dying in quick succession I have just not felt like writing. Now I feel like enough time has passed and the amount I need to blog about has built up so I have lots to catch up on.

Anyway onto the summary. I have started a few new batches of wine, 2 made with dandelion, 1 with rhubarb and then a week or two later I made another batch with rhubarb. The dandelion wines are slightly different from one another as I have used red grape juice in one and white grape juice in the other. The recipe is here in the comments section of a previous post. I will write it up eventually and add it to the recipe page (eventually being the operative word). The batches of rhubarb wine are both the same recipe, the only difference is the size of the batch, the first is only 1 gallon but the second batch is 5 gallons! Keeping on the theme of wine I have also bottled 2 gallons of elderberry wine and started drinking it. I'm sure it'll taste better when it has aged more but at the moment it is drinkable and the further down the bottle I got the easier it was to drink although I had a headache at the end!

The land my Dad recently acquired is coming on nicely with more than a little help from my brother in law Lee, although in truth my Dad has done more work than should be expected of a 65 year old! He is a Yorkshire man though so a bit of hard graft doesn't scare him. I have mucked in as much as I've been able to, but due to there being no toilet down there I had a long period where I didn't dare go down there! Between us we have moved loads of clay and exposed the workable land beneath, then covered it in manure in preparation for next year. There is still loads to do down there and now the weather has improved it has got a bit overgrown in a lot of areas but we are working on it a bit at a time and large areas are covered with old carpets for the time being to keep the weeds down. All the trees that were moved down there are coming along nicely but won't produce much fruit this year. This is of little concern, the main thing is that they have plenty of leaves and are putting out new growth. With any luck next year will be a bumper crop!

I never got round to writing up about the last Wakefield and Pontefract Beekeepers Association meeting and now can't remember enough to do it justice. The main subject was on the Warre hive which is a form of top bar hive that involves making tall stack of boxes. One of the big differences with the style of Beekeeping is that rather than adding boxes to the top for the Bees to store honey in you add boxes underneath and the Bees move their brood rearing area down and start storing honey above; this has the advantage that it means the brood is always built on new comb. I may do a more detailed blog about the Warre hive at some point but as my knowledge on the subject is limited I may wait until I know more.

To finish off I will just mention one small last thing....... I have bought a new colony of Bees!!!! Ok, so it is more than a small thing, rather large to be honest and as this post has reached a fair length I will write a separate post for the new Bees!