But today I looked up and now I feel better, so I’m passing it on like a breeze through the leaves of a sycamore tree…

A friend died last Sunday, a past neighbour, someone who was kind to us when we were impossibly young and new to married life. He’d been ill and wasn’t going to get better, but still, the human brain finds death difficult to compute. No matter the age or circumstance, it always feels too soon. Sorrow cuts through the heart like a flesh wound. We watched his coffin, with its effervescent floral haul, as it was lowered into the earth. The …

Read more…But today I looked up and now I feel better, so I’m passing it on like a breeze through the leaves of a sycamore tree…

Autumn Awe…

We have three Red Maple trees in our garden. They flame skyward like balls of luminescent fire. They’re claret stars grounded in the earth. The leaves are not a uniform red, similar to how blood from a deep cut differs from a surface wound. They are deep berry red, orange-red, burnt sienna and crimson. When I remember to notice them, I can’t help but stop and stare. An autumn bee will live three times as long as a summer bee. …

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Bees, Breath and Back To School…

The day is dull, it can’t decide whether to rain, or not. The air is autumn cool, the blooms of summer have faded, there’s a ‘last orders’ feeling before winter. I’m hunkered down, underneath the big fir tree on the edge of our wet lawn half a metre from my first hive entrance. I’ve just left my youngest off at school for the first time in five months. He turned nine in July and takes his extra year into the …

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More musings from a beekeeper in lockdown…

29th May 2020 It’s hot. I’m out watering my new plants at 7am in shorts and t-shirt. The garden is dying of thirst and after such a wet winter this prolonged lack of rain is going to be equally difficult for the farmers. But this weather is glorious. The honeysuckle, that my husband said would never grow, has extended by at least 30cm and will need attached to the wall soon. My lavender, old and new, are doing well and …

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Musings from a beekeeper in lockdown on World Bee Day…

11th May Last night the Prime Minister addressed the nation on the proposed easing of lockdown. It was a long-winded vague ramble; go to work if you can, but stay at home if you can’t, don’t stay at home, but stay alert. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all done their own thing and extended the lockdown for a further three weeks. The United Kingdom is not looking so united in the face of Covid-19. The unpalatable reality of social …

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The beekeeper in lockdown gets a new outfit…

27th April 2020 My new bee suit arrived at the weekend. Ordered in a pre-Covid world, it still got caught up in the pandemic and has taken nearly eight weeks to get here. Until now, I’ve been squeezing into an inherited child-size suit. My new one is ‘lilac’ though I’d say it’s closer to pink than its purple cousin. It’s the same shade as the Cherry Blossoms that are blooming everywhere. I’m delighted – no more straining into a too …

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Whats the buzz? An update from a beekeeper in lockdown…

Bee rescuing is something the whole family are active in at this time of year. As doors and windows open to the lockdown sunshine, some bees inevitably find themselves stranded indoors. We use a glass to trap them safely, then slip a piece of card underneath the rim to act as a lid. If she’s been trapped inside for a long period a drop of honey or water is offered; our own domestic A&E. She is then carried and set …

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More Musings from a Beginner Beekeeper in Lockdown…

Friday 3rd April When did the world last stop like this? The World Wars? The Spanish Flu? But it wasn’t the same handbrake skid to standstill. When’s the last time so many noticed the sound of birds singing, or the small bright blooms of spring? Or had the time to notice the details of life? Bees are detail. Bees are full-stops. Before I started beekeeping, I thought I’d seen lots of bees. But I hadn’t – not properly. Drones – …

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Musings from a Beginner Beekeeper in Lockdown…

Monday 23rd March 2020 The Prime Minister announces at 8.30pm that the UK is to go into ‘lockdown.’ People are permitted to leave the house once a day for exercise, to shop for essentials or to go to work – only if that work cannot be done from home. The country is told to ‘Stay At Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.’ Tuesday tests the country’s resolve and throws out buckets of spring sunshine. After a winter of strong winds …

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Covid-19 has struck at the heart of what it is that makes us human..

Previously unknown terms such as social-distancing and self-isolation are now a painful reality for us all. In order to stop the spread of this disease we have been asked to stay away from all other humans outside our family units; the human touch has become dangerous. My friends aren’t coping well with the ‘new normal.’ My phone is laden with messages. People are freaking out, not just because of co-vid 19, but because they’re alone. They’re used to the presence …

Read more…Covid-19 has struck at the heart of what it is that makes us human..