Yesterday I was an academic, beekeeper, shepherd and chicken fancier – I just love that last term!
My day mainly consisted of marking final year essays and dissertations, some were excellent and some were maybe not quite as good.
However, I also knew that I would need to take some honey from my hives. Before I left for Sarajevo (and despite a more promising start in April) there wasn’t much honey stored in the supers. When I got back and checked this weekend I realised the bees had been very busy – there were at least 4 supers of honey. I needed James’ help this time to heft the full supers as I did something nasty to the tendons in my wrist a month ago when I tripped over Zephi, or maybe he tripped me up? All in all I got 61lbs of honey – not bad.
When feeding the animals early yesterday morning I also got the feeling that I needed to fly strike the ewes that day. I treated the ewes with anti-flystrike medicine before they lambed back at the end of March but the treatment only lasts about 6-8 weeks. The weather here has been warm, there are flies and a couple of the ewes had the scours after lambing. Good thing I did check them as while dagging one of the ewes (nice phrase for cutting off all the crappy wool around her bum) I found maggot eggs in some of the lumps of excrement – she got extra treatment and will hopefully be fine until they all get sheared in a couple of weeks. I also wormed the rest of the lambs – I had already wormed the two with scours.
I have no pictures of us chasing lambs and wrangling angry ewes, nor any of me cutting off handfuls of poo so you will have to make do with the sheep looking problem free and our two cute orphan lambs.
Lastly, I popped in another 18 eggs from our rare-breed chickens that will hopefully hatch in three weeks time around 13th June.
And how you might wonder can you cram so much into a day? All I can say is that at this time of year the days are long and if you get up very early and work until sunset it is amazing what you can accomplish – although it is utterly exhausting.
I could have added goat-milker to this list only this venture is proving to be more difficult than I imagined, but that is a story for another day ….
N.B. Want to know why shepherds and farmers refer to diarrhoea in animals as the scours? I reckon it is because it is much easier to spell. My first few attempts were so bad even spell-check had no idea what word I was trying to spell!