I knew that the early summer months would be busy for us, and I wasn't wrong. We've both been busy with work, and our bee empire is expanding well and takes up most of our weekends. The summer term has been and gone and we are into the holiday season here, which changes work for both of us. We still have a few more weeks of busy-ness before our own break at the end of August.
The bees have (mostly) stopped swarming and begun producing honey in crazy abundance. This is such a good year and we are very lucky to be taking advantage of it. We have hives in new locations which are doing really well and also give us space to expand if and when we need to. I've learned more in the last couple of months than I would have thought possible - about combining colonies, dealing with laying workers, assessing viability, all topped off yesterday with a day's learning about queen rearing.
An unfortunate side-effect of being so busy with the bees has been that the allotment has suffered and we haven't grown as much as we'd have liked. There are only so many hours in the day and we've had to prioritise - the bees need us. It's a shame but I'm certainly not complaining! And we have still managed to grow some things - nothing tastes like fresh peas straight from the garden.
My sketchbook is full and still growing, but I am so far behind with scanning and posting things online that when I do get around to it there will be a deluge. I might leave that for the colder months to remind me how lovely summer was.
In between all of this, the working and beekeeping, digging and tidying, picking and packing and putting things in jars...there have been so many moments of magic. Times when we went for a walk, had a picnic somewhere beautiful, or discovered a new place and enjoyed a beautiful view. And those are the times that remind me just how wonderful life is.
You can see all the photos above on my Flickr page.