The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Bees and not to bees

Today’s article is brought to you by Danny (that’s me – seems weird to be referring to myself in the 3rd party). Fiona is unwell as per the previous post, but is recuperating rapidly.The big news is that a swarm of bees arrived in one of our two vacant hives. Both our old colonies died off in the freezing cold of January. We had hoped that a stray swarm might take up occupancy and it has come to pass. Happy Days.

I remember the old rhyme that I learned when I was knee high to a potato stalk back home in rural County Cork:

“A swarm of bees in May is worth a cock of hay.
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon.
But a swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a butterfly.”

A hay cock is also known as a hay rick in some parts.

So, a lucky silver spoon day chez Cottage Smallholder. But a small downside was that Fiona returned from her stroll in the sun through the garden to report that one of my potato stalks had been snapped, possibly by an exuberant Min Pin. Still, 49 is better than 29.

Even worse news is that Fiona’s laptop will not boot up, even in safe mode. She revealed that it had died during a major automatic update from Micrsoft two days ago. I guess it must have died during the important install session after it had downloaded all the updates. I sense a sharp intake of breath by our PC repair man tomorrow, followed by an estimate equating to a weekend for two in Monte Carlo. We shall see.

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  1. Hi Danny please read my post ref your laptop probs on 6th June.
    Shame you live so far away/ not visiting our mum in Welney or we’d sort it for you for free.

    Hope fiona is all up and running, health and laptop wise very soon.

  2. Get well soon Fiona, but I am enjoying Danny’s posts. I watched a program lately that said there is a major worldwide problem with bees dying, but I have noticed more in my garden than usual (although I think Ive noticed more and more things since I have been “Blogging”.) All the bees I have seen have been very tiny. Some have broad stripes, but one the other day had lots of very narrow stripes.

  3. I have some hives left from my sons dabble with bee keeping – he lost his bees over winter and brought all his equipment home for storage. Never realised that a swarm might just adopt an empty hive – perhaps we should clean them out and set them up and see what happens.

  4. Andrea

    Hi Danny,

    Has Fiona tried inserting a CD into the laptop’s disc drive? This happens to my laptop occasionally as weel and the CD seems to trigger it back into consciousness.

  5. Michelle in NZ

    Lucky bees – such a wonderful garden to have as their home. I expect the honey to be glorious.

    Fiona – relieved you are getting better. Take care and don’t push yourself too much, I really miss your posts

    Danny – a splendid roast dinner! Bestest wishes to the spud plants.

    Min Pins – sneaking in huggles for you while Zebbycat is out of the room. His tum was shaved last week for an ultrasound – he does look funny!

    Care and love to you all,

    Michelle, xxxxx and purrrrumbling from Zeb.

  6. Joanna

    Our potatoes are getting lashings of water, thank goodness we are on a hill but I pity those on lower ground. We had a dry spring and a saturated June so far here in Latvia. I hope your potato plant will recover though and ours don’t give up with the weather.

  7. Joolsfw

    Please send Fiona my love-and apologies for not sending her a recipe which I owe.It will be there with her soon I promise.

    Nice to meet you too,Danny.

    We had a swarm last year and a local bee keeper came to take them away with glee…now Im hankering myself…hanker,hanker. Hmmm…

    Anyhoo….lets hope she gets better soon to be able to enjoy this fine weather.

    All good wishes


  8. Jane aka:aromatic

    Great news about the bees, not so good about the potato but these things are sent to try us!!
    Pleased to hear Fiona is on the mend and all down to your tender loving care no doubt!!
    Love Jane xxx

  9. magic cochin

    My Gran told me that rhyme too
    “A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.
    A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon.
    But a swarm of bees in July
    Isn’t worth a fly.” nearly the same 🙂

    I remembered it when Cliff told me he’d seen a swarm fly past his office on Friday. It was the second I’d heard about last week. So let’s hope for a good year for the bees – especially the ones that have found your hive. That must have cheered Fiona up lots.

    Hope the patient is still getting lots of TLC and is resting with the min pins at her side.


  10. Belinda

    Hi F=Danny, lovely to “meet” you at last.

    Please pass on a “get well soon” to Fiona all the way from Oz.

    I love your old Irish rhyme, but am sorry to hear of your snapped potato, mine didnt even grow last year, not sure what happened. As to computers, Im barely allowed to touch this one so have no advice at all, can you tell Im am partnered up with a computer geek? LOL.

    Make some nice biscuits or something for your PC repair man.. a little buttering up never hurt.

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