Honey and Produce

Just a little about our animals, family and what we do.


Fat little boogers.

Situation at 05/06/11. The three ducklings are doing very well indeed, confident and fat spring to mind. The other good news is that today (10/06/11), when I checked on mother duck, I found the second brood of eggs are about to hatch. So over the next few days we should have a whole heap of Mallard ducklings wandering around the garden.


And then there were three.

We think a B.O.P. must have taken one of the ducklings, one minute four then three. I searched until late but without success.

Duckling Update.

This photo was taken on 19/05/11.


Badger attacks mallard nest.

The excitement in the garden this season has been the resident Mallard duck had decided she would nest at the very bottom of the field, next to the (part buried) fence that stops the chicks escaping. When she had some twelve eggs and a cover made of corrugated sheet that I provided for her early on, she began to sit. All went well until the second week when disaster struck in the shape of a Badger attack. On my morning duties attending to the chickens I found the duck's nest had been completed wrecked. The whole thing had been dragged out from under the tin sheet and shredded. The beast had dug under the wire and all but four eggs had been eaten and those remaining were stone cold and so I thought that's the end of that. On the way back up the field I put the four forlorn eggs under a broody hen thinking that there may be a small chance of saving them. That was some weeks ago and the good news is we now we have four beautiful ducklings and the mother duck has made a new nest at the top of the garden near the house and so should be a little more safe from a badger attack. Fingers crossed.


Another new year.

Hi All,

Spring's here again and we've got more stuff for sale, particularly hatching eggs, young poultry and I've been building more coops.


Poultry for sale

We now have the following for sale; Hens, pullets, chicks and hatching eggs. I can also supply our well proven coops and other types of poultry housing. email us or give us a call.


Chickens for sale

Hello All,

We have all sorts of poultry for sale, including hens, young cockerels, point of lay (PoL) pullets and hatching eggs. If you would like to see a picture of them, or a chat about our chickens, or want some prices,
contact us.


This picture was taken from the same position as the one above but seven years later.



Happy New Year to all

The great news here is that we had three eggs today from the chicks we hatched last year - lovely dark brown eggs. It's like the kids have come of age. They have grown into a set of real characters.

First and foremost is Jeffrey, our most lovely and friendly cockerel. He is by far the biggest of the bunch, but still likes to stand on your outstretched arm for a cuddle. I have never heard a cockerel growl before, but he does this all the time. When he is let out in the morning he can't wait to prance about around your feet and brings presents of sticks and leaves.



New girls on the block!

Hi All,
It's been a while since the last update here on the blog but it is summer (Ha flipping Ha) after all, so one doesn't spend so much time at the P.C.
So anyway, the excitement here at the moment is the arrival of the latest members of our flock of free ranging chickens. They are all of the Maran type and hopefully will give us some beautiful dark brown eggs. Click on the linkything below to see the latest pictures .
Thanks for looking at our sites.


Latest Price List

Free Range Eggs from free ranging hens……….£1.50 per half dozen
Our Copper and Cuckoo Maran Hens are laying the most beautiful dark brown eggs.

We have our own local Honey back on the shelf at £3.00 per jar.


Tote that barge, lift that bale.

Spring is rapidly approaching and the list of jobs to do here gets longer and longer by the day. A few of the most pressing things are, for instance: Get those logs cut up before the sap rises. Build more hives. Maintain the older hives. Finish that last bit of fencing. Get the veggie patches dug as soon as the land is a little drier. Clear and clean the green house. Go to work. Write up the blog. Eat, sleep and so on. Sometimes, there realy isn't enough hours in the day.
This is t'other half spreading old compost last year with the help of her little friends. At the moment it just looks like part of the lawn, so we really have to crack on and get the job done. Perhaps it will be something for the weekend. You can see some hives in the background, behind the plastic bag scarecrow.


Me, Sister, Brother and 45110

During my long lost Brother's visit to the U.K. we took a ride on my favorite standard gauge railway, the Severn Valley Railway. What a shock we all had the following day when we heared a good deal of it had been badly damaged in the summer floods. Click on the link. http://www.svr.co.uk/appeal.php

Cheeky Booger!

I've no idea how it got away with it, but this spider seemed to make a living within the hive somehow.

Harvest Time.

These are the frames that hold the honey-combs. I have loaded them into the extractor which will rotate quickly, thus throwing the honey out into the tank that surrounds it all.


That Buzzing Feeling

That Phil Needham, he's always complaining about that buzzing in his ears; all those years of loud power tools and louder rock music.
Actually it's my youngest helping to collect a swarm and finishing up with just a few on his noggin.

Happy Chickens

Our chickens seem to be happy chickens, well they are certainly quite cheeky and opportunistic, give them a grain and they'll take a bushel. Call in and see them and buy some of their lovely fresh eggs.


Expensive Hospital Trip.

Last week we travelled all the way to Cardiff as t’other half had been summoned to see the immunologist. Now ”the immunologist ” is, in this case the important phrase here. In the whole of Wales we have only one immunologist, well, this isn’t quite true, he now has a registrar but in the same place of course. What a state of affairs in this day and age, if you live in the north of Wales it means you have something like a four or five hour journey to find out why it was you nearly died after that curry or after being stung in the garden over the weekend etc. Surely we ought to have more, at the very least one more in Bangor and another in Aberystwyth. If t’other half was to take up the offer of a course to de-sensitise her to the effects of a Bee sting (ironic eh?), it would cost us hundreds if not thousands of pounds in lost work, travelling costs and accommodation. This makes the treatment for what is a potentially a life threatening condition, for us and I’m sure for most ordinary people, financially, extremely difficult. This is an area that our Assembly Members should put some money into. Yet another case of N.H.S. mismanagement? Besides the forgoing, it’s a two-year waiting list before you will get any treatment anyway, so it all becomes rather academic. On a positive note, the staff there were wonderful. They were most helpful, patient and informative. They took a great deal of time and trouble to help in every way. So many, many thanks to the immunology department at Cardiff Royal Infirmary.


Storm and Catastrophy.

The storm of Wednesday and Thursday was one of the worst we have had for a long time here and kept waking me throughout the night. The slates rattled and banged, there were branches falling from trees, various flower pots clashing and rolling around, a real cacophony. Luckily, no real damage at home but I have seen fence panels blown down and some houses have lost slates not to far away. So I thought we had got away it, but no. I received a call from t'other half at work Thursday afternoon containing bad news, two hives in an out-apiary had blown over. I'm not sure how long they had been knocked apart, but my good friend whose property the hives are on picked them up and reassembled them as best as he could as soon as he found this small catastrophe. This may sound a simple task, just picking up a few hive parts, but believe me, when you've got a several hundred VERY upset bees doing their best to defend what's left of their home, just getting near them is no mean feat! My friend was actually quite brave to do this task with no protective clothing at all. They stung me several times when went to prepare them for moving on Friday morning.
All my hives are at the home apiary now which will allow me to keep an eye on them and make winter management much easier. I will have to treat the bees for the dreaded varroa mite soon and will possibly have to feed them in the next month or so. Varroa can wipe a colony out if not managed or at best set them back markedly. Time will tell if the two upset colonies will survive. This depends on two major factors: are there enough worker bees left alive to support the colony and is the queen in good health? Many hundreds of bees have died, I know this as I have emptied out hundreds of their little corpses from the hive floors. A bee can only live for a very short time in low temperatures, maybe a minute or two. Anyway, time will tell, there's a good deal of winter left to contend with yet.
T'other half has decided to take down the Christmas decorations, so that was this evenings job for the both of us. I must say it's quite nice to be back to normal after a very good and relaxed holiday.


Yet Another New Year.

Well, here goes yet another new year. Don't the years go by faster as each year passes? They certainly do to me. My youngest son who is now nearly a teenager, has grown by several inches in height and several shoe sizes. A big event in 2007 was to meet my brother again after a gap of some fifty years, he emigrated to Canada back in the fifties (see picture).
The weather today has been very clement, so much so that the Bees have been flying all day and even collecting pollen. One bad note today though was a good pal of mine tells me he has lost six of his (Bee) colonies and now urgently has to find out why. Anyway we did a little gardening and cleaned out the chicken coup, we even found time to stack and cover logs ready for the fire as the forecast for the coming week looks to be very cold.
Back to work tomorrow after a very nice break, in fact a very lazy break and, of course back into a non-indulgence diet. I will weigh myself tomorrow to see what the damage is. I know I'll have a fright.


Most Enjoyable.

What a pleasant Christmas that was, and there are still a few days left of our holiday to make the best of. We have made and eaten some of the most enjoyable Christmas food I've ever sat down to, I'm sure I've put a stone on already. It's about time I started on the seasonal tasks. I have to make some more hives, the bees need some attention to check for any problems and that they have enough food until they can gather nectar in the early spring. I will have to make up more frames; some as replacements, some for extra hives.
An on going task of course is the making of our preserves. We have to replace some of the sold out items and we are always experimenting with new recipes and ideas. For instance, we've just made a batch of ginger cordial for ourselves but if we put it up for sale it would have to sell at five or more pounds per 750ml bottle to make it worthwhile. I don't think people would pay that much.
A very well received concoction was the damson gin Gail made as a Christmas present for the older members of our extended family. This was started months ago by steeping the fruit (from our own trees) and liquor together, checking it periodically and finally filtering and bottling it Absolutely superb.


Making a Start.

I've been an apiarist (beekeeper) for three years now and it's something I have wanted to do for many, many years. We are very lucky here to be in a very rural area and our immediate farming neighbours are organic.
We also make a wide assortment of Jams, Pickles, Marmalades and Preserves with home grown or 'in season' fruit and vegetables as well as our very popular Honeys.