Farmer Focus: Bees to benefit from new apple trees

My new year resolution has to be to stop procrastinating, I’m a master at it, especially when it comes to Farmer Focus articles.

That is why I’m writing this in the car (Jim is driving), on our way to Llanidloes to collect 100 cider apple trees from Welsh Mountain Orchards which we will, hopefully, plant tomorrow.

Life is hectic, but I could be dangerous with too much time on my hands.

See also: Read more from our Farmer Focus writers

We are looking forward to seeing the apple orchard restored on the farm and so are our bees.

Farming and wildlife are a natural combination and Jim has been teaching Sam the fine art of hedging.

With all the talk of declining hedgerows, I think people forget that farmers are the ones that plant and manage the hedgerows in the first place.

The Meadow Quality calves rep phoned just before Christmas asking if we would like to buy 36 calves. A mix of British Blues and Aberdeen Angus, all crossed with Friesian, the Aberdeen Angus being named sires, which makes a massive difference when selling.

Of course, Jim said yes and they are keeping us busy on the bucket feeding and should (he tells me) be close to weaning before we get too busy with lambing. 

Our February ewes scanned at 180% and the March ewes will be scanned the first week of January.

Lambing season is not a good time to be pregnant for various reasons including zoonosis. This is why our children celebrate their birthdays in December and January.

Son Sam had his 16th birthday in December and celebrated by passing his tractor test the following day.

Nephews Gareth and Daniel (twins) celebrated their 21st on Christmas Day and we were treated to a fantastic fireworks display on the mountain. Daughter Cel will have celebrated her 14th birthday by the time you read this and she is happier shopping than driving tractors.

Our kitchen is full of birthday balloons and good wishes and we wish you all a prosperous and happy new year, let us hope the weather is kind in 2015.

Kate Beavan
Kate Beavan farms alongside her husband Jim on one of two family farms near Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. Farming 200ha, the main enterprises consist of 900 breeding ewes and 50 suckler cows. Meat is sold direct to the family’s traditional butcher’s shop. They hosted the first series of the BBC’s Lambing Live in 2010.