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Date Archives: August 2009

Omlet Newsletter 20th August 2009

Hello!

The summer holidays are in full swing and parents, children and chickens are enjoying the sunshine, but if you’re stuck for things to do we’ve got a list of shows coming up that are fun for all the family. Also, the results of the wordsearch competition, a brand new puzzle for you to solve and a story about the humble honey bee – Enjoy!

Beehaus Launch

We’re sure you must have heard all about Omlet’s latest product, the Beehaus, by now. Well we have certainly been busy bees ourselves over the last couple of weeks and you may have noticed our emporium of beekeeping products is starting to grow. We are going to have to start compiling a collection of bee puns to amuse (or irritate) you over the next few months and it makes a change from chicken talk.

So it all kicked off in London on August 4th when the Beehaus was revealed to the public. There were journalists and tv crews – even Tokyo TV turned up to get a first look at the urban bee hive. And by the next day most of the newspapers had published an article on it. We knew it was a great product but we didn’t realise it was going to create that much of a buzz! The designers adorned in beesuits along with the beehaus and thousands of well beehaved honey bees appeared on BBC and ITV news too. You might have spotted Johannes sporting a rather fetching pair of pink marigolds on numerous news clips and showing off the beehaus on his London rooftop. If you missed it you can watch the Beehaus in action here.

Although keeping bees is completely different to keeping chickens we have had a great response and it sounds like a lot of you are keen to learn more. And just like with the eglu, you don’t need a big country garden to have a beehaus; you can see from the footage that bees are very happy on rooftops or in urban gardens, and the more bee keepers there are, the more beeautiful the world will bee!


Not only France celebrated the B-day on August 5th

Wordsearch Results

Last month we set you an easy peasy competition to win a £20 voucher to spend in the Omlet online shop. And it seems that you can’t go wrong with a summer wordsearch because loads of you entered. There could only be one winner though and the lucky lady was Rebecca Kirby. In case it had you scratching your head for answers you can see the solution on the right, and if this competition wasn’t your cup of tea you can have a go at this month’s!


Well done to the wordsearch winner

Lewis’ Chicks

You may remember a couple of months ago we had a resident writer step in to tell us all about hatching chicks. Lewis is a chap that knows what he’s talking about when it comes to incubation and he regularly gives advice on the Omlet forum as well as writing the newsletter guide for us. You may also remember he was planning on hatching some more chicks. Well we are pleased to announce the arrival of some gorgeous little Crested Cream Legbars and Brilley Whites.

The new chicks will all be going into school in the eglu in September for an open evening and we are sure they will cause some great eggcitement.


Chicks can be such a handful!

It’s Showtime

It’s coming towards the end of summer but the Omlet tour bus still has a few more stops before it rests for the winter.

Our next destination is the Bath and West Gardening Show, from Friday 4th – Sunday 6th September. This show has a variety of trade stands offering gardening tools, organic food and garden furniture. You can see some amazing sights in the National Giant Vegetable Championships, be inspired by the range of display gardens and buy some beautiful flowers to take home. And if you would like to buy an eglu to brighten up your garden you can come and talk to us on stand 158, in the main square. Tickets are available for £8.00 on the website.

The following weekend we will be at the Organic Food Festival at Bristol Harbourside. This is said to be Europe’s largest showcase of all things organic. For more info visit the website

We will then travel to Berkshire for the Royal County of Berkshire Show. This show will be celebrating its 100th year so it’s set to be a great event. This show lasts from Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th September and you can find more info or buy tickets here.

During the last weekend of September we will be at the Malvern Autumn Show. There you will find more giant vegetables, animals from around the world and the chance to sample some tasty food and drink. Visit the website for more information.


If you go down to the Bath and West Show you’re sure of a big surprise!

Spot the Difference

This month’s competition is a bit more of a challenge. Hopefully you won’t spend your whole weekend staring at the monitor with frustration, but we would be disappointed if you solved the puzzle in one minute flat! To the right are two photos taken during the excitement of the Beehaus launch. All you need to do is spot the difference! There are 10 differences in all and some may be easier to spot than others so have patience.

When you think you’ve solved it just send your answers to stephanie@omlet.co.uk and you could win an eggcellent prize! You can either send the image with circled ‘spots’ or simply send a list.

And here’s a tip to get you started…unless you have phenomenal vision you may want to click here to find the full size image!

 

Can you spot the differences?

Cooking corner

Egg Cup – Silicone Octopus

If you’re ever in need of an egg cup at the bottom of the ocean one of these creatures will come in handy. With eight tentacles to fend off predators, your boiled egg will be well protected and there’ll be no fear of Mr Shark getting his fins on it. You don’t have to be under water to enjoy this egg cup though, as it works just as well on dry land, on your plate. It is very different from traditional egg cups and it’s great for making breakfast fun, especially for kids.

You will receive one egg cup in red, blue, pink or purple.

Buy now for £3.50

An underwater eggsperience

Vegging out

Beekeeping

I’ve always fancied keeping some bees alongside the chickens in the garden. It seems such a traditional way to head along our road towards self-sufficiency, or at least towards being more self-sufficient anyway as I can’t really see our little garden becoming home to pigs, goats, geese and the like just yet! It took long enough to persuade Tom that we had room for chickens.

Times are changing and the recession which seems to be hitting us harder and harder each day and news of possible future world food shortages in the news recently are making more of us think about ways to save money and produce more of our own foods. The waiting lists for allotments are growing day by day with people hoping to produce food for the table. I read recently that somewhere in the region of 300,000 allotments are currently in use with another 100,000 people waiting for plots, but they are still nowhere near as popular as they were during the Second World War where a staggering 1.5 million plots had been created by 1945 in the campaign to “Dig for Victory”. During the war, in an effort to produce more food in this country and save shipping foodstuffs in from abroad, poultry keeping became very popular as eggs were rationed, as did pig keeping clubs and bee keeping, as sugar was also heavily rationed. Many of the wartime gardening manuals had sections on keeping poultry and rabbits as well as having bee keeping advice such as how to make your own hives, harvest the honey and make the most of the by products of the hive. On an allotment or in a garden, the bees are also great pollinators of plants so were very valuable additions for the householder.

Going way back further in history, the ancient Egyptians are known to have kept honey bees and in Britain, they were kept in hives constructed from wattle and daub or twigs and dung from Roman times. For centuries, cottagers kept poultry and bees in their cottage gardens alongside the fruit, herbs and vegetables. Before the advent of the wooden hive, bees used to be kept in beautiful woven straw skeps which looked rather like upturned cylindrical baskets. These hives were unfortunately a death sentence

for the poor bees which inhabited them as the only way to get the honey out was to kill the bees and destroy the skep. Before supermarkets made sugar widely available, bees provided honey for sweetening foods in the kitchen. Honey was also used medicinally and as a preservative. The hives also produced beeswax to make the best quality candles as well as polish and cosmetics and honey also was the most important ingredient in the making of mead at home and its variations such as metheglin!

We seem to have come full circle in the current economic downturn and it’s encouraging to see more people looking to supply as much food as they can in their gardens and allotments and enjoying buying local or British products in season instead of relying on things being brought in from abroad to satisfy our desire for strawberries and tomatoes at Christmas. Hopefully I can persuade Tom that bees would be a good step forward? We will have to see……

Course host of the week

The Whittingtons

About You

Your names and ages: Isobel (8), Evie (6), Hattie (5) & Daisy (2) Whittington

Your occupation: Small children

Where do you live? Uffington Oxfordshire

What pets do you have? Six Chickens and two Guinea Pigs

If you were stranded on a desert island what luxury item would you have? A very, very large cake and a mirror (Isobel), Sparkly shoes (Evie), My girl cowboy (Hattie), Milk and Cbeebies (Daisy).

What song do you most like dancing to? Waterloo – Abba (Isobel), Hot and Cold – Katie Perry (Evie), Baby I lied – Deborah Allen(Hattie), If you’re happy and you know it …(Daisy).

What do you want to be when you grow up? A singer (Isobel), A vet (Evie), A princess (Hattie), A teletubby (Daisy).

What is your favourite flavour ice cream? Mint choc chip ( Isobel), All of them (Evie), Strawberry (Hattie), I don’t like ice cream, It’s too cold. (Daisy)

If you could have any more pets what would you have? A kitten (Isobel), A puppy (Evie), A bunny rabbit (Hattie), A pony (Daisy)


The fairy godmother’s been turning girls into chickens again!


Is Daisy going to give her hens any sweetcorn or keep it for herself?

About Your Chickens

How many chickens do you have? Six

What are your chickens called? Florence, Henrietta, Mabel, Matilda, Dotty and Snowy

How many eggs do you get a week and what is your favourite way of cooking them? None yet our chickens are too little. When we get some we are going to use them to make an enormous cake

Do your chickens have a party trick? Catching flies while balancing on a bench.

What do your chickens like eating more than anything else? Our chickens are very greedy when it comes to sweetcorn and have been known to forget their manners in their hurry to scoff it.

Who is best at catching chickens? Mummy.

What makes chickens great pets? They waddle around all the time and they are very funny. They have lovely fluffy feet and run really fast to see us every time we open the front door. If we haven’t got any sweetcorn for them they look terribly disappointed. We are looking forward to getting some eggs when our chickens are big enough.

About Your Guinea Pigs

How many guinea pigs do you have? Two baby Rex guinea pigs.

What are your guinea pigs called? Rosie and Racasie the third.

Who decided on your guinea pigs’ names? Hattie, as they were her birthday present. They came wrapped in a shoebox with a big pink bow.

What are your guinea pigs’ favourite food? Our guinea pigs are even greedier than the chickens and spend all day eating grass. Their favourite snack is cucumber.

Why are guinea pigs good pets? Guinea pigs are good pets because they are cuddly and fluffy and friendly and never bite unless they mistake your finger for a carrot. They make lovely squeaky noises when they are excited.


A party dress makes a great bed for guinea pigs


Maybe the guinea pig should be the one wearing the wings

Omlet online shop

Star Products!

Here is just a small selection, go online to see the full range.

For the birds

Nature’s Feast – Dried Mealworms 110g

Dried mealworms are the less wiggly alternative to live mealworms but will still go down a treat with your chickens. They are the larvae of the Flour Beetle, a native British insect which eats flour, meal, grain and other crops. They are made up of over 48% protein and 40% fat, making them tasty to eat and in their dried state very unlikely to escape a hungy chicken.

Mealworms are also a great treat for wild birds, particularly because of the protein content which is especially important during breeding and fledging. They attract a variety of birds and can be added to bird seed, on a bird table or in a feeder, all year round.

This small tub of 110g dried mealworms is ideal for clean and easy storage and the easy pour lid is perfect for sprinkling a few on the ground for your hens.

Buy now for £4.99

For the bees

Bee Suit Full Body

Every beekeeper needs a suit to give full protection when handling their bees. This full body suit is perfect for head to foot protection, giving you the confidence to get close to and handle your bees.

The suit has a number of great features which make it both safe and practical:
– A ventilated hat that can be adjusted to different sizes with a zipper that means it can be flipped back or taken off
– A dark veil that is easy to see through and extra strong with double distance rings that will hold it off your face if you choose
– Six pockets for all the tools you need to take to the hive
– Zippers on the legs for ease of putting on the suit without having to take your shoes off
– Elasticated cuffs for a tight fit, making it hard for bees to crawl up sleeves

From £53.00 – £58.00 

For the chef

Egg Timer Dotty – Various Colours

Has this dotty little item sprouted from magic beans? Has it been laid by a rare breed of chicken? Whatever it is or wherever it came from it wouldn’t look out of place surrounded by pixies and fairies in a mystical forest. But surprisingly, it is most at home in the kitchen, amongst the saucepans and the wooden spoons.

This is in fact nothing more than an egg timer…but a totally cool egg timer at that. Make your kitchen more colourful and your cooking more fun with this essential gadget. Cook cakes to perfection every time and never over boil an egg again. How did you live without one?

A range of colours available so you can choose one to match your bowls, your apron or even your eglu!

Buy now for £5.49

For the kids

Live Butterfly Garden

The transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is one of the most impressive of nature’s magic tricks. Even kids that have no interest in science find this a fascinating process, and this kit will show them the magical metamorphosis of caterpillars to butterflies closer than ever before.

First, your caterpillars will eat their own food, growing to ten times their original size. Next, they’ll hang upside-down and shed their skins to form chrysalides. Finally, see them emerge as beautiful butterflies, completing their metamorphosis! Observe them for a few days and then release them!

Science and nature has never been so much fun!

Suitable for 4+

Buy now for £19.50

Omlet World

It wasn’t just the UK that got excited at the launch of the Beehaus, there was a buzz in the air in New York too! The New York Times published an article all about the decline in bee numbers in both Europe and the United States and it mentioned the ‘new and improved’ beehive perfect for city dwellers. All those city rooftops could soon be providing homes for bees and helping their numbers grow.

One person commented: “My mother and I have been keeping bees in Cambridge, MA for 8 years now, and we love it! The looks on people’s faces when you give them a jar of homemade honey are totally priceless, and they pollinate our apple trees beautifully. Hooray for city bees!”

Rumour has it the Obamas will be keeping bees on the lawn of the Whitehouse soon – we haven’t received an order from them yet, but we’ve got our fingers crossed.

You can read the article here

Omlet World

Omlet team

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on August 20th, 2009 by admin


Omlet Newsletter August 11th 2009

Hello!

Same place, same time, new chickens
Over 100,000 people were in Regents Park last weekend to enjoy the music, slightly overcast weather, food, two chickens and a rabbit called Baked Beans.  Omlet were there for the second year running and along with our crowd loving chickens we took along our ace bunny Banked Beans!

Eglus on TV
You should be able to see an eglu next Thursday (the 18th August) on BBC2’s new series called No Waste Like Home.  It stars a family who use a lot of energy and will try to improve things by keeping chickens.  Of course they do other things like washing less and adding insulation to their house – but the chickens are the best bit!

This Weeks Star Photos

Milly and Molly eating the herbs in Anna’s Garden
Milly and Molly eating the herbs in Anna’s Garden

Lavern and Mabel the chickens sneak up on the cat!
Lavern and Mabel the chickens sneak up on the cat!

Send your photos to info@omlet.co.uk

Barbara’s Weekly Diary!

Holidays with my Hens

Summer’s here and it’s holiday time. What on earth can you do with your hens? Quite a dilemma, isn’t it? Well, no, not really. Hens aren’t like cats and dogs. They can look after themselves to a point. So long as they are safe inside the Eglu run with the end door secured, they are safe from predators, which is the biggest worry for hen keepers. The peanut feeders will hold enough food and water for 2-3 days and if a kindly neighbour, friend or relative will pop in and fill up the feeders every few days, they will be fine left to their own devices. There’s no need to collect eggs daily as they will just keep adding to the cache in the nest while you are away and while the weather’s warm (ha ha!), you don’t need to worry about shutting the pop hole door at night either. The hens will be quite happy stargazing as they enjoy the warm summer nights.

If you don’t have the luxury of a hen-sitter nearby, another alternative is to take the hens for a holiday in someone else’s garden. The Eglu comes to pieces easily and will fit into the back of a family car with ease. The hens can be transported in the comfort of their eglu to their holiday residence. All you need to do is to explain the necessaries of chicken care to their kind host then whizz off and enjoy your holiday while your hens have fun eating someone else’s grass.

If all else fails, why not take your hens on holiday with you? It’s not as daft as it sounds and I’ve heard of people who have already taken their Eglus on ferries or packed in the back of a car so that their hens don’t miss out on the excitement!! There won’t be a lot of room for your suitcases but hey, you’ll have fresh eggs for breakfast every day instead!

Barbara

Whats on the forum?

Will chickens damage my lawn?
Isma visited the forum this week and asked about chickens and lawns – “I have been very keen to get chickens for a while now and as the building of the new extension plus the new garden is now complete I’m trying to convince my husband to say yes! However he has become slightly obsessed about the new lawn and says they will ruin it. Personally I think it’s just grass and it will re-grow but I was wondering if any other owners with “grass obsessed” spouses could give me advice.”

As usual, forum members were keen to help answer the query –

“If you move the eglu and run every couple of days it doesn’t affect the lawn very much. We’ve had Syl and Marj 2 weeks now and the grass is still green.” – Sara

“If you love your lawn, then allow the chickens on occasionally – the poop helps! – but keep them on bark rather than on the lawn, and be prepared to keep them off it more-or-less indefinitely during the winter.”  Martin

“I had a fairly scrappy lawn anyway, so wasn’t worried.
Good job too, as the Girls are busy laying waste to it!
Have moved the Eglu weekly (not bothered enough about grass to do it more frequently), but I’m not sure that I will have a verdant lawn next year, even with the added manure! There are some links somewhere about keeping your chooks on bark chippings instead of grass. My advice would be – go for it!!!” – Andy (Night Nurse)

“If you can section even a small area which you can use for the chickens then they will be fine on bark or wood chippings as Omlet recommend.” – Lesley

Trial Access To The Forum
You can have a weeks trial access to the forum by clicking this link here -> forum

The Eglu Refresher Kit

Want to give your elgu a spring clean? You can replace the eglu roosting bars and summer shade with this convenient kit and make your eglu look like new again

You can find out more here -> shop


Refresher kit
Refresh your eglu!

Have an eggcellent day,

Johannes and the Omlet team!

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on August 11th, 2009 by admin


Omlet Newsletter August 7th 2009

Hello!

Introducing the beehaus – giving bees their buzz back!

You may have got the hint from the last couple of newsletters that Omlet were working on something new and rather special. The Independent on Sunday certainly gave a big clue a couple of weekends ago when they
broke the story that a new product was on the way.

And on Wednesday the 5^th of August there really was a real buzz in the air as the world found out what that new product was. We are very pleased and excited to introduce the beehaus – a contemporary beehive that is giving bees their buzz back.

We’ll have a full story on the launch in the next newsletter but for now here are a few tasters from the BeeBeeC and the Guardian (bit harder to make a bee pun from that)

Beehaus – the brilliant new beehive from Omlet


The rumour of a new product was started by the Independent

With all these chimney’s around rooftop beekeepers always have a smoker to hand.


More people keeping bees means more flowers, crops and honey!


You can collect around 50 jars of honey a year from your beehaus.

The Buzz about Bees

You may never have thought of keeping bees before, but a colony of bees makes a wonderful addition to your garden. They are interesting to keep, make honey and provide an invaluable service pollinating plants. In fact, it’s estimated there are around 1 trillion bees in the world pollinating at any one time, which is essential for us to grow food and survive. That may sound like a lot of bees but they are in danger and their numbers are in decline. By keeping bees in your back garden you will be helping with their survival and helping the environment. It is a fun hobby too! With as many as 60,000 of your new pets though you may struggle to name them all!

You don’t have to live in the countryside to keep bees, they will live quite happily in urban gardens and rooftops. And urban honey has a delicious flavour from the wide variety of plants available. Of course you can keep bees in the country, where they can collect nectar from crops, orchards and wild flowers.

There is nothing better than spreading honey from your own bees on piping hot toast. So if this sounds tempting Omlet can help you get started keeping bees and give you all the support and advice you need.

Introducing the Beehaus

The beehaus is a safe, modern home specially designed for keeping bees in your garden or rooftop. Like the eglu It has triple layer insulation to help the bees maintain a constant temperature in the brood nest and its plastic surfaces are quick and easy to clean, ensuring a hygenic home for your bees.

The beehaus is twice as big as a normal hive and has an entrance at both ends so you can divide the hive and start a second colony without having to buy a second hive, but despite the size it is light weight and easy to lift.

An ideal spot for the beehaus is in a quiet spot, against a hedge or fence and away from frequently used paths. As bees normally fly above head height at about 5m above the ground, placing the beehaus a couple of meters in front of a hedge or fence will encourage your bees to reach this height quickly, which is good if you have neighbours. And don’t worry, bees will not bother other pets such as cats, dogs and chickens.

Bees mean Honey

And the bit we know you waiting to hear about…the honey! For living in the fabulous beehaus you will be repaid with an average of 50 jars of the sweet stuff each year. Bees work hard to make their honey, and it tastes so much better than the type you can buy in the supermarket.

Bees collect nectar from flowers in the spring and summer. To fill a single jar of honey your bees will need to make over 20,000 journeys! They then turn the nectar into honey by reducing the water content and cap the stored honey with wax ready for when they need it in the winter. Because of the advantages of living in a beehive, your bees will store more honey than they need. You can harvest the extra honey in the autumn.

The Easy Beesy way to Start

You can order your beehaus complete with everything you need to get started, including a starter colony of 10,000 bees. The beehaus makes beekeeping easy for beginners…the only tricky part is deciding which colour to go for, and with a choice of five it could take some time.

There are two options: The beehaus comes with all the parts you’ll need to get you set up and ready to enjoy this new experience plus jars for collecting your very own, delicious honey; the beehaus starter kit comes complete with the tools you will need if you are a beginner, including a full size beesuit for protection.

To find out more or to order a beehaus click here

Cooking Corner

Summer fete season is nearly over and I no longer have to hide every time there is a knock at the door, ducking under the window, to avoid raffle ticket sellers.

The rain has been relentless for the past few weeks and I have persuaded Barbara that the chickens do not need water wings! Their run is in the corner of the garden and is quite well protected from the elements by a large privet hedge. They are generally not keen on the rain, but one of them insists on drinking the drips that fall on the run! She is daft as a brush, but funny to watch.

They are still laying, but egg production has dropped slightly. With rain clouds looming, it is no wonder they aren’t laying as well but wiith the early rising sun and lighter evenings they are eating more and we are topping up their feeders every day. With the odd half a cabbage and plenty of spinach from the veggie garden they never go without.

Barbara insists on having flowers in the veggie garden. I have always used marigolds to ward off whitefly around my tomatoes, but having lots of different flowers dotted around helps attract bees to the veg crops. They do a fantastic job at pollinating the veggies. So here is a honey recipe in honour of the humble honey bee …

Honey Ice Cream

1 medium egg
4 egg yolks
110g honey, (plus extra for drizzling)
284ml double cream
30g toasted flaked almonds

1) Whip the cream until it is thick and set aside.
2) Beat the honey, egg and yolks in a bowl over simmering water, until the mixture is pale and thickened. It should treble/quadruple in volume.
3) Add to the cream and fold in gently.
4) Line a loaf tin with cling film, pour in the mixture and freeze overnight.
5) When ready to serve, remove from the tin and cut into slices. Drizzle with runny honey and flaked almonds…..Enjoy!

Homemade honey ice cream in honour of the humble honey bee.

Vegging Out

Bees are a gardeners’ friend. Without them it would be really hard work to grow any fruit or vegetables in your garden. They are natures’ best pollinators and we need to help them.

Due to the reduction in natural habitats such as hedgerows and meadows and the over usage of pesticides wild flowers are becoming scarce and so are our native bees.

If you have plants and flowers in your garden you can really help. Bees need flowers. The nectar feeds the adults and the pollen feeds their young.

It does make a difference, however what flowers you grow depends on how much nectar and pollen they can reach.

The two best types of flowers to grow are single petal varieties such as simple wild roses, hawthorn and crab apple, and tubular petal plants such as foxgloves, snapdragons, penstemons and heathers.

More complicated petal varieties obstruct the bees access to the flower’s stamen.

Ideally, if you have room, it’s best to grow a variety of flowers, as different species of bee have different length tongues so more flowers types encourages more bee varieties. Traditional cottage planting is definitely the best way to go and it needs to be an all year round affair. For example:

Spring – bluebells, heather and fruit blossoms.

Summer – alliums, herb and vegetable flowers, foxgloves, honeysuckle, poppies, laburnum and lupins.

Late Summer / Autumn – Brambles, lavender, cornflowers, buddleia, snapdragons and sunflowers.

The trick is to grow what you like, pretty abundant flowers with lots of perfume are magnetic to bees. You can buy seed packets with a mixture of wild flower seeds to sow into your lawn to grow a mini meadow.

Whether you have a window box or acres of land please include some flowering plants even if it’s just a few flowering herbs which are edible to us and attractive to bees.

If we all make an effort we can help increase our healthy bee numbers.


Bees just love lavender

Course Host of the week

Jonathan Lindner

About You

Where and with who do you live? I live in Norwich with Jay and our 3 children, Tamar (4), Nathanael (2) and Eliana (10 months) and our dog Maple

Your occupation: I’m a Primary School teacher. I currently teach 6 and 7 year olds.

What pets do you have? We have a 4 year old trail hound and 57, 347 bees.

What is your favourite season? Summer, I like the sun!

What would you choose as your last supper? Toad in the hole.

What is the most daring thing you have ever done? Riding my 5ft high unicycle to the park with my kids.

Who would play you in the movie of your life? Tom Hanks.

What song do you most like dancing to? Mission Impossible theme tune.

About Your Bees

How long have you been keeping bees? Two seasons.

How many bee hives do you have? We currently have two full hives.

What plants in your garden do your bees like most? Lavender.

How much honey have you had so far? This season I’ve collected 70 jars! Mostly from one hive.

What’s been the most surprising thing about keeping bees? How they can seem to be in different moods at different times of day and season.

What advice would you give to anyone that is considering beekeeping? Do it! Don’t expect to understand them straight away, I’m learning new things about them every day.

Jonathon is proud to bee our first beekeeper of the month


Do you know what this is? Answers on a postcard!


That’s a whole lotta honey from one hive

Omlet online shop

Star Products!

Here is just a small selection, go online to see the full range.

Double Oven Glove – Busy Bumble Bee

Baking doesn’t have to be a chore with this double oven glove. The special heat protection will keep skin safe from burns and the towelling lining is lovely and soft on hands. If that isn’t enough the delightful bumble bee print should make every honey happy while cooking the dinner. Made from 100% cotton and machine washable.

Buy now for £12.00

Mug Bee Green

This mug makes a great little gift for anyone that likes living the green life. Designed by Mary Fellows, it is modern and stylish but cute and quaint enough for the country kitchen. With cartoon bees, green hearts and the words ‘bee green’ it makes a quirky mug to add to the collection. Made from bone china.

Buy egg cup set now for £7.00

Honey – Nature’s Wonder Ingredient

You’re probably most familiar with honey as being something sweet you spread on your toast for breakfast. But did you know it can also be used to treat sunburn, condition hair and make drawer fresheners?

Honey has been used since 7000BCE and it still remains to be a fascinating and useful ingredient. There are many myths and superstitions surrounding honey, and it is known as a wonder ingredient. In the the past it has been used as a form of currency and it has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years, so it’s pretty special for a product of nature.

This book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about honey and more. With 100 ways to use it, from curing headaches, to moisturising skin, to making a delicious cake, this is the ultimate source of information. Step by step instructions and beautiful photographs make this a wonderful book to own.

Buy now for £9.99

USB Microscope

How interesting is a piece of string? Not very, is the general answer, unless of course you look at it in a different light, or in fact under the light of a microscope. Now, we all remember those boring science lessons that involved taking it in turns to look at something through a clumsy, cumbersome microscope. But technology has advanced and things have got so much cooler. You don’t need to be a science professor to use this, and trust us it is a lot of fun. So how interesting it a piece of string? You’d be surprised!

See tiny things magnified to 200x their size and be amazed! And you don’t have to squint through a lens to see because your discoveries are displayed on your computer screen, in front of your eyes. Take photos of the details you see, film videos of teenie creatures going about their life and make mini documentaries like you’re David Attenborough, all at the click of a mouse. You can use this USB microscope to look at insects, food, plants, fabric…whatever takes your fancy. It is fascinating! It is also a particularly useful gadget for beekeepers, to check bees for disease.

Buy now for £49.95

Omlet team

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on August 7th, 2009 by admin


Omlet Newsletter August 1st 2005

If you go down to Jimmy’s Farm today…

You’re sure to see an eglu!  You might have seen the TV series last year following the intrepid rare pig rescuer Jimmy as he set off on his mission to save a breed of black and pink Essex pigs in danger of extinction. Over a year on and the adventure is blossoming, the farm is doing a roaring trade in a superior selection of sausages and delicious streaky bacon and if you happen to be in the area why not pop in and see the eglu and chickens that we have just delivered. You can find out more at www.essexpigcompany.co.uk

P.S Don’t forget to come and visit us at the Fruitstock festival ! It’s in Regents Park, London on the Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th of August We’ll be there with eglus on show and you can come and have a chat about the joys of chicken keeping. And of course this year we will also have the rabbit eglu to show. You can find out more information about Fruitstock at www.fruitstock.com .  See you there!

This Weeks Star Photo

Has anyone else got a dancing chicken or do yours have other talents (other than egg laying of course!)

Send your photos to dancingchickens@omlet.co.uk

Barbara’s Weekly Diary!

Cold Shower for a Broody Hen.I’ve got a broody hen at the moment and this means fun and games – and no eggs. It all started about a week ago. She went into the nest and didn’t come back out again. When I went to check on her, she was sitting on an egg, making a very strange noise and had puffed herself up like a football! The noise is a very deep cluck-cluck-cluck and when I hear that, I know that I need to take action or else she’ll be sitting clamped to the nest for the next 3 weeks! Something else that I’ve come to recognise as a sign of broodiness is feather pulling – she starts plucking them out to line the nest ready for the eggs and has the most embarrassing bald patch on her belly! I’ve learned after a few of these episodes that the quicker I react, the sooner egg production resumes so the first thing I do is to restrict access to the nest. This is easy if the other hens aren’t laying but can be a real nuisance if I have to keep one out and yet let the others get in so a little spying is required.

As soon as the first signs of broodiness appear, I put something into the nest to deter her from sitting. This can be an upturned plant pot, a small garden ornament or a brick – anything that she isn’t able to push out but it does need removing if any of the other hens decide it’s time to lay. If I spot her in the garden sitting on a nest she’s made from leaves, twigs and feathers, this is quickly removed and she’s moved on or tempted away with a treat or two. If all fails, she gets a quick dip in a bucket of cold water! The urge to go broody is usually caused by a rise in internal body temperature so a quick cold bath brings her back to normal and should stop the urge. A squirt with a hosepipe has the same effect. I’m hoping that this prompt treatment will mean that we start getting eggs again soon!

Barbara

Whats on the forum

Nesting Box
The delicate issue of what to put in the nesting box came up in the forum the other day, as Sydtheduck asked hay or straw?

“I can’t remember what I’m supposed to put in the nesting egg-laying part. Is that hay or straw? I’m sure I read somewhere that it must be one and not the other, but I can remember neither why, nor which was right. I’ve seen small packs of compressed hay in pet shops, but I can’t remember seeing straw sold that way. I hope it is, cos I haven’t got room for a bale!” – Sydtheduck

“You can put almost anything or nothing into the nesting box. I put straw because that’s what I used to use in my traditional wooden nesting boxes but hay will do as well as something to ‘cushion’ the eggs. Some people use shredded paper. Any of these will compost down when you change it to keep the eggs clean. With the shape of the Eglu nesting box you would probably be ok if you decide to use nothing. If you have a home shredder, or access to free bags of the stuff, then that would be your cheapest and easiest option.” – Jane

“We don’t put anything in the nestbox itself but we put straw in the poo tray. Re. Straw V Hay – hay is for eating and straw is for bedding. I don’t think hay would be good for chickens if they try to eat it – may cause impacted crop.” – Lesley

“Most of the books I’ve read advise not using hay because of the risk of impacted crop. My girls don’t like anything in the nest at all and whatever I put in, they kick out apart from a nice pile of poo which they seem to like to sit on.” – Kate

“My girls liked straw when they were young but now if I put anything in the Eglu they drag it out and spread it around and generally make a mess so now I use nothing.” – Louise

“Excellent, thanks muchly for the advice! If I can find some straw I think I’ll start them off with that and see how they react to it. If I can’t find any, we have a shredder so I could try that and hope that my chooks don’t keep track of my bank details.” – Sydtheduck

Featured Product

Pink “chickens are eggcellent” Bib  – £5

Eating a soft boiled egg can have its perils especially if you are 2! This bib has been specially formulated to catch any yolkey moments and make the wearer look totally angelic.

You can find out more here -> shop

Have an eggcellent day,

Johannes and the Omlet team!

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This entry was posted in Newsletter on August 1st, 2009 by admin