Monday, 18 May 2009

Rain stop play...

My bee man emailed me today to say that I am 7th on his list to have my bees delivered. He said "deliver", but it's more a case I have to go and collect it. Although he is just across the River Thames from me the uncertain 'delivering date' is causing a bit of a problem in terms of organising my weekends with my family. Until I know for certain which Saturday it will be all family arrangements for the next few weekends are up in the air. Naturally this does not endear me to my love ones especially as there is a bank holiday and a school holiday next week.

The weather, according to my bee man, is to blame. It is true that after brief periods of May sunshine we are (in London) having what we laughingly call our early summer weather. Last weekend I was down in Kent, by the coast, visiting my good friends, Jane and Richard. It was sunny and warm, but by the time I drove back to London, yesterday afternoon, it felt as if I had been in a different country. 

During my visit I took the opportunity to look at my friends' bees. Jane caught a swarm on Thursday and it was still in the cardboard box when I got there on Saturday. We installed them in a nuc, but couldn't locate the queen. Later on we decided (by watching the bees) she must be there. We also checked Jane's one remaining hive from last year. She lost two. It turned out that the remaining one is queenless. When I left on Sunday my friends were deciding if they should get a queen, or wait to see how the nuc is doing and may be merge the two. I did not have my bee suit or my veil, but still managed to look at the hive without any problem. Jane has this theory that bees can sense if a person is nervous around them. I wasn't so I didn't get stung. I did move very slowly though. Until my own bees arrive I can only 'enjoy' beekeeping by proxy I suppose.

"Rain rain go away. Come again another day"

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