Sunday, 27 June 2010


So who came up with the idea for me to become a beekeeper? What was that person thinking? Crazy fool!

Day one as a beekeeper started well. We arrived at Mr Bee’s home, chatted about solar power and boreholes over a coffee (as you do), got suited up (I caught my hair in the hood zip & Dave had to rip a chunk off to free me – I’m such a natural) and then headed over to the hives. Lovely docile bees. I was calm as you like during hive inspection and the separation of my nucleus into their travelling box.

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The journey home, which I’d been dreading, was completely uneventful. No escapee bees. In fact they were so quiet that I was sure all had expired from over heating, despite us driving home with all windows down. It started to go wrong when I was left alone. What little knowledge I’d acquired from bee school evaporated the moment the lid of the box was open and I was greeted by the sound of hundreds of bee vuvuzelas.


I knew I had to double check that the queen was on a frame and safely in the hive. But could I find her? Could I heck. Even the big blob of Tippex on her back didn’t help. I could feel the first waves of panic. Keep calm, keep calm, just get the bees in the hive, it’ll be fine. Vuvuzelas get louder. Smoker dies. Keeping cats is so much easier. So queen or no queen, the bees are bundled into the hive. Now time to feed them sugar syrup. Up end feed bucket over hive. No one told me that you need to wait for the vacuum to form before you up end the bucket. Out runs sugary water and bees are washed away in a sugar syrup tsunami. I just hope the queen isn’t now encased in a crispy caramel coat like a toffee apple with a sting or its back to Mr Bee with another fat wad of cash.

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