Day three and the threatened bad weather never arrived. What did arrive were the aches and pains again and the white van man who returned for the rest of the slabs. I really want to crack on today and get most of this finished.
Tomorrow is the Kent Festival of Bees being held near Canterbury. I want to go, especially as my friend, Mark, is presenting on ‘Show Honey’ Think I’m a long way off show honey, or any honey for that matter.
I am continually surprised at how popular honey is. Everyone I have told about my plans seems to reply first with “will you have honey for sale?’ The answer is I don’t know. I have no idea how much honey one hive will produce in a season or even if they will produce any at all in the first year and I want my bees to like me so I shan’t be taking it all. Actually not sure how that works either; Do you take half, a quarter? I have so much to learn.
With the slabs gone there was now room to move. We unearthed two half full bags of gravel and chippings which will make a good base for the few slabs that we have kept. These will make a good hard standing for the hive and can be hosed off to keep them clean. One of the lectures I went to with the Hampshire beekeepers association was about hive hygiene. It’s really important to keep everything as clean as possible.
At the far end Jim is going to build me a a covered area so that I can keep equipment safe and dry. Hopefully, Christmas and my birthday in January will produce some bee ‘stuff’ so that by spring when I get my bees I will have everything I need to care from them properly.
By mid-afternoon the job was almost completed. A check on the cement mixer, and hooray it’s working, so a quick dash indoors to get it on ebay. Who knows I may make enough with the sale to buy a hive.
Just enough time before I finish for the day to rebuild the hedgehog house, making it deeper and longer with a narrow entrance will make it safe from badgers and foxes. It’s amazing what you can learn on YouTube. It still looks like a random pile of logs but I’m pretty confident the hedgehogs of East Peckham will now see it as a des res.
So three days of hard work and my bee estate is ready to be populated. The rest of the winter is going to be a period of learning, joining the local beekeepers association in Yalding features largely in the plan. My beekeeping for dummies book, already well-thumbed, will become my bedtime reading of choice.
My son, John, is going to get me some bees in the spring by which time I should be ready to be a competent and caring adoptive Mummy to about seventy thousands of Gods most amazing creatures, without whom mankind would not survive.