It’s a few months since I wrote my last ‘Bee’ blog which is, mainly, because nothing much has happened since I prepared the area of garden where my bees and their hive or hives will eventually reside.
The autumn has been mostly spent working my way through an excellent book called ‘Bee Keeping for Dummies’ and watching my recordings of Martha Carney’s Hive Alive programmes. Both have given me a fairly in depth view of this new fascinating hobby.
Being very slightly OCD I am a great believer in being well prepared for any and all events, whether that’s a dinner party or a new hobby. Taking the time to read and learn has allowed me to, with the help of my beekeeper son, put together my list of essential equipment.
Christmas brought a wealth of goodies from my wish list including a smoker and a bee suit beautifully embroidered with my name and the legend “Queen Bee” which strangely has been my nickname at the Independent Funeral Directors College which I have served in various capacities for many years. Perhaps I should wear my new bee suit to the next Governors meeting.
Not much happens in the bee world at this time of year. It’s bee holiday time: no flowers equals no pollen equals no honey. However beekeepers use this time to maintain hives and equipment and ready everything for next season. Just before Christmas I joined the Yalding and District Beekeepers Association. Their website looked interesting and informative, and from the information on it they clearly ran regular courses which I will take advantage of. I’ve already signed up for my first beekeeping for beginners course, which I’m very excited about, and which starts in February. Of course, another advantage will be to get to know local beekeepers and establish a network of people I can go to for advice.
Having established, with advice, that the best hive to get is a national one I began to plough through the beekeeping suppliers catalogues and websites to put my shopping list together. Fortunately before I spent anything my son found a complete hive on eBay which I immediately bought. The cash saving was pretty impressive and it was only in Ascot, so not too far. From the description John said I would need a different Queen excluder. I’m taking his word for that because at the moment I’m not sure what a Queen excluder is or even what she’s being excluded from!
My husband came with me and we arrived home with the hive separated into its component parts. A bit like building blocks, the bits all sit one on top of each other to make a hive. Right now, apart from the roof and the stand which are easily identifiable, I have no idea what the other bits are. I know the names, brood box, super, crown board but which is which is anybody’s guess.
So, back to the books and roll on February when hopefully all will be revealed.