I had a call from my apprentice, ZoeAnn, (who obtained her first bees by persuading them out of a barn wall under my instruction), asking for my help to move her hive from where it was parked in a meadow of Barnes’ rectory at Winterbourne Came. It seems that they are stroppy and people are scared to go near.
We got there at 9pm when the sun was setting and few bees were flying. Zoe had come well equipped with lots of duct tape. The hive, a National with 1 super, was sat on a waist-high iron stand constructed by beekeeper/blacksmith, Simon Grant-Jones.
First Zoe taped an old rodent hole in the super where the Brillo pad she had inserted was insecure; then, working together, we taped across the entrance, followed by all joins in all directions. Murphy’s Law being what it is, we made sure that nothing could go wrong.
Then we lifted the hive from off the stand. It was heavy! We shared the load, brushing through nettles and getting stung.Then we found it wouldn’t fit in the back of Zoe’s car. A swift re-think and it was re-positioned in the passenger seat and belted up.
We drove in convoy to Tincleton and reversed the process, putting the hive in a small unused paddock, facing south, as closely as we could judge from the position of the Moon. We stripped off the tape bit by bit, lastly ripping off the strip over the entrance and running away, giggling in the moonlight!
I’m to go back in a few days to give them a full inspection, followed by tea and cakes.