I set out yesterday to oxalicise a few more hives. The first entailed crawling through a hole in a fence as I no longer have a key to the council yard/apiary. I had left the empty supers on as they may as well be kept there as anywhere else, but had lowered the crown board by a couple of strata. When I removed it I found that the bees were active in the 2 supers above the QE. I moved them aside and peered through the grid. There were bees everywhere, making it impossible accurately to calculate the size of the cluster and thus the appropriate dose. I just gave them the full 40cc I had in the syringe in the hope that it was more or less right.
Then I headed for Portland where I have an apiary in a paddock next to a quarry. I drove in, as usual shutting the gate behind me. It is about 100 yards to my usual parking place and the grass is well cropped. There was a biggish puddle en route, resulting from all the rain but I knew that it couldn’t be more than a couple of inches deep so I drove through it gently. I should have gone faster! My wheels started spinning as I emerged from the puddle and I didn’t have enough momentum to carry me past the muddy patch. I was stuck!
After spending some time gathering brushwood to put under the wheels and making only a few inches progress, it occurred to me that I was wasting my time as I would have to turn around and go back the same way after visiting the bees. So I abandoned the car and walked to the apiary. I noticed that the path into it appeared to have been trodden.
The first hive had its supers askew! The second tipped forward on its stand and super and roof displaced. The third was tipped forward again leaving gaping gaps. It was starting to rain and I had no protection. I simple squared them up and left it at that for now as I had more pressing things to do, but there was no sight or sound of bees so probably I have lost them. They may have been like it for weeks with little weather protection.
Back to the car, I managed to reverse through the puddle but got bogged down again. Eventually I has to use the car mats under the wheels to provide traction, a couple of feet at a time. The car, the mats and I were covered in mud!
After that the day got a bit better.