That’s what the Postman had written on the note I found on my doormat this evening when I got back from touring 5 of my apiaries to see whether the colonies had survived the winter.
They have all survived so far, although, it being a cold and showery afternoon, very few were flying. I used a new toy, a heat sensor, to attempt to locate the clusters but only about one degree F at most was detected, showing what good insulation clustered bees are. On a couple of hives I had to press an ear to the hive wall and give a tap to get them to confirm their existence by buzzing. I had forgotten to take my stethoscope and so now have muddy knees. I did try hefting some of the hives. Either somebody has nailed them to the ground or they have masses of stores! I didn’t feed them.
Back to the parcel. I assumed that it would be a book that I had ordered on line a couple of weeks ago but hasn’t arrived yet, but when I opened the hive I found that the parcel was a cube of about 6″, so it wasn’t the book. It was a china mug!
This is my prize from a shed making firm, Waltons, for being among the top 10 bee bloggers in the country! I tested it immediately with herbal tea, my first drink since breakfast. According to their website, the Walton who started their company, well over a century ago, was a beekeeper. This doesn’t explain why they are now suddenly taking an interest in beekeepers. Maybe they’re thinking of diversifying into beehive manufacture: they have the skills, machinery, timber and labour!
How about bee-sheds such as they use in Slovenia? I’d love to have one of those if only I had somewhere to put it. Look in Getting the Best from Your Bees for pictures, including one taken inside. The hives open like cupboards, so there’s no heavy lifting as you remove one frame at a time to examine or harvest.
Now, I wonder how much mead that mug will hold?