So on Saturday (9th) I visited the hives to check on their progress with the fondant. Most of them are making a significant dent in it. Good news though I’ve not lost one colony (touch wood); even the ones that worried me because I couldn’t see the fondant going down, I lifted the edge ad they were there happily munching the bottom.
So as I said, visit three, sting three, but not without reason. I went into the hive and cleared out the mouse nest. Being close to 0°C (32°F) it wasn’t the nicest thing for the bees I’m sure, but the nest needed to be cleared. I’d worn gloves, but I couldn’t seem to find my new jacket, so I was in the old jacket which is a bit short and I didn’t have boots on, so they stung we through the socks I had pulled up over my trousers. Then when it was all done they followed me all the way back to the car (100yrds). Well, I say followed me, more like sat on me because it was cold and didn’t move. Anyway, lesson learnt, use a mouse excluder of some type of the other on every hive. I hadn’t done so on this one as it was a hive that I bought and reconditioned. Not having had a WBC previously I didn’t know about the required ‘slide’ to put in place, and the hive is so good looking I didn’t want to nail a bit of mesh on the front and ruin the appearance. Anyway, this visit I took a bit of wood with me, and scored the dimensions of the required slider on to it; give the hive is in use I can’t really take it home and work on it so guesswork will have to do, cross fingers.