Rain, rain, go away…

…come again after I’ve done with moving my bees about.

So, this weather we have been having, argh. On Monday I managed to get a weather window; just warm enough to have a look at the bees. I opened the bees up and started having a look at the bees, but I had forgotten to bring my proper bee jacket. I had a hood on, but then only a t-shirt, and a black t-shirt at that (bees aren’t keen on people in dark colours or blue allegedly). So I didn’t get far into the first hive, but it was far enough for trouble to be spotted.

I’d only got 2 frames in to notice that the frames were empty where before it had been where the bees had heavy stores. The wet weather had left them drained after the big March build up of bees and the incessant rain we’d been having.

Then the real fun started. Two sealed queen cells on the front of the next frame, and that was just on the one side. At that point I had to ‘pause for thought’, I didn’t have the equipment with me to deal with queen cells (unless to knock them off). By now I’d ‘collected’ 4 stings to my upper arms, and although the stings were not bothering me too much, there was plenty of alarm pheromone around and the bees were bothered. I chose to retreat for the sake of the bees and the need for equipment.

I went to collect some nucs I’d prepared previously, then to clean some Apidea nucs, in preparation to return , but then rain started and stopped play.

So now, its three days later… Three days of drumming fingers and building other bits and pieces, researching the manipulations on the web and finding out that I’d have to start a bit earlier with the Apideas to get them built up with comb and stores before I could put a queen in them. I’ve been preparing two full hives, building nine supers, cleaning and waxing the apideas, linseeding coating all the woodwork, ‘adjusting’ a stand I’d built incorrectly the first time and assembling one hundred super frames.

Now I’m just waiting for that weather window, and I might be getting it. It is 9C (little too cold yet this morning), with odd little showers but strong sunshine coming through. Wish me luck.