I woke up this morning to this gorgeous day. The dogs and I start at 5.30. Still, sunny and so lovely. After the walk around the fences, I began to make Ricotta cheese with the whey from yesterdays cheddar and started the butter. I took yesterdays cheddar out of the press and popped it into my cheese fridge (a converted wine fridge.. I never keep wine long enough to even NEED a wine fridge!!) So I am toddling on with my day, happy as the proverbial lark, wander out to hang a load of washing on the clothesline and find this:
ANOTHER SWARM!.( the soundtrack of the day hits the LOW notes.) However (deep breath) this time I am ready. I only panic in a very mild way. Then I make up the little cardboard super that I bought last summer (when I remember where I got it I will tell you), it is called a Nuc. ‘Course now I have to convince them to move out of the wee oak tree and INTO their little mini home. First I will take the passive route and allow them to decide to go in. Evidently if you put the box on a white sheet they see the little dark hole and walk right in. So I will make the offer. Mm. Well my plan is that the little scout bees will be flying about, then they will look down and “Wow look at that piece of real estate, it even smells good and there is a feed waiting woo hoo.” They will fly back to Old Miss the Queen sat up there all Queenly like in her oak tree her bee minions fanning her to keep her cool. The Scouts will do the Waggly – ‘Found us a new pad’ Jiggly dance, everyone will agree in record time and later this afternoon they will pick up their beds and walk right in. Single file would be pretty!?
Nothing happened for a long time. And then nothing happened again. Well I got bored waiting. I went out with my hoe, climbed up the wobbly yellow ladder and gave the branch a good hard wack, they dropped with a shush onto the white sheet like good little bees and Who Knew commenced to crawl right in. I was impressed – I have to tell you that I was actually feeling rather smug!. Well I sat down and watched them crawl in and then I watched them crawl BACK OUT! oops.
There now, well, that was earlier. Now it is evening I am sitting in my study writing and waiting for the night to fall. We have eaten, pork soaked in home-made mint sauce, grilled onions in a herb vinaigrette and newly dug potatoes drenched in my own butter. Our John the silent one who gets up for work at 4.am is snoring quietly in the West Wing. Dogs are walked. All I have to do is lock the chooks up and carry this box of bees to its new home.
And as you can see the bees have slowly slowly been absorbed by the little cardboard Nuc.
Tomorrow I will work out how and when to transfer them from their Nuc (fabulous name) to a proper hive but not yet. Of course I don’t actually have another hive but I think I can cobble some bits and pieces together. But tonight all I have to do is move them under the trees to the bee garden. Soon.
Night is falling, the birds are changing guard and soon the fireflies will begin to dance up out of the cornfields.
Time for a wee wine on the verandah as I wait for the bees to drag their last few lazy bones inside the refugee shelter. Then I will move them (actually I am not sure exactly how I will move them but I do not want to break the ambient tone we are developing here.) Then it is a swim, then a shower then bedtime for me.
Ni night, (next time I promise I will begin the introductions!)