I have nothing to say. This is unusual for me, usually I can talk under water. I will just write what is whirring around in my head, fairly nonsensical, not worth saying but I’ll say it anyway.
I am super super excited to have some unexpected time off work and my to-do list is immense. So immense I probably won’t do any of it and the items will just keep getting transferred to the next list. I want to clean out the fridge, I want to get rid of a heap of stuff in my house so that it feels less full. I want to go for a bike ride (the rain is putting me off that one), I want to clear out the pantry of stuff I don’t use. I want to finish knitting the never ending blanket (it is nowhere near close to being finished), I want to bake a heap of food to fill the freezer.
In all honesty as I sit here drinking a perfectly delicious cup of coffee playing on the computer those things aren’t likely to happen. I have been googling land to buy (I want to be a small scale farmer) tiny houses, flat pack houses, modular houses, caravans, more land, less land, all the land. I could fill a day with this…
I had whacky dreams last night, I spent a lot of the night lying there awake between these dreams, I am now both tired and wired (thanks coffee!). I bought lovely organic, sustainable, bamboo sheets last week that promised to change my life, and provide the best nights sleep every night. I am not blaming the sheets but at the same time I feel like I was lied to… I jest, I am a terrible sleeper, the sheet companies claims just made me laugh… I needed new sheets as I was struggling to keep up with the sewing of the old ones, the holes and rips were coming on so fast. I guess 12 years is all you get out of sheet sets these days. Rude…
I guess if I don’t get round to getting rid of at least half my belongings I have to acknowledge that I probably can’t live in a tiny house, time to refine my google searches…
I had a look at my bees today. Quite the drama. Right from the start I probably should have just packed in and come back another day.
I lit the smoker. Poorly it turns out. It went out just after I opened the hive. I left the hive and relit the smoker. After 5 minutes it went out again, I really need to work on my smoker skills… I just persevered, I feel fairly safe in my bee suit. I worked pretty quickly so that I could get out of their space as fast as possible. All the times that I have opened the hive (about 5 or 6 times) I haven’t seen the queen. I am not bothered by this as there is plenty of evidence that she is in there so I wasn’t actually looking for her today. I didn’t look at all the frames mostly just the outside ones to see if they were storing honey and if I needed to add another super. Yes and not quite yet are the answers.
When I check the hive I place the roof on the ground near the fence and place the second frame in it and lean the frame against the fence. The rest of the frames I just shuffle around in the box. The bees weren’t thrilled that I was there without a smoker so once I had garnered the information that I needed I prepared to pack up and leave.
I realised that some of the bees from the frame on the ground were now creating a cluster on the fence. I was unsure what to do so I decided to use my hive tool to brush them onto the lid with the intention of just flipping the lid and putting it back on the hive, surely the bees would just work themselves out. I brushed. A chunk of bees fell onto the lid. I lifted it to return to the hive. I saw the queen. I had nearly lost her on the fence. Now unsure how to get her back in the box safely. I tried a couple of gentle taps, a little shake, nothing. She would not get out of the lid. I didn’t know if she could get past the hive mat if I just put the lid back on. I thought about removing the mat and coming back later and replacing it. I tried one more tap. I lost the queen. I am assuming she fell in and went straight down between some frames. I hope. I gently replaced the lid and walked away.
As the bees were annoyed there were still some walking over my suit so I did some gentle laps of the backyard til they came off. Once I could see no more on me I walked to the back door to do a final check before gong inside. That is when I discovered There Was One Inside My Veil. INSIDE. I started humming like a crazy person in my distress. I didn’t know what to do first. I wanted out of that veil and I wanted out Fast. I opted for leaving gloves on and frantic pawing at zips (not recommended, always stay calm, I personally found this hard to do). I managed to get the veil off without getting stung in the face. I was not gracious or kind to that bee, I flung it off my veil with all my might. It flew away probably not even knowing what it had done wrong.
I fled inside, a hot frazzled mess. I never want that to happen again, never, never, ever. I assume I did not tend to my zips and velcro well enough. I will be vigilant in the future.
Overall, not a great hive opening… But there was honey both capped and uncapped and plenty of babies. Hopefully there is still a queen.
Over the Winter I dug up a portion of grass and turned it into a makeshift extra garden bed. I unfortunately added a heap of clay rich soil. At the time it looked glorious as it was damp and filled with worms. When the heat arrived and the soil dried out it was like a slab of rock. When it was lovely and loose looking I planted a heap of potatoes in there. I practically wept when I realised what I had done. I expected very little potatoes. I was thrilled when I dug up some of the dead plants and found potatoes! They are a little on the small side but quite tasty.
I grew some different varieties. They all taste great! There is one line which is another type again that I have not dug up yet. I wish I had of noted what I planted. I am really happy with the flavour and the volume of the purple ones. When cooked they keep the purple colour, so pretty!
My lovely brother welded me a thingy to put my bees on. I have an atrocious back so all the bending over and trying to lift is painful, this makes it so much nicer. He made it from floor scraps from his work.