Sunday 7th February

Jo and I have just staggered back from a fanatastic wedding in Oxford. Not only was it at Blenhiem Palace, the birth place of Winston Churchil, which was stuning, but it was, far more importantly and of far more historical importance, the first night we have been away from Sebastian, together. It was quite surreal and yet quite lovely to actually have time together – we got exciting going into Beaconsfield Service Station for example knowing that we could sit down, have a coffee and read the paper! We have obviously reached that age where even a motorway service station is enjoyable!

I was in the bad books as I decided to extend my trial of whiskey (I have never liked whiskey but really want to “learn” how to drink it!) last night and promptly went through three or four samples at way past bed time. I Just love the ideology of whiskey, the heavy tumbler, the ice, a roaring fire and a traditional drink that is steeped in history! The pub had all of those elements last night and so I couldn’t  escape it especially as our friends Ian and Darren are seasoned whiskey drinkers! A couple of hours later and feeling as if I could say I was a whiskey drinker, I stumbled away from the bar. Great wedding Sarah and Ben, congratulations.

Seb loved being away from us by the way. He had a great time with Nanny, not realising we had gone away. Typical!

Since I last spoke wrote there have been several developments. I have now had time to read through the plans for the beehive; oh my god it looks complicated, there is no way I will be able to build a hive perfectly. The pressure was increased markedly when I was doing my research and a read that a hive should have absolutely no holes or gaps anywhere if you want your bees to survive through the winter. Apparently, if there are these gaps, it generates a draft which makes it harder for the bees to keep the constant 35 degrees needed to protect the brood. No pressure then James!

There was also a really funny comment in the plans and my eyes just went out on stalks when I thought of the consequences! It states that the National Hive is preferred by many because “more hives may be packed on commercial vehicles or the domestic car” – yes that was the domestic car! Now I had heard that this may occur but I didn’t believe it. Who would be crazy enough to put a beehive in their own car! Can you imagine if just one of the little insects got out and the carnage that could cause, let alone all 60,000. I then read on a little further……..”and up to 8, transported in estate models” WHAT!!!! One hive was mad eight would be bonkers! Imagine if they all got out, 480,000 bees flying around the car; what on earth would other drivers be thinking!

So I will be sending my plans to my father to just pass on some of the panic and get prepared. I have to find the cedar wood to start with as this is what is recommended. Where on earth am I going to find that?

I have also now started to ramp up the Facebook work – I have not got a clue what I am doing! I have joined lots of groups now and set up my own “The Beginner Beekeeper Group” to see if I can help others by showing that it can be done whilst hopefully getting more mature and experienced beekeepers to help us all out. I seem to have acquired 25 people following already which is nice. I hope they know what they have got themselves in to!

I have posted lots of comments on other peoples “groups” because apparently this is what I should be doing as it raises exposure for my own (and also this blog) so hopefully I can meet some nice people along the way.

Anyway, jobs for this week:

  • Panic and find out where to buy Cedar wood
  • Panic and try to find a mentor in the local area (apparently this is really important to beginners – I think I will need more help than most!)
  • Panic and write letters to my farmers to see if they mind putting the hives on their fields
  • Panic and then just simply relax
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