I went into town to fill the car up for my journey to London tomorrow and called in at the shop for empty boxes, to be filled at Weeza and Phil’s flat. The phone rang; it was Dilly, saying that the bee man had rung to say he’d bring the nucleus of Al’s hive during the evening. Al looked harassed. “I haven’t started shutting up, I haven’t done the order list; I won’t be home until at least 7 o’clock” he protested. They were all ready. They were coming, ready or not.
I offered to shut up shop, but after some discussion we agreed that I’d do Al’s deliveries and then go home and start scything the long grass. Al arrived home by 6.30, leaving much of the clearing up to be done later. He was quite surprised at the inroads I’d made into the sea of nettles and docks. I’d said grass, but there was little of that. It was a large area that had been occupied by chickens for several years and only the inedible weeds were left. Blue Witch had given me advice last year on a good area to put the beehive (her first choice, which I rejected, was the tennis court) so I knew roughly where to cut. Nettles over 4 feet high are placed just right to catch you as they fall. Both arms and, through my teeshirt, much of my front were tingling within moments and I was itching from the clouds of gnats that rose from the greenery. The Sage got stung by a horse-fly in the same area the other day; his arm is still swollen.
The Sage was sent off for fish and chips, as I no longer felt like cooking. We all trooped out to see the bees being put into place later. They are in a box – about 2,000 of them with their queen – and as soon as the plug was taken out, they started to come out to investigate their new surroundings. If the weather is good, Al will transfer them into the hive, which he will put in the same place as the box is now. It’s all very exciting. I will not be here, I’ll have to get someone to take photos. If I can find the lead for the camera, that is. I’ve got the part that plugs into the computer, but the one that recharges it wasn’t where I expected it to be.