Thursday, 20 May 2010

Busy Little Bees

DH and I have been buzzy on our Bee Keeping practical course.

I wasn't sure how I'd feel being surrounded by a whole hive of bees. On the theory course I learned that each colony has about 60,000 bees and that the college has 8 colonies. That's a lot of bees.

It wasn't anywhere near as scary as I thought it would be.  Of course we were safely kitted out in college supplied bee keeper suits, which helped.     We bought our own bee suits ready for this week;  seeing someone sneeze inside the veil of their borrowed suit made that decision for me.

Last week we watched the Tutors inspect the hives and we saw evidence of likely swarming.  The bees in one of the hives weren't overly happy and came out in force to let us know.  I felt safe in my borrowed suit. 

Until one of the other attendees found she had a bee inside her veil.   We inspected her outfit (she was wearing a smock over jeans) and realised the bee had got in through the gap underneath her smock.  She should probably have worn proper bee trousers, and tucked the smock in.

I had been planning to get separates, as my top half is much bigger than my bottom half.  However, the incident with the bee inside the veil made me rethink this strategy.  The beekeeping supplies website mentioned that if you're big on top you'd best get an all-in-one, otherwise the separate top will be too long and may allow bee entry at the bottom.

So. I ordered a Large all in one.

I fits me at the chest but is far too long in the body (the crotch is between my crotch and knees) and the legs are far too long as well.  It isn't the most flattering thing I've ever worn.   I told my Auntie Joy about this, and she comforted me by saying that "at least no one will know it's you".  I love talking to my Auntie Joy, she always gets me chuckling.

I took a sneaky photo of DH in his suit: his fits him much better than mine fits me.  At least the waist is where his waist is (rather than near the hips) and the crotch is where the crotch is (rather than towards the knee).

This week we got to do the hive inspections ourselves. This was really interesting, and we again found a colony getting ready to swarm.  This one was dealt with differently to last week's colony, as the Queen was quite old and didn't look too bright.  She's now an ex bee.

And I haven't panicked about being surrounded by bees. Yet.

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