Monday, 30 May 2011

BBbbbeeeeeezzzzzzz

With regards to the Bee Project:


March 2010: And here is Hubs with half of one of the two bee hives we managed to buy second hand from the chappie who sold us the flock of sheep. He said that all we have to do was put them out in the woods, put some stuff on them (couldn't quite catch the name of this 'stuff' but didn't like to ask because we were already feeling like noncies), and the 'bees would come'. 


So: this pile of frames......




.....had to have wax sheets put them in....




......but being learners this is what happened......






....we got in a mess is what we did! Oh so anyhow, after a few trials we managed to find a method to get those wax sheets stuck to the wires of the frames. The appliance you see is a heat gun. 




With great enthusiasm the frames were loaded back into the hives. And there the Bee Project came to a full stop. The hives were left in the hallway of the house for a year, after which they were transferred into the Hut / ex-office. 


And so it came to Spring this year year, and the Bee Project raised its head again. But where to get them? I tiptoed around Internet sites. No-one in the UK would ship bees out to France. France would. They speak French in France. Trying to find one's way around a  French beekeeping-site when one does not know the foggiest thing about bees in the first place, plus the language prob.....well, the experience was a tad on the trying side. 


Anyway......got as far as logging on to a French site, then my energy flagged. French websites do not give out much info in regards to their stock. The USA and UK do. France doesn't. Other things got in the way as well, like sheep and their desire to bust through the electric fencing, piglets trying to bust out of their pen, chickens laying eggs in discrete places which were hard to find, and veg plot stuff, and so on.....


Two days ago: an email arrived. 'Bees for sale. To be delivered end of May'. Now the best time to buy bees is early Spring. I thought we had missed the opportunity for this year. Apparently not. And so my finger pushed the button, and I think we have some bees arriving soon. But they are in a bunch, in a box. I presume they will have a Queen with them. And I think that they originate from Corsica. 


I have no other equipment other than those hives. I have to get that bunch of bees into the hive. I am going to make a beekeeping hat from a net curtain, and cut up an old sheet to make top and pantaloons. I will post a photo. I will look very silly. Not to worry. At least I will have some protective clothing. 


Of course I could buy this clothing, but money is needed for other things. And I am not afraid of bees, and expect to get the odd sting or two, and also expect to be able to become friends with them so I will not have to worry so much about protective clothing. 


Bbbeeeeezzz! The French website said that my money had been accepted. That took them three days. They said that they had been overwhelmed by the response to their emails. They didn't say if I will definitely get some bees, nor the expected date of delivery, this being done by a special Bee Delivery Van. 


Now I must be off out into the field to cut some vegetation down along the line of poles which we are fencing. I tried strimming the vegetation yesterday but the little strimmer has died, and we only have the big strimmer left which has to have a harness because it is too heavy to hold just with the hands. And that harness does not allow for bosoms, and the straps kept falling down my arms like old bra straps tend to do, which is irritating if one has also to hold a brute of a strimmer going at full pelt while one tried to hoist the straps back upon to one's shoulders. I was also left all of a tremble with the effort of it all, so have gone joyously back to shears which are becoming bluntened by the cutting effort of moi. Not to worry, the effort is getting the underarm bat-wings of mine into a firmer state of being. 


Now a thought to end.... do I go ahead and make my home-made bee keeping gear, or do I wait until the Apimiel website tell me that the bees are definitely going to be delivered this year, because one thing is for sure - if I am prepared, bet your bottom dollar that the bees won't arrive, and if I am not prepared, then bet your bottom dollar that they will! And God bless Hubs for putting Google Chrome onto my PC, because it has the most wonderful translation capability and helped me very much with pushing the appropriate buttons on the Apimiel website. 


.....just making a note: message to self: look for ideas and patterns on the Internet for beekeeping hats and clothing, look on YouTube for helpful hints about how to get a bunch of bees, all glued together in a mass, into the tidy environment of the frames of a hive, remind Hubs not to keep cutting down all the weeds which have flowers on and upon which our bees (should they arrive) will forage, order the hive tools from the UK because the French websites even with the Chrome translator do not explain what each one does, perhaps to make two outfits for bee keeping so Hubs does not escape the task of transferring those bees into their hive only he seems to have transferred the entire Bee Project onto my shoulders just at this time!


Au revoir.......


"You don't need to bother with getting that gear done" Hubs has just said, "All you do is open the hive, open the box with the bees in, bang them down into the hive with one thump, then shut the lid to the hive 'f**********g' quick".


Apimiel have just emailed me: I have been given a tracking number, so presumably they will be on their way soon. 


Yipppppeeeee! BBbbbeeeeeezzzzzzz!


Seven hours later: Oops! Got it wrong. The bees are from Sicily! 'Packages of bees are formed from Dadant hives in organic livestock production at our friend and partner  Ermanno De Chino and his wife Michela  in Sicily' is what a translation of the original email says. Crikey! 

13 comments:

The Return of the Native ... sort of. said...

This might help Vera. I have a very dear friend who has an apiary in the Aude (11) - her name is Yvonne West and she is English although has lived in France for 30+ years. She makes the best honey ever. If you google either miellerie d'Arques or miellerie du chateau d'Arques you should find her phone number. Give her love from Louise who now lives in deepest Dorset!

Vera said...

Thanks Louise. Will keep her in mind if I get 'stuck' with what to do, and saying 'thanks' to you in 'deepest darkest Dorset'!

rosaria said...

Oh yes, I wish you luck with the bees and with your apiary making activities. I shall return to find out more about this enterprise. Corsican bees, who knew!

Vera said...

Hi Rosaria: Thanks for your best wishes, - we need them! Yep! Corsican bees shipped into the French mainland by Apimiel!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I wish you all the luck with your bees as well, I am allergic to bee stings so keep well away from them!! Never the less I am happy to see them around the blossoms in my garden so long as they are friendly! Diane

Vera said...

Diane: Shame that you are allergic to bee stings, but I don't think I am. Would be more than inconvenient if I was!

Ken Devine said...

I'm having problems posting onto your blog...
Enjoyed reading this post. Good luck with your new project. I look forward to hearing lots about it in the future.

Vera said...

I have had problems with posting on other people's blogs as well, Ken, and also making comments here to people like yourself who find the time to write a few words in response to my blogs. Anyway, thanks for persevering, and hope your paint brush is being kept busy and your artistic creativeness is flying high!

Duta said...

I'm afraid of bees. They pick me out of a crowd and give me the sting.
I wish you lots of luck with them!

Vera said...

Duta: Oh dear, how unlucky that they should do this! And thanks for wishing me luck - I really dooooo need it!

Bees for Sale said...

If you take good care of your bees in return, you'll have a good harvest of honey and money. Good luck to your activities. Hope for your success.

athynz said...

It's nice to hear from you. How about for the honey extractor do you have any method used to produce more honey's? Thanks looking forward for the concerns response.

Vera said...

Bees for sale: Thanks for your best wishes. We did not have any success during 2011 with keeping bees but remain optimistic for the future.

Athynz: Honey extractors are not a requirement at this time because we do not even have a working hive at the moment.