Friday, 10 June 2011

Not looking good....

Upon putting my ear to our beehive yesterday there was a heavy silence coming from within, although one or two bees flew in and out of the entrance porch. Nevertheless there was no humming at all. 

This morning I did the same. Silence. And it came to me that perhaps the bees had succumbed to the long sleep. I felt the need to have a look inside the hive, but didn't.

It has been very cold here. Winter cold. With heavy rains interspersed with patches of sunshine  but which do not carry sufficient heat to warm the air. Last night I put the electric blanket on. Today I am of the mindset that perhaps it would be a good idea to put some thermals back on again. For the bees, I think, without an established hive to support them comfortably, that the stress of being relocated to here, plus the shock of a new hive to get established, plus the very cold weather, well.....I think that they are no more. 

Plus: I ordered a queen for them from the UK. She was put in the post on Wednesday with the Royal Mail's next day delivery system, so expected her to arrive yesterday. Halfway through the morning, with a flash of horrified intuition, I realised that I had not given the senders of the queen my telephone number which meant that the delivery people would not know where to find us. I order a lot of items over the Internet. As yet, I have had no problems. But always we are rung up by the delivery man for instructions as to where we are. It is the way down here in SW France. It is a sprawly countryside, with minimal, well spaced out villages and you can't find anyone unless you have specific instructions as to where they are. 

Anyways, Hubs stepped in as I went into a spiral of panic, spent ages and ages first ringing Royal Mail in the UK, who said that the she had been handed over to the French delivery people (Fedex) and that she would spend three days in customs. (Next day delivery?) An ages and ages long search finally fetched up the Fedex phone number. No, not in their system yet. No, they don't deliver things, another company does that for them. Phoned them. No, no package for you in our system. Hubs at least got them to make a note of our phone number for when she does arrive. 

It's not looking good. Three days in customs means that she won't start travelling down here until probably Monday. Looking for Wednesday then.  A week in transit. 

And so I am having an 'offload' moment with you. Was in the middle of washing up, which I find an endless repetitive cycle at the best of times, and I had a bit of a forlorn moment about my bees. 

Ah well, talking to you has cheered me up. On the good side, at least I have gained bee-keeping experience, and a fellow farmer popped by the other day to say that he would put the rest of the fence poles in for us. He is doing that as I am speaking to you. It means that the last field will be fenced, the one I was cutting the fence line of, and that is a big step forward again for many reasons which I won't go into here. On the downside, the builder popped by as well, to say that he was six months behind schedule, and that he was not likely to do the work on the Side Barn any time soon. Means that we shall keep sleeping in the caravan, maybe for some of next winter again. I was feeling a bit lumpy about that, but am straightening my shoulders, lifting my chin and psyching myself into thinking good thoughts about doing so. But will fumigate it because I think it is getting riddled with other living beings, some of which come from Bools and Gus! 

Ah well. Thanks for listening to me, and now off to do some shopping. 

Lessons to be learnt: do not allow 'givey up' thoughts any headspace when things are not running according to plan. 

And here is the poem which has kept me going through all of the years:

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high'
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must - but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt -
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so afar;
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit
its when things seem worse.....


Diane said...

Oh Vera it does not sound good. Remember also that Monday is a public holiday so I doubt if she will be on her way before Tuesday!!! Love the poem. Diane

Jean said...

Oh dear, so sorry to hear about your bees and you other troubles.
Life is like that, in my experience, you never get one problem at a time to deal with, you get several, one after the other, just to see what stuff you're made of I think.
You sound as if you're managing to stay cheery....I'm thinking positive thoughts in your direction !!

Rosaria Williams said...

I'll keep a lookout for that package if I were you, as bees don't last too long.

Unknown said...

I copied that poem. Very good. New adventures can go off track sometimes but there is always a learning curve. I am glad you are not giving up. Hugs sent your way.

cottage garden farmer said...

Vera, don't despair with the bees, I lost my bees a couple of years ago and a swarm arrived all by itself and installed itself into the empty hive. since when I've had really good results. If you have your hive in a good position, maybe you will catch a swarm too. Now's the perfect time in England, maybe different timing for you. All the best, Kathy

Vera said...

Diane: Crikey, didn't know about the bank holiday on Monday. Probably she won't be here until Thursday. Oooohhh dear! Glad you like the poem, the words have carried me through many a difficult time.

Jean: Thankyou so much for your positive thoughts. I kept on saying positive things to myself, kept remembering the words of the poem, and I have picked up my good humour again now. You are right, though, you never get one problem arrive at a time - they always come in clutches!

Rosaria: Have done all we can to ensure the package arrives as soon as it can. But I am more cross at the Royal Mail in the UK who promised next day delivery!

Nancy: So glad that you liked the poem. The words really have kept me going throughout the years, and I hope you find them as equally valuable. Thankyou for your hugs. Could do with one at the moment!

Kathy: Thankyou so much for your kind words. I think we have missed the swarming time - we had a very hot Spring and they swarmed earlier than usual here. But I am more confident about keeping bees now, so won't give up with the Bee Project.

Duta said...

Yes, problems always "come in clutches". It's good to know this, so that we don't fall into despair. The main thing is the bottom line - you're not going to give up the Bee Project.

Thanks for sharing the wonderful poem.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Never give up.

Vera said...

Thanks Horst.

Vera said...

Duta: Glad you enjoyed the poem, and I am going to soldier on with the Bee Project!

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

See if you can find anything about Brother Adam who was at Buckfast Abbey - apparently he was a world expert on bees.

Ken Devine said...

EVERYTHING seems to hit you but you are never down for long...not our Vera! A great poem.

Vera said...

Ken: I will carry on regardless! And glad you like the poem. It has been a great help for me when I have felt like giving up.

John Going Gently said...

good for you vera
that's the farmer's wife spirit!!!

Vera said...

John, what a lovely comment!