My enthusiasm for bees and beekeeping didn't wane, despite the thought that I might not get any of my own until next year. There was an introductory talk at Whale Bay, Raglan, and Mac and I went along. Barbara then showed us her hive.
I joined the Waikato Domestic Beekeepers Association, and when I heard Barbara say that she was planning on putting a new queen cell (from Lorimers) into her hive, I asked if I could go over and watch, and help if there was anything I was able to do. That was the start of us becoming 'bee buddies'.
So, I thought I may not get bees until next year, but on 11 November, on my way back from Auckland I got a text asking me to be in Dinsdale at 7.30pm to collect a swarm Peter (from the Beekeepers Association) had caught for me. Driving as fast as I could without being (too) illegal, I made it there only ten minutes late. We put the hive, the entrance blocked up with a piece of wood, in the boot and home I went. Mac helped me lift the hive over the fence then stood well back and took photos, while I removed the piece of wood, so that the bees could get out.
Then I waited......
...........................................................for three and a half weeks which was torturous.
I could see bees going in and out, some carrying pollen, but had no idea what was happening inside the hive.
Then last Sunday, after I went to Barbara's and helped her check her hive, she came over and we took a first look inside my hive. The bees had been very busy.
Peter had told me to put just 9 frames in the hive when I took it to him, and he also told me to leave the hive to settle down for four weeks: I did exactly that, but I should have put another frame in, or at least opened it when I got home and spaced the frames evenly, I think, because.......
when we finally looked, there were big lumps of comb where there shouldn't have been.
But there was also lots of brood, honey and pollen where it should be! Yay!
We removed the worst bits of inappropriately placed comb and discarded it.
Then it was time to put the lid back on and leave them in peace. They had been really calm, in spite of me not managing to keep the smoker going, but we didn't want to risk disturbing them any more.
Oh! I had better than Mac for the photography - and the neighbour's yearlings for keeping an eye on the proceedings: