Sunday, 26 June 2011

A swarm of Bees in June

Not a lot to report for the past two days. I probably spent too much of the weekend thinking "I really should fire off a couple of e-mails" rapidly followed by "Actually, I can't be bothered". The past few weeks have been very intense and I have been forced to work late and over the weekends to keep on top of things and meet crazy deadlines. I have therefore been very firm with myself this weekend and stayed away from my in-box. Our price is now with the client and I am guessing that almost everyone on the team is taking a well earned break. I have done so too.

So what have I achieved? The dogs have been walked properly and I have also found the time to clip their faces and paws. The weather is scorching today and they have really felt the heat. I think that I need to summon up the courage and attempt to give them a lamb clip as that will remove much of the hair from their bodies leaving only their legs and heads with any length of coat. I'm guessing that Marauder will be my "guinea pig" as she is much more compliant than Tyson.

I have also managed to complete a few domestic duties that have been overlooked. A blind has been fitted in the bedroom, the "Porn Mower" has been unleashed on the lawn and twenty minutes with coaxial connectors mean that TP now has satellite television piped in to his bedroom.

The title for today's entry was prompted by an interruption to lunch on Sunday. We were eating in the garden when I heard  a loud buzzing and saw several bees in flight above the lawn. We looked up and then saw the bulk of the swarm as it passed overhead looking for somewhere suitable to settle. The title comes from an old rhyme that describes the fact that a swarm needs time to establish itself as a new colony and the later in the year it occurs the less chance there is of it creating a viable new colony.

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon
A swarm of bees in July isn't worth a fly

The swarm reminded me of one of my first jobs after leaving college, I worked for the Ministry of Agriculture's National Beekeeping Unit for a little less than a year. It was fascinating to see the annual cycle of these insects from building up the colonies in the Spring, moving them out to the crops to aid pollination, queen rearing and, of course, honey harvesting in the Autumn. What is more amazing is that much of the knowledge of the management of these insects dates back many hundreds of years when their honey was a prized harvest in lands where there was little as naturally sweet as honey. 

It was one of the most poorly paid jobs I ever had but the opportunity to see, and memories of, the annual apiarists cycle more than made up for the lack of monies. I am often tempted to set up a hive or two but realistically this will have to wait until both house and garden are tidied up and I have time to potter.

This evening will see us take a tip over to Malvern to see Lee Evans. He is doing some warm up shows, in advance of his next Stadium tour and it should be a great night.

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