I must admit that I thought we were biting off more than we could chew but even I was surprised by how far were were from our target by the end of the day.
We started off well and shortly after nine o'clock we were outside the house weeding and digging over the raised bed. The weeding wasn't hard work but the bed was bone dry: digging it over and breaking up the clods raised a sweat and I was grateful for a coffee as I reached the end.
At this point we realised that were would not get it planted today, as it would need soaking and raking before the tilth was suitable for planting. By eleven o'clock our plans had already been revised.
30% had arranged to meet up with her brother, the ELF and their new baby at a local craft centre* for lunch so our aborting the planting session gave us ample time to clean up and head out in to the wilds of Worcestershire. Despite my extreme reservations about the venue, we had a lovely time catching up with the three of them and eventually I was given an ice-cream to stop me from moaning.
After a couple of hours we headed home and it was time for this week's inspection of the hive. The weather was hot and sunny and I found it a real challenge to keep my glasses on my nose inside a bee suit with sweat dripping from my brow.
The hive looked very good and the Super is now virtually clear of the brood that the Queen laid up there before I put the Excluder in place. The workers are starting to cap off the cells of honey and things seen to be progressing well. The Super still has a couple of frames of undrawn foundation at each end of the box so they bees have ample space at present.
We then dived in to the brood box and, again, all looked well in there. There was plenty of capped brood and larvae, but I had no chance of seeing eggs with my spectacles sliding of the end of my nose. We also failed to spot the Queen on this occasion despite going through the frames twice.
I know I should not be worried by not seeing the queen as the presence of larvae shows that she has been in the hive in the past few days but it is reassuring to know that she is there and hasn't come to harm before or during the inspection.
Feeling hot and somewhat frustrated we closed up the hive and retired for a cool drink. 30% and I had great plans to continue our work on the bed of brambles and perhaps make another visit to the Tip, but it was way too hot and we were both incredibly tired so the remainder of the afternoon was spent on light duties in the house and garden.
We agreed that the flower bed can get planted one evening in the week and there is always next weekend for a visit to the Tip.
---* A few days back I commented that I was not a fan of Food Festivals. Well, I feel exactly the same, possibly more so, about Craft Fairs: Craft Centres are the worst possible combination of these two tedious events with a smattering of piss poor garden centre to complete the ordeal.
I bloody loathe these places as they clearly operate on a business model of selling people something they clearly do not want. I swear they are frequented by menopausal women towing along their incontinent parents, purchasing gifts for people who have got more sense than to visit these establishments in the first place.
There is a clear difference between a present and a gift. A present is something that you want and need and gift is something that you don't. These places are filled with prettily arranged gifts at extraordinary prices and I could not see a single fucking item that I would want at any point in my life.