Today was quiet and I finally managed to find the motivation to spend a couple of hours completing some on-line education and passing the mandated, multiple choice test afterwards. The rest of the day included a smattering of conference calls and a few communications supporting a new project where I seem to be the "go to guy" for background information.
As I approach my third anniversary as a Piano Mover I am amazed at my progression from knowing sweet fanny adams to being brought in to consult on, and manage, complex projects and programmes.*
As the afternoon faded in to the evening I got up from my desk and was quite restless. I needed something constructive to do, but didn't really fancy clipping the dogs' faces.** I wandered out to the garage and my eyes fell upon the recently assembled new hive. I found a small sponge and a can of Danish Oil and spent the next forty five minutes applying a coat of protective oil to the outer surfaces of the hive.
Based on Monday's hive inspection, I may need to split my colony and use the new hive so it will be necessary to have all the equipment ready ... just in case.
A pair of hive straps arrived this morning in the post as any new "daughter" colony will need to be sited a few miles away from home for the first few weeks.*** The new colony may also need feeding, so I made an improvement to my Ashforth feeder.
The Ashforth feeder is a container that sits on the top of the hive and holds sugar syrup. It has a slot that allows the bees to enter the feeder and drink the syrup. They need this extra food to fuel the production of new wax comb. Unfortunately my Ashforth feeder seems to be a bee suicide device as many seem to drown when feeding. This evening I crafted a perforated, wooden float that will hopefully allow the bees to access the syrup but not get caught in the gloopy liquid.
I think I now have everything I need apart from a new site for any daughter colony ...
... The bottom of 30%'s parents garden is looking like a possibility.
---* They must be insane
** Quote 30%: "Who's a beautiful girl? Does your face need clipping?"
*** The straps hold the hive base, brood box, crown board and roof together while it is transported in the back of the Defender. Imagine the effect of bees escaping in to the car.