I have heard that all people on earth are connected by no more than 6 degrees of separation – that is, you know a person who knows a person who knows a person who knows a person who knows a person who knows everybody on earth. I find this global village a neat idea, yet was still surprised to find that things are much closer in my small country. Apparently New Zealand has only 2 degrees of separation, which I now believe – in fact, one of our local teleco providers has the name 2 degrees, for that very reason. I was shopping at my friendly beekeeping supply shop, Ecrotek, and got to chatting to one of the other customers while the shopkeeper was off trying to find pottles for me. (A quick digression – it is difficult to type pottles because auto correct has obviously never heard of them, and converts them to bottles. Even when manually changed, it keeps reverting to bottles, before finally giving up and leaving a squiggly red line underneath in disgust. Since my dear computer does not know a pottle from a bottle, I should explain. A pottle is just a little container, with a lid. A bit like a pot, in that it is fat and wide, and a bit like a bottle, in that it has a lid – hence pottle. I put honey in pottles – either 500g or 1Kg. Actually now my dear computer has learned the meaning of pottle, but is still disgusted with the plural form. We are making progress)
Anyway, for those many person who has actually stuck with me through the 2 degrees, and the pottle thing, the lady I was chatting with has had a great year, capturing swarms, and has managed to increase her apian holdings from 2 to 8 hives. It turned out that she lived in the same rural township which I have just relocated to. It turned out that she also lived in the same olive-growing region. It then turned out that she was in fact our new neighbour – such a small, small, world. She was also familiar with our school, and had even applied for a position teaching there.
I have also purchased a kit for a nuc – a little baby hive. I hope to split Olive hive, by taking away some nurses and brood, and have them make a new queen. Olive hive is currently thriving, and has many, many brood. Apple hive feels a little less bustling, and much less aggressive, I fear that my delightfully vicious queen is ageing, losing her vigour. Anyway, I would like more hives. The theory is, if a bunch of nurse bees and a few frames of brood are taken and put in a new (little) hive, the bees will not scent the queen, feel a touch abandoned, and so will quickly grab some of the youngest brood and turn them into queens. I could write a great deal on this subject, but will not – for the sake of the reader. (Some ancillary information here, and here, and here.)
I should really put some little pictures of apples or olives or similar on to the hives, so they can be more readily identified. The number, L3746, stencilled on all my hive equipment, is my beekeeping number. The arrow is a sign left on my lawn by really annoying road contractors.
I also spent some time extracting Dad’s hive, and pulled out about 40Kg of fairly thick honey, from 3 boxes. This will keep my regular honey consumers happy for a few weeks! One of our neighbours came over, and sampled the treats of freshly extracted honey – unfortunately he had a little too much, followed by too many jumps on a trampoline – heave ho! I will not be providing pictures of this one.
My Land Rovers are now in better order, and one which had grown moss and spiders in abundance is now in a much better shape. I like how Land Rovers are able to be water blasted both exterior and interior. I have already used one of the spare truck cabs as a house for our 3 new pullets. (Who knew chicks like Land Rovers?)