Work in the northeast corner of the land has intensified over the past couple of weeks, as we prepared an apiary for the arrival of our first bees. Luci has been an amazing help building a woven willow fence as a windbreak. I managed not to get too upset when she had to pull out what was several hours of my work because I had weaved it wrong!
Eli & I made the hive stand and Willie (my beekeeping instructor) went out of his way to measure his stands and provide us with a complete project plan. The empty hives, bought from Ranko from Serbia, who came down from Meath with them for me, were treated with non-toxic breathable varnish (sourced from Klee Paper) and waiting for the bees for the past few days.
Sarah (a fellow member of Roundwood beekeeping association) called in the other day to see the setup, and Seamus (another member) is coming up to lend a hand transferring the bees from the Nucleus into the hive.
So I drove up to Dublin and met Keith, who has about 40 hives in a small apple orchard. We waiting for the bees to stop flying and then I drove them home, listening to the faint buzzing coming from the back seat.
Got to the farm after 10pm but still just enough light to bring the bees up, do some final positioning and levelling of the stand, and release them. Margot, Maxim and I (kitted out in veil and with smoker in hand) waited, but only a couple of bees came out to see what was up.
So they're here, and tomorrow they'll fly around and get their bearings in their new home. And hopefully be happy here.