Still reliant on my beekeeping friends to keep an eye on my bees for me, and I shall be eternally grateful for all the help I’ve received. However, in between storms, I have managed to visit my sites but have had to view from the car parks, I’ve not been able to see many bees but have been able to satisfy myself that none of the roofs have become dislodged nor any other disaster befallen them. Last Saturday all off that changed. I woke, not to the sounds of tiles and guttering rattling, but to bright sunshine pushing through the curtains. Well aware of how changeable the weather has been of late, I wasted no time in heading for my nearest apiary site. Most of the fruit trees in the orchard are beginning to blossom and I couldn’t help noticing, as I left the car that, almost every blossom had a bee in attendance. With the help of my walking stick, for the first time since leaving hospital, I made my way up to the hives, and what an uplifting sight beheld me. Hundreds of bees coming and going in all directions, all totally oblivious to me approaching. I stood watching them, totally absorbed by their actions for about ten minutes before making my way back to the car and on to The Station Apiary where, thankfully, the sight with which I was greeted was much the same. Bees issuing in numbers from all of the hives and the nuc’s. Driving home I found myself thinking of the season ahead and even planning what increases I was going to make, gone were the were the feelings of doom and gloom which had plagued me for the last couple of months. Amazing the difference a little sunshine makes.
It was well into January before I was finally allowed home and I have to say, my first thoughts were, how long before I could visit my bees. Again it was my fellow beekeepers who came to my aid. ” Let me know when you want to visit your bees and I’ll take you”, the first of many offers I gratefully received. And so, one week later, there we were, in the car park at Mendip “C”. Not at this point able to approach the hives, I was happy just to lean against the car and watch the bees coming and going making the most of the weak Spring sunshine. At last I felt back in the land of the living, and with my thoughts now, for the first time in a long time, firmly of the year to come, we made for home.
Well, it is said that life is full of surprises and following the events of the last two months, I can certainly testify to that. Following a routine blood test I suddenly found myself undergoing a series of tests at The Royal United Hospital in Bath culminating in an interview with a surgical team to learn that I had to come in for surgery three days later.
Laying in my hospital bed I had plenty of time to think of the future, especially my bee-keeping. Fortunately I had given all the hives a portion of fondant before the news of my operation but with no idea of how long I was going to be incapacitated, added to which, I was now as weak as a kitten, my future as a beekeeper seemed increasingly doubtful. Then, out of the blue, a couple of texts followed by ‘phone calls, all from my bee keeping friends and all with offers of help. Proof if proof were needed of the value of belonging to one’s local bee keeping society. Now, with piece of mind I could concentrate on re-joining the Human Race, secure in the knowledge that I should find my bees in good order when, at last I was able to join them.