They are amazing, those bees.
Adam and I were working in the market garden yesterday and I heard a rising buzzing, and looked up to see a huge swarm of bees come up over the hedge from one of our hives, looking for somewhere new to live.
There's nothing quite like a swarm. It's noisy, and incredibly organised and orchestrated. You can see them flying in loops, searching for the right please to settle. They came over the market garden and settled in the lantana. Crapola. Not actually being the beekeeper of this outfit, I believe they swarm when there's more than one queen present in the hive. (Less distracted beekeepers apparently dispose of excess queens to avoid this happening.) I did hear Adam swearing quite a lot over the noise of the swarm.
He set about recapturing them, without the help of the on-site beekeeper with sixty years experience who was out for the day. Usually, if they're on a branch, you detatch the branch and shake it into the new box. The swarm settled on a massive old limb in the middle of the princkly lantana, so this was impossible. He did the best job in the circumstances and relocated as many as possible into a new hive, hoping like hell the queen was one of them.
Maybe they'll stay. And first chance we get we'll be opening the two original hives to see what's going on. When I say 'we' I mean Adam. I cannot quite countenance being covered in bees. I really can't.
I watched from a distance as Adam calmly handled thousands of bees, no panic, no rushing, no stings. Or maybe two in the end, one on each hand. He said he'd usually wear gloves but he was trying to move as fast as possible.
Well I guess that means we have a honey flow!
I'm at day 7 of sugar-free September, and it's no sweat really. I'm allowing myself a tiny bit of raw honey when I feel I really need it, and fruit. It's not a big deal, I felt a bit hooked and saturated and it's like everyone says, the less you have the less you crave it. I tried to kick sugar once before and really struggled – I couldn't tell you what was different this time apart from two scrapes of honey. I'm keeping up the protein, snacking on eggs and nuts, and in a way it's like I don't have space for sugar anymore, which is a habit I'm aiming for. That, and being happy in t-shirts again rather than big floppy shirts.
Those amazing bees. Making perfect sweetness. And hopefully sticking around in their new digs.