When deciding if I could keep bees, I made a list and my fear about beekeeping has come true!
Or has it?
The hive sits just over 100 feet from the back door and there is no path, it is all lawn, well I guess calling it a lawn is a bit far, it is grass.
And it has more ups and downs than a ride at Alton Towers!
It is hard going even in the summer but add in a lot of rain, lower temperatures and shorter daylight hours and getting up the garden is almost impossible in my wheelchair.
I have a spare set of wheels but they are standard wheels and not nice thick mountain bike style wheels and then of course there are the castor wheels that sink in the soft ground.
But it is okay I told myself when I was deciding if I should keep bees, I won’t have to visit the hive past October!
So what has happened?
And now in the middle of November, during a very mild winter, I now am faced with having to do the thing that was a negative.
By now the temperatures should be a lot lower and the bees should have balled up and gone into their winter mode, all huddled together, not expending very much energy and living off of the stores that they gathered during the warmer weather.
That is not the case, the milder weather means that they have still been very active and so will need to feed more and that expended energy is not returning any benefits as there are not the pollen sources available.
Has my fear about beekeeping has come true?
So I need to get up to the hive and have a look and see what the situation is with stores.
I know that on my last inspection on October 10th, that they had a good amount of stores but I need to see what the stores situation is like now and I also didn’t put a feeder bar in as I was confident those stores would be enough.
Propelling my wheelchair up to the hive on wet ground feels like when I was 20 and I would go to the gym and hit the weights until it felt like my arms had turned to jelly.
Except now I don’t recover as well and this will without any doubt, cause a big flare up of pain and fatigue.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago during warm winter days that my decision to keep bees felt like it was 100% the right decision and it felt good.
But this was always an experiment to see if I could manage it and the situation me and the bees now find ourselves in will definetly give me the answer!
So I wrote this and then my wife said “Get your gear on and I will help push you to the hive and you can see what the stores are like, because you don’t know”
My wife helped push me, our 3 year old granddaughter pulled the garden trolley that had everything I needed and I opened up the hive!
Oh yes, the relief.
I laid in bed last night worried that my bees would starve and I had gine through deciding to quit and then changing my mind a hundred times over.
Take up beekeeping they said!
It is so relaxing they said!