There is not really any connection between the headline and today’s piece. I mention the bees on the envelope and subliminally my visit to our apiaries my have influenced the work I suppose, but really the inspiration came from something in the studio.
We spent quite a while working with the bees in the garden, we had to do a pretty severe manipulation called a shook swarm which I hate doing, but helps keep the varroa mite levels lower. I find it emotionally draining to sacrifice brood and still find it hard to justify even though bad infestations of varroa can cause the demise of a colony. Usually the colony quickly recovers and often may become exceptionally strong and productive.
Anyway that was one of the reasons that I didn’t start my #Letter365 piece till late afternoon and then finished if off after dinner and some entertainment.
I wanted to complete my #Letter365 piece as early as possible today so that I am free to go and work with the bees for a while. We have some important tasks and may not get a chance over the weekend as we shall be away part of it. All went smoothly with the art and I’m pleased to say that it took of in its own direction with confidence, which following a few days of struggle feels good.
I was tempted to start trying to make the post box images a bit arty, but when it came down to it there’s only so much you can do with a post box and I was very hungry and looking forward to Cottage Pie for dinner. So this is what you get!
As it says on the envelope we have been busy with bees today. We had a look at two colonies at one of our out apiaries. One was one we had been worried about as they were badly raided by wasps last autumn, but they have bounced back well and are really strong and gentle. The other one is enormous. We left a lot of honey on it over winter as it was a big colony (it’s always been big!) but we has to give then some more room for honey already. I could barely lift the last box full of honey back on the hive as it is about my height! There is probably about 80lbs of honey on there already and the season is only just starting really. The bees are working the dandelions now, so the new comb they are building is stained a wonderful sunshine yellow.