Dropped off the first of the hives I've sold this morning. They were bought by a lady in Taddington (nr. Buxton) called Jewels, and as she knew nothing at all about bees I decided it might be a good idea to deliver them and impart a modicum of 'instruction'. Now we all know that TBHs are simple to construct, and relatively easy to use, their down side is they are difficult to transport. This hive (Hive 1) is completely full, save for two or three bars, and must have weighed well in excess of 50kg (just using a luggage scale on each end, with one set of legs still touching the ground, recorded 45kg). It really was a two-man job but didn't want to ask folks for help at an un-Godly hour on Sunday morning so being the brave soldier I heaved and hauled the thing from the bottom of the garden into the waiting hatchback. None of the entire process was easy but I think it didn't do too much harm to the bees save for a few that became trapped in between the the bottom mesh and the trusty duvet cover. The sixty minute, leisurely, drive up the A6 was rather nerve wracking as I wasn't entirely convinced that bees wouldn't suddenly fill the car; as it was not a single one escaped unit I unwrapped them at the new site. The location couldn't be better, a small secluded walled garden about 6m x 3m, soft fruit bushes on three sides and over hanging apple trees. On either side of the house there are two large areas of fallow pasture just bursting with wild flowers - an bee holiday park!
I was sad to see them go as they were my first colony nearly three years ago. They taught me a lot during the initial 'baptism of fire' and have always been a very placid colony to work with; here's hoping that any bees I get in Qatar, or more likely Australia, are half as good. If it does happen I think I'd try a Warre hive next time mainly for ease of movement as Gorilla beekeeping might be the order of the day - wink, wink!