Monday, November 26, 2012


We went up to the plot on 10 November, mainly to see whether we could transfer a bee nest into a hive. Roy had discovered the bee nest in the roof space of the bungalow a month previously. We were shocked to see how much bigger the nest had grown. 

We telephoned the bee farmer and told him that he could definitely bring out a bee hive on the Monday and transfer the bees into the hive for us. We planned to leave the hive in the roof-space and crossed our fingers that they would choose to stay in the hive. As much as the idea was attractive to us, we could not leave the bees to expand their home in the roof because it would become an unmanageable hazard.
The bee farmer arrived with his workers bright and early on the Monday morning. He stood chatting to us while his workers did the work up in the roof, kitted out in full bee-keeping regalia. On their departure, Roy noticed that they walked away with loaded bags of comb and honey. 

The next morning, the swarm gathered outside in a buzzing mass and left.

Only once the bees deserted us entirely could Roy check to see how much brood-comb the bee-keepers had left inside the hive as an incentive for the bees to stay. 

I don't know anything about bee keeping but I suspect that this job was just a smash and grab. We were incredibly disappointed and imagined the hurt and anger that the bees must have felt at this demolition job of their hard work and their home. I just prayed that the farmer's workers actually did take the trouble to identify and leave the queen in the hive, otherwise, that swarm of bees is doomed.

For the rest of our stay until the Wednesday, John continued to clean off the bricks inside the building and apply a sealer while we unpacked and repacked all the bits and pieces which had been left in chaotic disarray after the last building session.

We set off for Cape Town in a chastened and sombre mood.