Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fit for a Queen

For the third time, the ever patient IronMan sat beside me as I attempted to get this beekeeping hobby off the ground. Give it wings as it were. 

Our first attempt at the supply store was thwarted by my poor planning and beekeeper's apparent tendency to do as the bees do in winter - not much. Store #1 hours are 9 - 12 on Saturday and as I tried to work that in with dinner plans in the north end of the city, when we arrived at 4:30, we found a entrance reducer, that is a lock, in place and we were shut out.

After attending my second Urban Toronto Beekeepers' Association meeting I was introduced to Toronto's very own BeeGrrl Melanie, and thought I would give her store a go. She seems nice and it's closer to home.  Enticing Kitkat, Kerouac and IronMan with the promise of brunch, we journeyed to Dundas St. W. Despite it being a sunny day here, apparently there was a snowstorm in Newfoundland which explained, in a roundabout way, why there was a "closed due to weather" sign hanging in the window.

But today, the stars aligned, and I am now the VERY proud owner of my first hive. My deluxe starter kit consists of 2 brood boxes, 20 deep frames, 1 honey super with 10 frames, my queen excluder (never thought I'd see the day where I'd be happy with such a thing), my inner and outer covers, my bottom board, jacket (tres chic, everyone will be wearing them this season), gloves, smoker (hands off CJ!) and hive tool.

Given all the tools from dad's workshop, I am confident I will be able to make my own brood and super boxes going forward. However, now that I've nailed these together I might need to purchase one more to use as a template. Please note, the use of the word "I" in this paragraph = IronGirl.

It's likely not cheapest interest that has ever tickled my fancy. Sitting with a pot of tea costs next to nothing. No, wait, I spent over $250 on a teapot. Let's see, does walking count as a hobby? It's also not the most expensive thing I've ever done to placate my A.D.D.. Can anyone say courses at the Alexis, so very '80s, modelling agency?

I would like to think I will make a return on my investment in short order. Honey isn't cheap and "Marysville Organic Honey" has a nice ring to it don't you think? I can hear Kitkat and Fauntleroy giggling from the other end of the city at the mention of the town. Conveniently, ties nicely to the name of my favourite Queen of England, Mary of Teck.  Another smashing thought for a label! A bee with a tiara.

While I know and understand the term, ROI, much like Mary's parents, I fear gift giving will trump my business sense and it will be a money losing proposition at the end of it all. Perhaps IronMan will have to step in and take care of the business side of things.

Naturally, Mary is the name I have reserved for my first queen. I expect to get my nuc in the next couple of weeks. I do hope she likes her new palace. Purple is my preferred paint colour, but dark colours are a no-no when it comes to hives. Some other royal icon will have to be substituted in its stead.

I will keep you posted on all the hive activity in the coming weeks. Oh, and a note to Lonsdale Cottage guests, if I invite you to Mary's place without protective gear, it's time for you to leave.


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