While setting up camp typically, I miss a call. The answer phone message is somewhat surprising, I’m asked to ring a number, I do, echoing down the phone is a Liverpool accent. I make no sense of it at first but quickly realise it’s none other than the site office from last night’s campsite. And would you believe it? Tomoko’s phone has been handed in. The gentleman at the other end of the line asks if I can come collect it.
I explain to him that we are now in Brecon and make arrangements for the campsite to look after the phone for a few more days. I return to others with the good news and arrange with Paul, a local, to collect the phone at the end of the project, and post the phone onto Tomoko.
Everyone is in a far better mood now, and my distrust of Scousers is quickly eradicated, the campsite couldn’t be any more helpful. I return once again to the office to collect the electrical items and arrange the evening, A quick phone call to the beekeepers and we’re sorted. Directions are ever so slightly tricky so I double check my notes and give an estimated time of arrival to the Beekeepers.
I knew my notes and directions were a little vague so we take the scenic route! Two U turns and a phone call later and we are back on course then bang there it is, the sign for the beekeepers.
We turn off the road through a gate and down a leafy passage way in the field barely wide enough for the van, but we get though, exit the van and make our introductions. Once again the hospitality from our hosts was second to none, but we are slightly late and we must get started.
We get suited up, laughs are had while each person struggles to get into their sci-fi like hooded suits. I, to the bemusement of the group capture these moments on camera, but in doing so I have forgotten to suit up. I put down my camera to find only one suit left on the cloths line, an old school model different to everyone else’s and slightly small, it’s my turn to struggle, I’m not laughing now.
My copious amounts of hair push my face against the netting of the mask, this simply won’t do, safety precautions won’t allow it, so I have to remove my mask, unzip my suit tuck my hair in and try again. Second time lucky and I am given the go-ahead to catch up with the rest of the group who by this time were already in close proximity to the hive. I catch up and receive the introductory talk on what you should and shouldn’t do around bees, interspersed with hard hitting tales that underline the importance of safety.
Having been swarmed with advice we approach the hives. We’re here in our numbers, local enthusiasts are also in attendance to learn the ins and outs of hive inspections, because of this reason we are asked to stay behind a barrier, there are 4 hives, and the expert gets to work ensuring each carefully removed segment is brought over to us for closer examination.
Everyone involved with the beekeeping group were very helpful and extremely informative. The inspector was a little intimidating but with so many people, that’s totally understandable. The smoking of the bees calms them down considerably and it wasn’t long before Kath made a friend, and was the first to brave the inspector’s wrath by entering the fenced pen for a closer look. After 20mins everyone was at ease, and the inspector didn’t seem to mind that we were getting a lot closer to the action. It was probably impossible to tell who was who in our matching suits and masks.