The play closed on a full house. There seems to have been a very positive response on all sides. The end of the run has coincided with the end of our tango teaching and we’re faced with six weeks where we ought to be sailing. The news on the mast is positive. It’s in production and will be ready in a few days. We’re also getting a new roller furling gear to fit the headsail and new standing rigging. I’ve been out to the boat a couple of times and done some preparatory work. I’m going to have a go at fitting most of it myself. This may be a mistake but the alternative leaves us at the mercy of a busy boatyard. Besides, the experience is going to come in handy.
In the meantime we’ve tackled the honey harvest. The day began with an attempt to bee-proof the garage. Patrick and I spent an hour taping plastic sacking round the edges and weighing down a roll of butyl pond liner to stop them coming under the door. By the time we’d finished it looked like the set for a garage suicide.
We carried in all Patrick’s gear and set up a modest factory. Then suited up and headed for the hives. The bees were feisty. I was stung three times through my heavy rubber gloves. Patrick fared even worse. We hadn’t cleared the supers so it the operation was a little more hectic than it needed to be. Patrick lifted a frame, brushed off the bees and passed it to me. I ran like hell before the bees caught up with me and put it in a spare brood box and covered it up. Then went back for the next one. After an hour or so we’d managed to get the frames into the garage without the bees joining us and I was completely nackered. So we had lunch.
In the afternoon K and I went into production mode, uncapping the frames with a hot knife and spinning them in the centrifuge. We were soon knee-deep in honey. It was very different from the spring honey we’d collected – much darker.
I’d baked some bread in the morning so by mid-afternoon we were officially tasting the new crop. (As opposed to licking it off our fingers, munching honey comb, and generally grazing as we went along.)