As you remember, on Sunday I moved the Blue Heron hive
into a nuc for the winter. On Monday night Jeff and I planned to move the nuc to my backyard - it would take two of us because it's a 2 story nuc. (Not to mention that he has the straps required to keep the thing together in the process of a move.)
On Monday in the middle of the day, I went over to see how the nuc was doing. The bees were blissfully flying into the nuc with pollen on their legs and full honey stomachs from the field of aster in bloom just outside the apiary in the garden.
I looked at the garden, at the football field's worth of land, covered in white aster with some purple in the mix as well. Each plant was weighed down with bees.
I couldn't justify taking this already damaged hive to a new place right now - it would be like saying they had to eat at MacDonald's when Godiva Chocolate was free for the taking. So I decided I had to leave the nuc there until the aster bloom is finished.
The other glitch was that I was going to Santa Fe for a professional conference (where I am right this minute) and wouldn't be able to oversee the hive, so we needed to do something to protect them.
I wasn't free to do this until after dinner on Monday and Jeff agreed. So in the dark of the night, we drove over to the Blue Heron. It WAS dark. We had flashlights and made lots of noise getting out of the car to scare the honey thief, or any other vagrant who might be around (there are supposedly two homeless people who live at the Blue Heron).
Jeff suggested that I leave the car unlocked so we could make a quick get away if we needed to, but I wasn't comfortable with that - his suggestion points to how unsettled we both felt.
Our plan was to lock up the hive with a bicycle lock as Julia had with hers. We set the combination in the car - we had to hook two locks together to be able to completely surround the hive. Then we headed for the hive.
We set everything up first - put the two boardman feeders I had brought together (set the jar of sugar syrup on each of them); prepared the nuc box that would serve as a surround for the feeders so we could place them on top of the inner cover; figured out what each of us would do to make this happen.
Jeff started to unlock the bicycle lock. "Don't say the combination out loud," I said, still worrying that someone might be hiding in the bushes listening.
The pictures are below. We did lock the hive up as best we could, but someone could still push the boxes out from under the lock, as they could at Julia's as well.
I suppose we needed another cable lock to make a "gift package" approach which would indeed secure the hive. Jeff's suggestion was that we do some sort of hinge lock system on hives that aren't in our backyard. Sounds like a plan to me.
BTW, Jeff was right about the car. When we got back, I fumbled with the keys and took forever to get the thing unlocked - good we weren't being chased or threatened! I don't believe we'll visit the Blue Heron at night again!
Oh, but we will have to go again at night to move the nuc when the asters are done......
As always, click on the slideshow below to see the photos full sized: