The bees are in full swing. I have been dividing off new hives as much as possible without weakening the parent hives. A few weeks before Christmas I moved four new hives down to the dry lands to test the local flora for nectar. I did an inspection a week ago and managed to bog my truck up to the axles. It appears they have had some rain. You wouldn't know this by looking at the surface which was hard and dry until you break through the crust. Then you find your self in a quicksand the consistency of wet glue... It was a *very* long day.
Which reminds me. For Christmas I received this from my wife.
Which soon became this courtesy of Karl (A blacksmith/jeweller mate mentioned in earlier posts)
and so today the young feller and I went out to the workshop and set up a branding line for the hive bodies yet to be assembled.
There was some maniacal laughter and cries of "IT WORKS!!!!! HAHAAAAHAAAA"You will see it had a little difficulty on the timber frames. I found it needed a couple of love taps at the ends to bring the brand back to flat. I suspect it curled just a little when heating. Works just fine now though!
The branding is required by law in Australia to keep crooks at bay. I am also quite pleased the DPI gave me back my old brand number even though it had lain unregistered for some twenty years.