June 16,2016

One can never be too prepared in the bee yard. 

My most distant hive is less than 200 feet from the honey house, but it's ridiculous how many trips back and forth I can take for something I forgot or didn't know I needed. So I am thrilled with this gardening trug I found from Lee Valley. Weighing hardly more than - yes I'm going to say this - my purse, I can throw it on the wagon or just carry it into the bee yard for a quick trip. I have a wooden box that was supposed to serve the same purpose, but it was heavy and clunky and consequently has spent the last seven years in the corner of the honey house where I throw in odds and ends.

But my trug! It carries everything! Extra hives tools ('where'd I put my hive tool?'); horsehair brush for ants or spider webs; a pair of gardening gloves in case I find the hive 'hot'; a entrance reducer if the hive seems a little vulnerable; a robbing screen (speed is a good thing if that happens); a package of cinnamon for ants; a bottle of hand sanitizer and a clean cloth (always good biosecurity practice to keep hands and tools clean, and also it's just sticky and sweaty in the bee yard ); a queen cage in case I need to get her out of the way for a bit; a little hand clipper for stray poison ivy or tall grass in front of the entrance; a manipulation cloth to keep everyone calm; a water bottle; and my trusty notebook and pen. Plus - when I remember - my iPhone for a quick photo.

I like to be calm and present in the bee yard, and not having to run back to the honey house, sometimes leaving an open hive for something I forgot, helps.