North Herts news by John Hill

The start of our Apiary ‘inspection’ season has not started too well. The first visit to Nortonbury early in May, for a tidy-up, was a complete ‘wash-out’. The turn-out for the Boxwood meeting was very poor by our standards. The cup-final seemed to have been more of an attraction than the bees. In fact, our inspections of the hives at Boxwood had more surprises than the game played at Wembley by a bunch of ‘over paid prima donnas’, (by the accounts I heard). Sorry, but I used to play a lot of football in my youth, but the current game bears no resemblance to that I used play. We even cheered and clapped the winners in those days. Well, the four beekeepers who did turn up saw everything the average beekeeper would not normally experience in one Apiary, hive had 4 queen cells but few bees, in another the bees had absconded (from an earlier swarm). One hive that had been artificially swarmed, had lost the original queen and no queen cells evident. One hive was full of bees and ample brood, and a laying queen, but after the recent frenetic activity there was very little honey to show for it! One hive had niggly bees that had taken over an empty box with a few old frames in it! Also, we had one stack of empty boxes containing eight bird’s eggs, probably a long tailed tit! Afterwards, we demolished a superb tea, and had a discussion about, guess what? Certainly not football!

We have, locally, a field of cattle beans just coming into flower, I wonder if that will give the little devils some incentive to get ‘cracking’? Who knows?

By the time members read this edition of the Newsletter, Robin Dartington’s meeting at Letchworth, will have gone. Perhaps , those of you that read the ‘blog’ site may have been reminded because information gets there earlier. I give below the details of the remainder of our Summer season meetings, as we discussed at the AGM.

16th June 2007 - Pat Veasey’s Apiary @ Gosmore Cross. Near Hitchin.
30th June 2007 - Roman Gorski’s Apiary, opposite White Hall Farm Watton Rd.
14th July 2007 - Nortonbury, ( Six members have hives there).
mid August 2007 - Andy Johnston’s Apiary, Shillington. Date to be advised.

If anyone wants details of location, please give me a call on (☏).

Now for last Month’s teaser solution. Lucrezia Borgia put a deadly poison on one side of the knife, so when she cut the apple, only one half was poisoned.

Try this! In a conventional clock how many times does the minute hand pass the hour hand between noon and midnight? Go on have a guess before you check!!

And finally, first of all, many thanks to Paul, the editor, for filling in details of last month’s poet,... Coventry Patmore. At least someone reads this stuff!! The ‘contribution’ this month is part of a monologue written by Marriott Edgar (died in 1951), for Stanley Holloway, and it’s the last three verses about the signing of the Magna Charter. Very Funny stuff!
‘You’d best sign at once’ said Fitzwalter,
‘If you don’t, I’ll tell thee for a start
The next coronation will happen quite soon,
And you won’t be there to take part.’

So they spread Charter out on t’ tea table,
And John signed his name like a lamb,
His writing in places was sticky and thick
Through dipping his pen in the jam,

And it’s through that there Magna Charter,
As were signed by the Barons of old,
That in England to-day we can do what we like,
As long as we do what we’re told.

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