Saturday, 30 May 2009

25,000 Visitors

Imagine the scene. Last Bank Holiday Monday was fine and sunny. We had lots of visitors for our late spring open day to see eight dreamy arches in the Wisteria Walk draped in laburnum, wisterias, robinias and clematis, all underplanted with glorious purple alliums. Rose petal sponge, and lavender-lemon drizzle cake teas were being served on the lawn...all was well with the world.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves....when 25,000 visitors flew in from the north west and made a bee line for the orchard. It was Bedlam with bees buzzing everywhere amongst the orchard trees over exactly the route that all our visitors came in by, except now some were leaving by that same route! One of them said to me, better call a beekeeper. Simon happened to be passing and I relayed the message. He rushed inside...but how do you phone a beekeeeper????

118 500 did the trick.....yes I have several in Nottinghamshire! Shall I put you through? Yes please.......several seconds later the beekeeper answered....Simon explained that we had an open day here, and there was a swarm of bees in the orchard, maybe with just a hint of panic in his voice! The person at the other end of the phone giggled and she repeated Simon's comments, and there was much guffawing in the background. She then told him that she was the landlady of the Beekeeper Inn and wasnot a beekeeper at all!!!! No doubt the customers that day are still chortling!

So that avenue closed, but thanks to Google the Bedfordshire Beekeepers site soon emerged and after several attmepts to find someone at home, Simon manged to find a real beekeeper only three miles away at Milton Ernest....and fifteen minutes later a super man called Chris Lewis came to save our day!

He made Simon dress in a beekepers outfit and soon they were cutting down branches of the cherry tree where the bees had now settled. A large box was then held underneath the swarming 25,000 bees (Chris reckoned that was the figure) and with a sharp shake of the tree the swarm fell off and the box was left on the floor whiltst the bees settled.

Apparently late that evening they were already making honey!