For a start, they worry. Will the colony survive the winter? Opening the hive is to be avoided. it is possible to feed fondant to the bees and most beekeepers have a system so it is just a few seconds to lift off the lid, invert the container of fondant and close everything up again. We need to protect from mice entering the hive and from woodpeckers making holes to get at the honey. We keep the entrance clear of snow (a landing board makes snow problems more likely for UK national hives with low entrances). When we clear entrances of snow we frequently see a few dead bees that the undertaker bees have tried to push out of the hive so we peer and worry whether this is of the scale of normal death rate or something more sinister.
And whilst we worry we get on with other things. A week or so ago my ‘other thing’ was an audition to appear on Countdown as a contestant. It was a shaky week in the sense that I had started a 2 week detox group not realising just how awful the withdrawal headaches would be. The idea of the audition was nervewracking as I know nerves can turn my brain to mush and I really didn’t want to look an idiot. On the morning of the audition I broke the detox by having a cup of earl Greay and luckily that seemed to set me up for the day and keep the pain at bay – little did I know the pain would get worse and last for another 4 days. I am still not sure whether I made it worse by having the tea that morning.
When I play Countdown at home I don’t write anything down and in the audition we had been warned there would be no technology or monitors. It is surprising how much difference it makes both in time and in adjusting to the different view. Our audition was run by the person who had contacted me – Holly. It reminded me of my limited experience of local radio where if you phone to speak to someone often you hear them calmly finish reading the news and in the next heartbeat they calmly answer the phone to you. In some ways it makes you think of the term ‘Jack of all trades’ – but Holly was certainly mistress of them all as she conducted everything with such efficiency but also made us feel relaxed and welcome.
We were told we would hear within 2 weeks. I was certainly hopeful though aware there were others who were better than I and I had a friend who didn’t get through despite being quite a whizz on some word games.
So, readers, if I have any, I am afraid you’ll need to wait to know, too.