On Monday, I awoke to what seemed to be the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions tap dancing on the ceiling. I was close. It was a group of contractors pulling up the entire surface of the next door neighbors' roof.
Can one's heart sink and one's nerves race at the same time?
The picture shows the roofers a few days later. My hives can be seen from the little copper roofs cleverly camouflaged by all the butterfly bushes and coneflowers I put there. This technique does not work from 4 feet away, in case you are wondering.
So I pulled myself together with a little pep talk. "They might not be from around here," meaning that they would not know anyone to tell or would not take much personal umbrage. "Just act like you would if the hives were bird feeders," was my final self-counselling: demonstrate an extreme lack of interestingness or anxiety related to the hobby...after all, fear is contagious. What I really believed was, after four years of having the roofline all to myself – and not taking proper advantage of it – not even four months into the pursuit of an odd little private passion, I had company.
Those who would indulge in hanky-panky should consider themselves warned by my example!
A few minutes–and a session with a hairbrush – later, I strolled up the spiral staircase to the roof, ostensibly to water the plants. I was greeted with, "Hey! Are you doing it for the honey?" And a big smile. I introduced myself, explained it was kind of more for the bees and the environment than for the gold stuff, and that I would be happy to work with him if the bees were in the way ("HOW?!" I shouted internally).
He said that the gals were no problem at all, should his crew just not wear certain colors, or something. I said that colors were no issue, that major rumblings or bumpings at the immediate location of the hives would be the only potential source of annoyance, and he said there should not be any.
Of course it is hot, and the bees are in a witchy mood, so I decided to hang around a lot and be sure.
We made it through the week with no stings, and I even had to open Twain a little to put back those frames and add some sugar syrup. I also gave syrup to Wilde and took a little look. But more on bee status in the next post.
The roofers were really interested, and definitely not freaked, even when I had the hives open. I think they think my roof is in danger, and they may be right. But I would like to get their card. They do good work, and maybe they could build me a reinforced pad next year.