I run 38 marathons a year. Not all at once, nor even one at a time. Just to the office and back, 4 miles/day, every working day. With a few weekend runs thrown in for fun, it works out at around 1,000 miles a year. OK, so what’s my lycra-suited commute on the tarmac treadmill got to do with beekeeping ? The name of the game is: “marginal gains”.
No wonder the Bermondsey Street Bees are always lèche-vitrining Amanda Thompson Couture (formerly Pussy Willow), diagonally opposite their own rooftop ateliers! All was revealed last night, when I espied Amanda's bobbins in the cutting room - they look remarkably like a magnificent, technicolour brood-nest. Fortunately, I didn't see anything in the Bermondsey Street Bees' size in her off-the-peg range. And a bulk order of 75,000 yellow-and-black-striped haute couture summer dresses is beyond a beekeeper's humble means. Carry on enjoying the window-shopping, les demoiselles de Bermondsey!
As the days start to lengthen into Spring and the sodden earth ahoys with green shoots, we beekeepers start turning swords into ploughshares, building new frames of sweet-smelling wax foundation for the spring surge of bee-population. The nursery nurse is preparing to make her rounds on Ward B. This is when all things are beautiful and bright. For all creatures, small and great.
It’s tempting, isn’t it, as a keeper of bees, to take a brief look at this comparison between hours of sunshine per year in the UK and California. Executive summary: there are more than twice as many sunlit hours every year on Ventura Highway than on Bermondsey Street. Hard not to star humming: “I wish they all could be California girls”. Imagine - beekeeping in Ray-Bans on roller-skates amongst the almond groves. Stylish!