I received a phone call from BT last week. “Oh dear, what have they broken now” I thought. But no, it transpired that an engineer had been out to visit a “green cabinet” in a local hamlet and had to make a hasty retreat when a load of bees emerged from inside. Unfortunately they needed to get in because several local homes had a service failure. I said I’d go and have a look to see if there was anything I could do. When I opened up the cabinet I discovered this:
The honey bees were building comb from the roof of the cabinet, right where your face would be if you opened the cabinet and looked inside. Nice. The sad thing is that these bees were pretty much dead already. There’s no way they can build a colony that will survive the winter in the time left this year, even if they don’t get robbed and killed by wasps or die of cold. Neither did I particularly want to add a small number of bees of unknown health to one of my existing colonies. As they were going to be a pig to remove alive, I elected to sacrifice them by clearing them out with a vacuum cleaner.
I spoke with BT again and arranged to meet up with another jolly decent engineer who would supply all the necessary bits (actually, without fail every single BT engineer I’ve ever met has been decent; it’s the bureaucracy that lets the engineers and the company down). It took about an hour, in the pouring rain (bee suits aren’t designed with being waterproof in mind) to get everything cleared up, but hopefully those people without a telephone service should now be sorted.