[insert statement about not updating this blog in forever]
In other news, I passed my Basic exam! The exam was in August last year, and after a lot of revision and last-minute swotting, the exam itself turned out to be quite the ordeal!
The exam environment really does do quite amazing things to you, and it’s been a long time since I’ve done any sort of exam, and I think my last practical exam was my driving test – at least 10 years ago. So I was already a bit nervous going in, but once I’d burned my thumb trying to light my smoker I knew I needed to really calm down.
The structure of the exam sets up the basic things that you would do as a beekeeper, during a regular inspection, and throws in a frame assembly question and some theory/knowledge questions as well.
First was the frame assembly. Which went quite well; bit dodgy in the final three nails which shouldn’t come out of the bottom of the frame, but with me inevitably do, but the smoker was another story. Basically, everything that could go wrong, did. I burned my thumb, I didn’t have enough fuel, I swamped the flame, the bloody thing went out once I declared it ready so I had to go back again – ugh, it makes me shudder just to think about it.
But after this point I decided just to take a really deep breath and carry on as normal. I call this the Driving Test Mentality. In my driving test (all those years ago) I was asked to demonstrate parallel parking, and all of us 17-year olds could never decide whether touching the kerb, however slightly, while parallel parking was an immediate fail – but we all knew we didn’t want to risk it. Of course, I was nervous and so I touched the kerb. Just a bit, but I definitely touched it. I told myself to pretend that the examiner hadn’t noticed, and carried on. I passed. My friend on the other hand, touched the kerb and decided that was the end of that; drove without care for the remainder of the test and failed. Hence, the Driving Test Mentality. I just pretended that the examiner for my Basic hadn’t noticed my swearing at the smoker and bumping the bees (argh, I never done this before or since!) and carried on regardless.
Still, I was pretty surprised to hear that I had passed with merit. Really, really chuffed. and very glad it is over – well done to everyone in my group last year for making it through!
This has since been useful in my further correspondence with the council about an allotment plot – more on this later.
Since the last time I updated, I’ve another bee-related announcement, and you have to promise not to laugh.
In my everyday life I am a librarian at a university, and over the course of being at Twickenham I’ve obviously mentioned this to people. When the association librarian of 23 years decided to retire at the end of last season, my name was suggested as the new association librarian. It won’t surprise you to hear that I am now the librarian at T&TVBKA.
I went home over Christmas and thought about it and got really, really into the idea. I talked to a friend at work – “you could create your own classification system!” – and I am such a library geek that I got very excited about this. Since agreeing, I’ve got worse, and have made a project plan, documentation, a guide to accessing online resources, and – really – a classification system.
My first committee meeting is this Wednesday, and honestly I feel like I’m just going to ask hundreds of stupid questions. But it’s all part of my journey with bees, and I’m going to update the blog with the details too. If anyone’s interested in the process of creating a classification system, just let me know. Even if you don’t, I’ll probably write about it here regardless.