FLOP. Love having all the family here, but a strange sense of release washes over me when I see the last car disappear through the gate and off down the road. I do recognise how lucky I am to have my children visit, especially as within the last year I have lost two friends and know how much their children would love to have their mum with them.

It has been a busy weekend, not only because of family staying, but also because John decided with everything else happening, this was a good time to move the bees. Trees are bursting into leaf, my magnolia tree is blossoming and blackthorn hedges are coming into flower.

So with all this blossom now available and, more importantly fields of oilseed rape bursting into fluorescent shades of yellow, our bees are starting to work for their keep. We have supplemented their own stores of honey with syrup solution, but now it’s Izzy Wizzy, let's get busy time.

Although we have no fields of oilseed rape, fortunately we have a few friends who do. And our bees make very welcome guests as they will work hard to pollinate the flowers.

Transporting bees need some forethought. Not the kind of passengers you can just pop in the back of the Land Rover. So at about five o-clock this morning John went over to the hives and closed their entrances. That early in the morning, guard bees are not stationed at the opening of the hive. Although the bees have not been gathering pollen, keeping the hive entrance open and allowing ventilation through the hive, helps the bees to winter well.

Disappointingly for me writing this story, the whole job went well. John had been to where he planned to take the bees yesterday, set up the hive bases and made sure that that part of the job went smoothly. Then this morning, no fuss when we shut the hives up and lifted them into the car. I left a note for my daughters and their families to start breakfast and set off with John, hoping that the hives were secure and no bees planned to hijack the Land Rover.

I say disappointing because it would have been a much more dramatic tale if we had battled bees defending their hives from a pair of abductors or swatted away at bees determined not to leave our paddock. Those bees must have known they were onto a good thing. Not even the hint of a hum, let alone an infuriated buzz as we moved them. Just an orderly exit and swift start to collecting rape pollen. Honey production 2019 has commenced.