Last night thunderstorms brought us about three quarter inches of rain. The wind was much more impressive than the wet. Not at all the long soak of our hopes but still the first precipitation in a long while that could not be mistaken for a passing flock of incontinent sparrows.

Upon approaching the hives this morning we saw what appeared to be a tribble under Annabelle. As we approached to remove whatever odd bit of fuzzy rubbish had been blown thither by last night’s winds, we noticed that it was black and white and breathing. It was a small, young skunk curled upon itself, having gone to sleep with Annabelle protecting it from the rain.

We, of course, wanted to chase it away but feared it might be somewhat grumpy in the mornings and inclined to spray. Even if it failed to score a direct hit on us, enough of the spray would settle onto the hives to keep the bees upset with us for a long time to come.

In its own time it slowly woke up and, seeing us, obligingly but unhurriedly ambled away. There was a moment of panic as it managed to trip over some dried brush near the bench and go arse over tea kettle. It swiftly righted itself and raised its tail in threat. Fortunately it was facing us to glower, daring us to laugh, so that its weapon was aimed directly away. Even more fortunately, after a few tense seconds it stood down without firing and went off without further incident.

With the danger having shambled off, we could proceed with our intended mission. Annabelle has been bearding so heavily that we had decided to help her ventilate by shifting the follower board to leave just a crack between it and the last bar. We did so, but seeing that she had begun to build comb on that last bar, we first added one in front of the follower. We finished by leaving her roof just a bit askew. Although seeming in less need of air, Beatrix received similar treatment but no new bar, although she did get a new bag of syrup since the old one has been quite empty for a while. Annabelle did not as she had been ignoring hers until today so it is still quite full.

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