I've carried out my first solo bee inspection. It went really well and my confidence is building by leaps and bounds.
I've learned that:
1. The way I've set up the hives, I can't easily smoke hive 1 at the entrance
2. I don't have a whole lot of room for manoeuvre, the space is rather cramped
3. Smoking bees really is magical - they change from inquisitive and noisy to quiet and calm at a puff of smoke, but...
4. The hardest thing about beekeeping is the fine art of keeping your smoker alight
5. That's not quite true - the hardest thing about beekeeping is finding the bloody queen. If anyone can breed a strain of bees where the queen is fluorescent pink and flashes like an LED, I think they'd be onto a winner