“THERE’S a bull just over there,” I warned a walker scrambling over a low stone wall into the field I was sitting in while John went off to do a spot of fishing.

Quite a bull too. A Highland bull with a rare set of horns who might be quite keen to defend his cows and calves. I might not have issued the warning, but the guy had a spaniel with him.

If there was an accident the cow/bull would come off as the villainess/villain.

The walker did not even have the dog on a lead and the field he had just walked through was full of sheep and lambs.

The sight of the bull stirred him up and his spaniel was clipped into a lead and he was over the next wall and back out of the field in a trice. In fact, it is like sitting in the middle of a walkers' motorway.

While I am here in the car with my vacuum flask and iPad tapping away, a stream of brightly clad, hardy folk are trudging past. I feel quite a fraud, although I will join John shortly, but an unintentional slalom down our stairs has slowed me up.

It happened thus. I had gone to fetch John’s bee suit from the attic bedroom. Glowing with pride that I actually knew where something was for once, I tripped lightly down the attic stairs. Then slid down them with a crash.

Somehow my right foot and leg twisted beneath me. The upshot was I am limping around with a set of glorious bruises. John even ungallantly compared one part of my anatomy to the vivid colouring you see on a male baboons posterior.

With such an unsympathetic response to the injuries, I must admit to a little revengeful glee when a bee managed to sting him through the veil on his headgear, but this was tinged with regret that the bee would have died defending the hive.

John had been looking in the hive for queen cells, of which there were none.

Apparently there are swarm cells, supersedure cells and emergency queen cells. But our bees are not producing new queens for a swarm, do not intend to replace the existing queen because she is not up to the job, and haven't lost their existing monarch.

It appears that scheming, murdering, back stabbing and an untimely death is as common in the royal bee world as it has been in the history of our own monarchy. Long live our current queens then.