Many of us will be looking out of windows, despairing at the horrible turn in the weather of late. It seems that we have had weeks of rain and cold conditions, adding still more to the misery of lockdown. So, today’s albeit brief spell at the apiary in, yes… sunshine! lifted our spirits as the training team opened hives in the ‘practical’ conclusion to our Beginners’ training course.
The bees were on form, more settled today at the prospect of flight and forage, unlike the mood earlier in the week as they showed their dislike of having hives moved. We were stung then (our fault, not the bees) but not today. Our bees dislike the weather, just as we do!
It has been a faltering start to the season. The prospect of a warm spring quickly faded as the cold and rain set in. Early inspections revealed mostly healthy and well-provisioned bees but here we are now, even contemplating feeding to take them through to their next opportunity to collect nectar and pollen. We were expecting early swarms but that too seems to have been put on hold. We will be busy once the sun appears again!
The training apiary will thrive this year. Late May, with most hives supered and being filled with pollen and nectar. Most of our queens are laying well, with tight and plentiful brood patterns developing across eight frames and more in our Nationals. Bailey comb changes are planned, again dependent on some better weather and we hope to have all colonies working on fresh, new comb by the end of summer.
We look forward to welcoming our new beekeepers this year, with the promise of more activity at the apiary and whenever we can meet for bee chat, training, and entertainment!
Beekeeping - a welcome respite in these difficult times!
Think like a bee!