Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A lovely snippet in the life of our Chief Mrs Beekeeper, Nicky:

After a bitterly cold month, we decided it was time to try and help the poor bees by giving them a feed of sugar syrup...not always a good idea if it is cold as it will encourage the little critters to get out of the hive to go foraging for themselves and they can end up dying.  It's not that the bees haven't been trying to come out....they have been snatching moments when the sun comes out, but the wind has been so cold so they have rushed back to the hive.  Amazingly, Andrew says he has seen yellow pollen on their legs, which means they have been venturing to the rape fields near Trewandra, 1 mile away.

This time last year we were adding supers as the bees had been busy since early March...such a different scenario...we were panicking that the bees would swarm they were increasing so quickly.

Not so this year...Trevor our bee man has already lost half his colony...this didn't bode well for our bees and I approached with trepidation  (sadly Andrew was badly stung last year and has to be careful not to come in close contact, so it was over to me).  

I tipped the containers of syrup upside down to create an air lock in readiness, so that the poor bees would not drown when I eventually placed the feeders on top.  Having removed the lids off the hives, I proceeded to remove the huge woollen fleeces that had been protecting the bees throughout the winter.  Gingerly I took off my glove to feel the crown board and was so happy to discover it was really warm...a good sign that the bees are raising brood ( they increase the temperature inside to protect the babes) ....hoorah !!  It was now time to pick up the feeder and quickly slide it over the hole in the board, and at the same to push away the tile that had kept the bees inside for the last 6 months, in one fell swoop, so as not to let the bees out.  Thankfully the operation went smoothly and both hives are now being fed.  And the good news is the weather is supposed to be improving this coming weekend, so if the bees do decide to start foraging big time, I think they'll be OK.

Fingers crossed....will let you know next month.

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