“Another May new buds and flowers shall bring: Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?” – Charlotte Turner Smith
This spring certainly keeps bringing. The weather continues to be fantastic for the bees. The recent rain has been welcome. This enables the plants to draw up water and increase the nectar flow in the flowers.
In turn this ensures the bees supply continues to come.
The hives are still doing well, and the bees continue to build up their honey stores. Hopefully at the end of May, I’ll be able to harvest the first honey crop of 2020
Spring is gathering momentum, and the spring blossom is beginning to erupt with flower buds bulging and about to explode. The bees are out and about on warm days looking for blossom and sources of water.
I am frantically trying to get prepared. This new hive is ready to hopefully house another colony of bees in the coming months.
I still need to put together loads of frames to replace old wax, but also to allow for expansion and new colonies. Not much time left, but I am sure it will come together and we will be ready.
Well wouldn’t you bee unhappy too if your house has been blown over, and you are exposed to all the elements?
I can see the hives from the house and am always keeping an eye on the them checking all is well.
Everyone had been warning us about #StormCiara, but for some reason I didn’t think about the hives. This morning when I got up, the hives were fine, but the wind was gusting. The BBC website said gusts up to 70 miles per hour.
Mid morning, one of the hives blew over! Spotted as it happened, I shot out to pick the hive up to protect the poor bees from the wind and rain. As I upped the hive and went to get some blocks and straps to to put on the roof and hold it down, it blew over again!
Angry, unhappy bees is an understatement! Poor things. Anyway, I managed to up the hive again (Four stings later – four little bees obviously managed to get into my bee jacket) I weighed it down with bricks and strapped it together. I then strapped all the other hives down too.
Fingers crossed the queen has not been damaged, and all the girls will support her as she starts to lay in the coming weeks.
Even though October is drawing to a close, on warm days the bees are VERY busy.
If you look closely at the ivy, you can see it covered in insects busy at work on the ivy flowers. Not only honey bees, but wasps, flies and bumble bees. All going about their work gathering or consuming the produce of the ivy flower.
The Ivy flower is quite easily overlooked, but is a valuable source of nectar and pollen for the bees. Especially at this time of year when there is not much more forage around. This is one of the last chances for the bees to gather last minute stores.
This little lady was buy yesterday on a late sunflower. Even though it is mid September, some of the sunflowers are still in full bloom, and the bees are all over them. They must be a good source of pollen at this time of year!
This year, the bees seemed to have produced a large amounts of propolis, which has made working the hives quite difficult.
Bees use this to seal up small holes and gaps in the hive. Quite often the small gap between the frames are glued together making inspection a bit harder as the frames have to be unstuck and the propolis scrapped off.
Proplis is a product of bee saliva, wax and tree resins. It is meant to have anti-bacterial and fungal properties and can be found in the use of health and healing products.
This picture was taken on a warm day when the propolis was really sticky and flexible. When colder it can become quite brittle. The picture shows the propolis after I had scrapped it off the top of a frame. The frame was stuck to the crown board (a board that covers the top of the frames).