February 14th has been quite an exciting bee day…
Firstly, we had fine weather for the early part of the day, with the sun shining brightly, much less wind and lack of rain, could only mean one thing, check on the ladies…
So this morning when I ventured up to the workshop, the expectation was high on seeing flying bees. What I got in actuality was somewhat more.
The ladies were flying, which was a great sight to see and relieved some anxiety. I thought it best to check on their food stores, so after putting on the beekeeping suit I went to get a closer look.
First impressions were fantastic, there were dozens of the little darlings flying just outside their hive, hovering around the entrance. Then I noticed even more good news, they were not just stretching their wings, some were venturing much further afield.
I started to notice pollen coming in, what a great feeling that is, knowing that they’re helping themselves with any opportunity that the weather gives them. A light rose colour, a pale yellow and a blend of yellow / mustard coloured pollen was entering the hive stored on the back legs of a few bees.
Then I could see the cleaners were busy at work. They were bringing out dead bees and dragging them about 1 metre away from the entrance before taking a little break and returning to the hive.
Such great optimistic, visual signs, from just kneeling down besides them, that a healthy colony is bringing home some food, doing a spot of house cleaning and stretching their wings.
As usual I stayed to watch them for a little while to see if any other colours of pollen would bee brought into the hive.
As for this evening I attending a talk hosted by the Gwent Beekeepers Association on Natural Beekeeping by Dr Nicola Bradbear who is a long standing advocate of beekeeping. She spoke to inform people about what natural beekeeping is all about. Lots was talked about, with some questions afterwards.
A “Warre Hive” otherwise known as “the Peoples Hive” was on display which did get quite a bit of attention from interested people.
It was nice to see some old faces (meaning those people I haven’t seen in a while, not describing the demographic of the group), and the confirmation of the benefits that natural beekeeping could bring to the British bee population.
So all in all, it has been a great day, lets see what tomorrow brings.