As mentioned in my last post, yesterday I attended an organised apiary visit. The hives belong to some members of our local association and are situated in beautiful surroundings, on the eastern edge of Epping Forest. For Londoners this large peaceful green open space is a welcome relief to the hustle bustle of the city.
Each year, at the end of every beginners bee class students are taken to these hives and get a real feel for beekeeping. It coincides with the opening of many of the hives. We all got to lay our gloved hands on the frames and peered at thousands of bees going about their business on the frames - and many more buzzing around us. We learned to identify a worker from a drone, and for my group we even spotted the queen! We were also shown the bands of brood, pollen and honey on the frames. The hives we saw were not too troubled by varroa - I counted 6 on a section of cut out drone cells.
We were moving about with barely suppressed excitement. The warm sun shone through the forest, saturated the site with shades of vibrant spring greens. Only two of us managed to get a small sting on their fingers. A good day for all - I would say.