Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Changing weather

So far, this Spring has not really made up its mind. We had a few days of fine weather followed by drizzling cold days. We even had a threat of a light frost the other evening.

The bees seems to be taking the changing weather in their stride. Today is a typical example. The day started cool and cloudy with a little bit of rain, but when I ventured out to my garden to do some planting I noticed that despite the fine drizzle the little darlings are out! Obviously the air temperature is high enough for them to go on their foraging trips. The bees continue bringing back pollen to the hive. Watch the video (below) and look out for the little "yellow pantaloons". Fingers cross the Queens is busy inside reproducing the next generation of workers bees for the season.

This week I am thinking about adding more flowers in my garden. Of course there are many gardens up and down my street, but I thought it's time I do my extra bit. This afternoon I made a big effort of clearing one corner of my garden, which frankly had been very neglected in the last few years. I clear some very invasive plants and buckets of weeds and created a short flower bed which I shall plant a few sun flowers. I planted some Marigold seeds in the main flower bed. Hopefully when the weather really warm up I shall have some bring colours in the garden this years. Already, looking at the few daffodils I planted some years ago. I thought I shall get more bulbs in the autumn and plant a host of them for next spring. There is nothing quite like a mass of golden colour, set against the spring green, to lift ones heart. The photo is that of our Buddha corner with some early spring flowers. Lovely don't you think?

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Dancing in the sun

Here they are - the little darlings. My wife thinks I am nuts calling them darlings! But you know what I mean bee lovers.

After those long winter months the very sight of them brings cheer to me and lifts my spirits.
Today happens to be Mothering Day Sunday and I do wonder how the Queen bee is doing. The weather is not yet warm enough for me to do a proper hive inspection, so I just to have be patient and wait a little longer. I have to admit it is an anxious wait to see if the QB is alive and laying.

Looking at the bees they appear to be well. I have not idea what flowers are out at the moment though I have noticed some crocuses are out and the daffodils can'e be far behind. I noticed also that the pussy willow is beginning to bloom up the near by Lea valley.

The close-up photo, taken today (Monday), clearly shows one of the worker bees bringing in pollen back to the hive. This is a good sign. As the sun is out again today I spent a few minutes observing the coming and going from the hive. I can't wait when it's warm enough to open up and have a good look inside. Watch this space readers.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Spring is back

After long days of grey skies the last few days saw much sunshine. It helps to brighten up my garden putting a little bit of colour back. Even though the air is still cold, even wintery on some days, I can feel that Spring is finally returning after what was an unusually harsh winter.

Welcome back to my blog if you followed it last year and the good news so far is that in spite of the harsh winter the colony is alive. I had been restraining myself from taking a peep. The last time I open the top briefly was to put a piece of fondant sugar in. That was in January and the bees were alive then.

Throughout the winter I have noticed there were many little bees' corpses outside the hive. One day, in the depth of winter, I actually saw a worker dragging a dead bee out of the hive. I suppose this is the inevitable casualties of winter. With the improved weather my mind is turning to my second season. I expect that I shall be busier as I really have to keep an eye out for swarming and other problems. One thing I am looking forward to is the likelihood of having some honey. First there is still the long wait for the air temperature to warm up sufficiently before I can open up for my first inspection. "Oh what a glorious thing to be. A healthy grown up busy, busy bee."