Buds on my pear tree (see last posting) are now in full bloom. The bees had been visiting the tree on sunny days, and the flowers are also attracting a number of bumble bees from around. What is a lacking are higher temperature - warm enough for the bees and for me to suit up and give my hives a good going over.
After the initial warm spells a few weeks ago the weather did an about turn and we are back to waiting for warm sunny days again.
Meanwhile I am getting some equipments ready for the all important first proper inspection and, of course, the swarming season. Two new brood boxes are laying in my sitting room ready for action, and so am I. I have also bought a glass quilt. No, this is not to keep the bees warm, but a transparent crown board that will allow me to observe the hive without having to remove the board thus less disturbance to the bees. It will be fun to see them in action inside the hive. I am sure my family will love it.
My next job is to make a Snelgrove board, which I shall be needing when the swarm season gets under way. This is a clever piece of kit which is used to maintain hive number (an essential consideration if you have a small garden) when carrying out artificial swarming. I shall post a photo of this when (if) I have successfully made one.