Now that the suns flight through the sky is a little more high, there’s a little more buzz in the midst’s of the hive.
It’s a crisp and sunny morning in South London and I can sense an almighty seasonal shift approaching. Getting out of bed is a little bit easier, the bird’s song is a little more joyful and there seems to be a unified appreciation amongst all of us earthly creatures; spring and the golden rays of summer are on their way once again.
The new moon brought with it a bout of sunny days and fresh mornings, giving our islands plants, trees and flowers a welcoming nudge in to the first blooms of spring, great news for us and even better news for the bees! I was overcome with joy to see the girls (worker bees are all female) zipping back in to their hives loaded with the first rounds of pollen and nectar brought by spring.
This time of year can be a challenge for bees, with honey stores running low and the threat of cold, wet weather remaining. As a beekeeper, I am using this time to prepare for the forthcoming season and doing all I can do to get the bees through the end of winter and in to spring. This means prepping and painting new boxes for the hives, loading wax in to frames and planning for the coming weeks.
As it’s bees I’m interested in more than their honey, I leave a substantial amount of honey in the hives so that the bees have lots of food to last them all winter, meaning I shouldn’t have to top up their supplies with sugar. I was relieved and impressed to visit the bees for the first time after winter and see them alive and well with clean hives and honey stores remaining, clearly they had been working much harder than I! In fact, I was surprised to find some of the seasons first honey already coming in. Spending the day in the garden with the bees allowed me to monitor their activity, they were busy already, cleaning out winter debris from the hive, taking flight to check up on nearby pollen and nectar sources and making use of a beautiful, warm Sunday afternoon in London.