bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Spring surprises

It's that time of year when beekeepers are keen to know if their colonies have made it through winter. Here in Britain, we won't (or shouldn't!) have peeked inside the colony for at least five months -- and won't do a proper inspection for another few weeks. Meanwhile the queen should be laying and her offspring consuming stores far faster than the ageing winter bees can forage on the occasional warm day.

So, hefting the hive tells all? I remember a couple of years ago seeing bees flying from a colony, hefting the hive to find it was very heavy with stores and thinking that these bees must be well set for the season. Error! A few weeks later I opened them up to find a fast-dwindling colony without a queen but lots of food from last year because the future generation wasn't there to spend its inheritance. C'est la bee!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello from your Boston friends. We will make sure that we heft our hives.

4:22 am  

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