If you type “bees” in the search box of the BBC Homepage, the Editors Choice is currently called “Brilliant Bees” and it’s well worth a look. BBC Midlands Today featured using thermal imaging to see if their local colonies were okay following the cold spell – it seems a good tool and avoids disturbing the colony, shame the cameras are so expensive! Maybe the government should supply all bee keeepers with these cameras in order to help in keeping the honey bee alive!!
I checked all my sites today (in the heavy rain, just before it turned cold) and I was rewarded to see some bees briefly coming out. A sense of relief for now, though the cold and snow have quickly returned.
My anxiety levels are sky high at the moment, fuelled in part by
wondering about my bees. I may have been keeping bees for over a decade
but I still worry about their survival through winter (more so now than
in years gone by, maybe because I now have more colonies). As a bee
keeper you can feel that you are helping the bees in their fight to
survive through the active season. But come autumn and you are reminded
that these are wild creatures and for as much as can be done to help
prepare for winter, now I can only watch, and wait, and hope (and
worry!) – Nature.
There is a real sense of helplessness: The winter has already shown its’ true colours and at present has not really abated. Lets hope the bees are tightly clustered over ample stores. Having longed for cold to kill off the wasps I now yearn for a mild spell (while I am not at work) to see the bees at the hive entrances on cleansing flights.
I was at a farmers’ market today selling honey and promoting bee keeping. It was so cold, even for me dressed with 3 layers of socks, 2 shirts and a coat and 2 pairs of gloves on. Stood for six hours out of doors. But it was worth it; there were lots of interested people and I love talking “bees” to them, I even sold some honey too! Had me thinking though that a break in the cold weather would be good to allow the bees to move around a little for stores, otherwise they can starve even with a hive full of stores!
I was supposed to go and do some Christmas shopping today, but
instead I walked over the fields to check one of my apairy sites: good
thing that I didn’t attempt to drive because walking back along the road
from the site there were cars abandoned in the snow, so travelling in
the Jimny would have been a slalem run! I actually enjoyed my walk in
the snow across the fields, some fantastic picture card scenes.
All was well at the apairy and seemed serene with the hives decorated in white “toppings”. On a couple of hives the entrances were snowed over; snow had gathered on the landing boards and built up covering the mouseguards, so I was able to clear them. Hopefully this weather will deal with those wasps!