The tips look like they’re getting ready, don’t they?
There was frantic coming-and-going outside the hives today. The sun was out and the bees were even coming back with yellow pollen. But the little one on the mouse guard below was very still. It is a difficult time for the bees, as they try to increase their brood rearing activities whilst the weather is still cold.
And I was worried about this dark-banded lady resting on the chicken wire, as she looked sluggish. I breathed hot air out on her and she seemed to perk up a bit.
I let her crawl on my hand so I could breathe gently on her some more. She gently climbed about; it felt good spending time with her. It was hard to persuade her to come off, but eventually I managed to leave her at a hive entrance. If you ever get a chance to have a bee crawl on your hand, I recommend it. As long as they’re not trying to attack you, they’re gentle as pie.
There was a lot of laughter with our tea and malt loaf today, everyone seemed in a jolly mood. There was some joking about beekeepers’ dislike of spending money. John Chapple told us how John Wilson (a lovely man who passed away a few years ago) used to pick up bent nails and straighten them out to use again, and he never had a hive tool because he never managed to find one. Once you become a beekeeper it’s good to keep your eyes open as you walk about. I collected some lovely pine cones recently which should make good smoker fuel in the summer.