Beekeeping amongst the snowdrops

There was a properly bitter chill in the air last weekend, but I knew there would be a few tough beekeepers down at the apiary. Alan was packing up nails neatly into boxes and quickly had the kettle on. In the end four of us turned up around a small feast of cookies, biscuits and banana chocolate flapjacks.

Biscuits and flapjacks

There had been snow swirling around in the morning, but it didn’t settle. No bees were flying, not even our usually eager nucleus bees. Still, the snowdrops had come on.


One of the snowdrops looked like it had been nibbled at to reveal its pollen.

Snowdrops closeup

Inside the nuc the bees were still active over about four frames. They have fondant on the side; I just hope it doesn’t get too cold for them to reach it. I smeared some extra blobs nearer the cluster.

Poly nuc cluster

Soon it’ll be shook-swarming time! Alan has all his frames ready. I, of course, don’t!

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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10 Responses to Beekeeping amongst the snowdrops

  1. The nuc is looking good Emily.

    Don’t worry as I haven’t got any frames ready yet, plenty of time before panic sets in 🙂 Although I have been doing plenty of maintenance on my Apiaries including our Ealing allotment apiary.


    • Emily Scott says:

      That makes me feel better Thomas… it always feels like one minute we’re in full-on winter and the next spring is here and tonnes of new frames are needed. I’ll pop into the allotment some time soon and have a look at what you’ve been up to!


  2. Such an appealing title! The bees and the cookies keeping the chill away. Amelia


  3. hencorner says:

    Thrilled to see mine flying in full force yesterday!
    I’m ordering foundation for my shook swarm frames next week 🙂


  4. Pingback: Beekeeping amongst the snowdrops | How To Raise Bees

  5. Pingback: Beekeeping amongst the snowdrops | Raising Honey Bees

  6. theresagreen says:

    Spring seems to be in a rush all of a sudden doesn’t it? Does the unseasonably warm weather cause the bees to swarm too early?


    • Emily Scott says:

      Yes it does, many trees now have blossom on them. The weather may move things forward a bit but the bees won’t be swarming for a while yet. I’d be surprised to see swarms before late April.


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