Copper Bee Apiary

A garden apiary in Whittlesford, Cambridge, UK - honey bees and their beekeeper Hilary van der Hoff.

A great day for flying

The bees don’t get up early at this time of year, but on a warm February day(!) the sun warms the hives enough for them to venture out in numbers by mid-morning. I was surprised to see that even Queen Romaine’s hive, which was the quietest one during the first part of winter, has had a flurry of bees coming and going on recent warm days.

How nice to see the bees again. But I’d better hurry up and dig that pond before they start flying in earnest, else I’ll have to wear a veil to dig it.

Pond digging site in front of Queen Romaine’s hive.

Colonies in order of apparent busyness: Ottilie > Queenie > Mab > Peony > Romaine

Workers at the entrance to Queen Queenie’s hive

The bees come out to forage on the spring flowers…

…and, to poo. It looks like Queen Mab’s colony have dysentry, as the front of the hive is spattered with brown marks.

I put sawdust under the hive stands to suppress the growth of the grass there.

Queen Peony’s hive (left) and Queen Ottilie’s hive (right), with Queen Mab’s hive in the background

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