It’s been beekeeping weather in February. When it’s warm enough to be outside in a T-shirt, it’s warm enough to open a hive. But I haven’t.
Flowers are welcoming the bees, and vice versa. Snowdrop, crocus and winter aconite are finishing now, but we have blackthorn, hellebore, grape hyacinth and - just opening - almond.
The bees have also been foraging for water from a pebble tray that I was temporarily using to water plants outside. It has become so popular with the bees over the past couple of weeks that I think I will have to leave it there. The pebble tray is particularly good as a water source because it warms up quickly in the sun so that the drinking bees don’t get chilled, and they can settle on the stones without risk of drowning. I will build a similar feature into the new apiary pond.