While today feels cold and the local forecast does not predict the temperatures going above 10C that is still warm enough for some of my bees (Which clearly have not read the book) to be out flying and bringing in pollen. A large percentage of bees doing so is a good sign that the queen is alive and well and laying eggs.
This also means that the swarming season is not far away. Once there is a little bit more food in the way of nectar available for the bees, they will rapidly fill the available space and then half of the bees old enough to fly will leave the hive with the old queen. The bees will have raised a new queen and by doing so have committed treason and told the old queen to go!
The wax that is made by a swarm is beautifully clean and if as there should be food is plentiful, they can make it very quickly at this time of year. For me this means less filtering if I can get some of this wax and extract the honey from it before I make some more hand cream. With eleven hives on the allotment site at the moment, even if everyone was practising in a way designed to prevent swarming it is likely that some of the hives would swarm, though as most if not all of them swarmed last year some of the new queens may decide to give it another year.
The earliest I have picked up swarms is towards the end of April but Cambridgeshire has had swarms as early as March.
If you see a swarm near Trumpington do give me a telephone call on 07939273569 or email email@example.com
The same contact details apply if you want to buy some beeswax hand cream made with organic olive oil and essential oils or book an aromatherapy massage!