Whenever I pass the flowering currant in our garden I hear the buzz of a bumblebee or so at the moment. My own bees are slowly building up their numbers after the winter and today will be making good use of the weather and collecting pollen and nectar from a number of sources including willow and oil seed rape – not my favourite honey but it does provide a large amount of nectar saving me from having to do any feeding.
Today I will finish the observation hive in Trumpington Community Orchard, making it ready for a swarm to walk in or fly in if they find it on their own! While many feel it is irresponsible, I like to let my bees swarm and then collect the swarms. This gives a break in brood production and a chance for the varroa levels to drop. I like to not treat for this with any chemicals. Again a controversial choice but as the old saying goes, “Ask two bee keepers a question and get three different answers!”
And now a break as I have two swarms to collect. Photos to follow.
A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay.
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon
A swarm of bees in July
Isn’t worth a fly.
And a swarm of bees in April doesn’t have anything to rhyme with or it could be that when the rhyme was written in the days long before global warming, swarms in April either didn’t happen or were rare enough not to be mentioned.
So for a quick update, I cycled into town for the bits I needed to finish the hive, then went to collect the bees after finishing the hive and found that both swarms had gone, one however had almost finished moving in to an empty hive I had in the apiary so a shame the observation hive hasn’t got going yet but good news for me!