The sun is out and boy does it make us all feel good. The bees are happy too, very busy collecting nectar and pollen; it was a long time coming but at last the season seems to have kicked off.
A few years ago I did a talk to a gardening club on pollination and beekeeping in general and afterwards one of club members asked me if I could provide a hive to pollinate his fruit cage. It proved to be very successful for both of us and has become a regular thing each year. The crop that he has been achieving each year has been much better since he started getting the bees in for a few weeks.
So, today was the day to take the hive over for him.
Due to the dire weather we have only just started checking our bees and I will need to go back and check these in a couple of days to make sure all is well. The super also needs to be taken out from under the brood box and put on top with a queen excluder. Last year we had a bumper crop of honey of this single hive, the chap who grows the fruit and veg got a bumper crop too so we were all very happy. I am hoping for the same this year, the honey we got off it was amazing as well.
The boys, if I can get away with calling Rob a boy – he is my work partner and just a little bit older than me (that will make him smile!), were setting out the sites for our nucs today. It does feel as if we are weeks behind but I don’t think we are really. The winter weather and rain just seemed never ending, I can’t recall a period of rain that lasted so long before. Fingers crossed that the cold miserable weather is behind us; it was great being out in a t-shirt today.
Don’t they look great. There are 65 nuc boxes set up there, my back is aching just looking at them!! I love raising the nucs, seeing how much they progress each week and then packing them up for our customers. I am a little bit sad this year though as unfortunately I am not going to have as much fun with the bees this year as we have hired someone who has beekeeping experience to work with us. Normally we hire someone to work in the office so I can spend half my day working bees and half my day in the office. I am not sure quite how I feel about it all at the moment but if it means having someone experienced in the office full time (that’s me) that has to be good for our customers, I am just not convinced that it will be good for me…. I will find some bee time some how even if I have to chain Rob to the office chair for half a day here and there!