And so into March, traditionally synonymous with strong winds, and for any fans of gale force winds, they certainly won’t have been disappointed thus far. Storm Gareth has been with us, more or less, since the beginning of the month and to give you some idea of the wind strength, for the first time since I began keeping bees, I’ve had roofs actually blown off two of the hives. Fortunately, only one of the hives had bees in and even more so, probably due to propolis, the crown board had stayed in place. Even so, it was with some trepidation that I entered the apiary the following morning, going straight to the hive in question. Imagine my relief to find bees coming and going in numbers, totally unaware how close they had come to honeybee Armageddon. None of the other beekeepers that I’ve spoken with have ever had a roof dislodged by wind and I’m really hopeful that this was a one off.
In case you’re wondering why I’ve included an article on swarming. A few evenings ago, whilst on a rare visit to my local hostelry, I struck up a conversation with one of the locals and when I mentioned that I kept bees for a hobby he replied that amongst other things, he’d always wondered why bees swarm. As we got deeper into the conversation it occurred to me just how little the average public knows about the workings of the honeybee and I remembered an article that I’d written for a local publication some time ago on the subject of swarming. I decided to publish it on the blog in the hope that someone might find it of interest.
At last, and after a great deal of time and effort, the shed base at Station House is finally cemented in place. Luckily, there was enough cement left over to install the mating nuc.stand also so, it was with a real sense of relief that I stood back and surveyed the finished article.
THE FINISHED ARTICLE
As usual, nothing much happening around the apiaries, last month and this. The weather hasn’t helped with most of the days that looked promising at first light, deteriorating as the day went on. I was desperately hoping to have erected my shed at the new site by now but, it wasn’t to be. I’m planning to build the shed on a wooden framed base similar to the Mendip Apiary site for two reasons, namely, it makes dismantling and removing the shed fairly simple, should circumstances change, for whatever reason. Also, being six inches or so, above the ground, keeps the whole structure dry. I was very pleased to find not a hint of damp in the floor when I removed the shed from Mendip. Also, it had provided a very nice shelter under which a family of badgers had set up residence, unbeknown to me, I might add. I have managed to complete about half of the floor framework but realistically, it’s going to be well into the new year the job is completed, unless of course, the weather Gods decide to smile on me. So, not much else to be done other than keep an eye on things. I shall continue to visit both sites and heft the hives regularly. As soon as the shed’s up I shall start bringing the empty hive parts inside for their annual Spring clean and fresh dose of Cuprinol, but until then,
We’ve arrived at the end of the month with very little more to report. A dose of Man-flu over Christmas has had me confined to barracks for the most part but. looking ahead to Wednesday when the forecast looks really promising, I’ve really high hopes that at last I’ll be able to have a good push at finishing my shed base.
I want to thank those of you who have made contact this year and hope you all had a lovely Christmas and close by wishing you all A Very Happy New Year.