Let me begin by wishing you all A Happy New Year, and ask the question, can it really be twelve months since I last wrote those words. It has to be an age thing, the passage of time. I remember all too well as a child waiting for Christmas or a Birthday when the weeks seemed like months and the days like weeks. Now it’s completely the opposite, I blink my eyes as Christmas fades into the distance and it’s Easter already, blink again and the Summer is upon us. The secret must be to stop blinking, ah well.

To say that last year had it’s ups and downs would be to understate the case. The year finished in pretty much the same way it began with the loss of yet another colony, as it happened, headed by the last of my bought-in queens. Nothing more to say on that subject, fortunately the others are looking pretty good. Liz came over in the week and we gave them their Oxalic acid treatment. I took the opportunity to give them each another container of fondant icing and with icy weather the forecast for the next week or so, maybe they’ll cluster up properly. Although they have up until now, been clustering after a fashion, the clusters have been what I can only describe as loose, not at all like the tight ball that they normally resemble at this time. Maybe this forecasted cold spell will persuade them to behave properly, we’ll see!

Well, the end of another month, with not much of interest to report. The weather has continued in the same vein, mainly damp windy days interspersed with the odd patch of sunshine. The bees have continued to make use of the fine days and I see the Snowdrops and Crocus that line the brook at the bottom of the meadow, are beginning to show. There are a couple of flowering cherry trees in a garden adjacent to the meadow which are in full bloom so hopefully the bees have managed to find, and take advantage of, them. I’ve been keeping a close eye on the candy situation replacing the empty tubs as required and, glad to say, the bees do seem to be coping quite well. In fact, at my last visit two of the occupants managed to find their way up my sleeve where they left me a painful reminder that they weren’t all as docile as I had imagined.


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