April Sun in Chiswick***

By | April 7, 2013

Mercifully, the first weekend in April has brought some warmth, and sun.
I’m sure beekeepers all over England took the opportunity to check on their bees.

The Spring bees with shiny wings, all ready to get out and about - once Spring finally arrives..!

The Spring bees with shiny wings, all ready to get out and about – once Spring finally arrives..!

It was warm enough (in my opinion) to do a full hive inspection.
At least weighing the risk of not doing an inspection with potential trouble inside the hive, against a moderately warm day and the chance to do preventative work, meant I wanted to find out how things were going inside.

My last inspection was a month ago, when I found some capped brood or pupae, emerging. A great sign that the queen was laying and getting ready for Spring. Then along came a month long surprise cold snap, with snow and chill winds – bringing the coldest Easter Sunday on record.

Unsurprisingly when I inspected this Saturday, the brood cycle had been broken with no more emerging pupae, as the queen abruptly stopped laying due to the cold… thankfully the queen had recently┬ástarted laying eggs again last Monday, when the cold snap mostly finished.

As the picture above shows, they certainly are a good looking, and healthy bunch.

This weekend, people were out enjoying Kew Gardens, Sas and I a walk along the Thames, and the bees flying out and about bringing bags of pollen on their legs. The Bristol Beekeepers pollen chart suggests it was broccoli, willow, and/or blue crocus.

They’ve still got the supplementary candy feed in the hive, and given the unusual Spring weather to date I’m not about to take that away in a hurry. Not until we get some good stable warm weather, and the bees are able to sustain themselves with a nectar flow.

Hopefully, that’s some time this year then…

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