Easter is a time of Spring

By | April 7, 2012

Easter with the whole egg thing, daffodils, new born lambs, the start of British Summer Time, are all things that signify the start of spring to me, my favourite season.
I’ve a new indicator now, the buzz of bees as the days warm up, colonies begin to increase their numbers, and forage for pollen and nectar.

Ealing & District Beekeeping association grand entrance

Ealing & District Beekeeping association grand entrance

On Saturday I made my first visit to Ealing and District Bee Keeping Association (E&DBKA), in Perivale, West Ealing. An unassuming spot from the road with a humble entrance, but filled with welcoming friendly chaps (many bearded), ready to share a joke, a cup of tea and cake, and their years of bee keeping experience.

We had a brief hive visit, transferring a small colony from a transporting “nucleus” (or small portable hive) into a full size hive. It was quite a cold day, so its best not to go opening hives up. This will reduce the hive temperature, and affect the developing larvae.

Next week, the Walmer Gardens bees arrive!
So, it was necessary to make sure we had all our frames made up ready to introduce them to the hive.

At E&DBKA, we had the chance to practice frame building, frames being 10 or so “cards” that are within the rectangular hive. Frames usually come flat pack style, so there’s a little bit of IKEA style construction required. Its an essential skill for any beekeeper, as you’ll be regularly making new frames for the start of each year.

The deeper brood frame in background, and shallower honey frame in foreground

The deeper brood frame in background, and shallower honey frame in foreground

The frame provides some foundation for the bees to build the comb (hexagonal cells).
The comb is generally then filled with either brood (eggs and larvae), or nectar and pollen, later converted to  honey. Ill describe the difference between the frame sizes in a following post.

One week left, and we will have our very own bees!
(just quietly… there’s a remote possibility I can be involved with another group of local bee keepers, at a stunning historic site… more if the chance comes through)

Ealing and District hives in Easter, 2012

Ealing and District hives in Easter, 2012


1 Comment

Margaret Petherick on April 10, 2012 at 6:11 am.

Whoa!! all looks great. Love the beard…don’t catch any bees in it though!!!!! Keep the info coming..a great read