False Spring - 2nd Winter

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Well dear reader - don’t imagine for one moment winter is over just because you see bees bringing in pollen from early crocus flowers....after a glorious weekend midweek has reverted to cold over cast weather and heavy rain this evening and a cold snap heading our way at the weekend - early March it may be but the season has a way to go before it really starts.

After a quieter February on the honey sales front March has taken off like a rocket with 4 new customers and some enquiries to follow up. Still, the time was well spent cleaning frames and filling them with foundation while the wax rendering continued a-pace.

The aforementioned trailer debacle (previous post) has now come to a conclusion having spent last Saturday getting it recommissioned which included a new tyre and some liberal use of lubrication to get things freed up.
It’s nice to be able to do these things myself.

All ready for the season now. Only two other trailers to sort and the old Landy which needs some welding to pass it’s MOT then a service.

The rest of today was extremely productive. Amidst honey deliveries and bottling honey a trip was paid to a new farm that has OSR - a rare thing in North Wiltshire and agreement for a good number of hives to be placed on 70 acres in a months time or so.

Then back closer to home a walk round meeting with another farmer who I supply honey to for his milk station and an agreement reached for my using a large patch of land for an apiary and queen rearing site which is a mere 5 minutes from home , behind two locked gates and with CCTV already in place. And no footpaths nearby either.

I really feel like I’ve come up trumps with this site. It’s South facing and nicely sheltered too.

As anyone will know, to manage queen rearing in between work requires sorting things in the spare hours and having a site close by is a godsend.

It’ll be interesting to see how the nectar flows as the land has just entered a higher level stewardship scheme and he said he’d speak to me about choice of planting when the time comes ... borage was discussed as well as mustard and buckwheat

Finally after supper I jumped on a local beekeeping association zoom presentation from a ‘well known’ beekeeper from the amateur world...it was largely death by PowerPoint and so much jumping around off the topic it soon became a chore to listen in.

The only thing I really agreed with was his view of experience helps the beekeeper and also checking for brood diseases properly. As for some of the questions posed I really worry about the level of ability in some quarters...

I also had a good chat to a couple of Beefarmers - one who like me manages colonies in between a full time job and another who’s taken the plunge and spent the day (week) replacing the floor of his newly acquired Unimog complete with hive lifter. Yes I won’t deny I’m just a little bit jealous. Nice bit of kit !

Well a few days in work beckon and then a few days off - more kit making and prepping no doubt !

I haven't followed up the trend forecast but did hear something that cold and snow may show it's face again for Easter a whole calendar month away yet, to soon for winters end yet.
Before covid the girls of Newcastle dressed with no concern about weather when they went out on a winter Saturday night 😎 It was the same in Hull but not so far North
seen some amazing sight late at night in both places - especially in the carpark next to the Tuxedo Princess on the Tyne.
There is usually a cold spell during daffodil flowering,but as they start to go over the warmer weather usually settles in. Time enough then to have a quick look at the hives