I was at the BBKA Spring Convention yesterday, at Stoneleigh, near Coventry. I got to talks on bee anatomy, queen raising and nosema. The latter is a serious bowel disease of bees, caused by a microscopic fungus. There's a new form, nosema ceranae, which has hopped across from the Asian Honey Bee, Apis cerana. One of the people doing the research on this was speaking; it may be extremely serious or it may not be, and it's such a recent discovery that nobody really knows yet. One thing is certain, it's spread round the world at an incredible rate, doubtless because of people moving bees around. I've always felt that this is a very bad idea, but it's almost impossible to stop, and even if it was, we'd still have swarms landing on ships and being carried all round the world.
Hives 3 and 4 are still expanding steadily; Hive 3 is on 3 1/2 frames, while 4 is still on 2 frames, but expanding the brood area on them. I'd be happier if it had a bigger broodnest as I'll need to take eggs out of it soon to raise queens. Mulching all the spuds is taking time, largely because it's doing my back in.