I had a look at my remaining hive yesterday. The temperature was at an in-between stage; they weren't really flying, but they weren't clustered either. Bees are always difficult to handle at that point; they fly up freely when disturbed, then crawl over you and get into your clothes. There's nothing I hate worse than bees up my sleeves or my trousers!
Anyway, they had eggs and young larvae on three frames, and a little pollen stored. That's all good. They'll be hatching out at the end of the month - it takes three weeks from the egg to the bee - and the hive will probably expand fast after that. Meanwhile, it's obvious they've been systematically shutting down egg-laying in cold weather. That's a good sign in our climate, when we get significant periods when the bees can't forage. Brood eat them out of house and home, and that's when they starve.
Meanwhile, I'm making slow progress with the digging, but otherwise nothing much is happening. Broad beans planted over a month ago still aren't showing, though there are healthy-looking roots sticking out of the bottom of the pots. Things should speed up now, as there's no more really cold weather forecast. It's a frustrating time of year.
Matron Goes Nuts!
1 day ago