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Beekeeper’s Notes July 2018: Heatwave Harvest On The Horizon?

Published on: 1 Jul, 2018
Updated on: 30 Jun, 2018

Hugh Coakley keeps bees in Worplesdon. A good month – the honesty of Guildfordians has been proved and the fantastic weather could be producing a bumper honey crop this year. Read on….

Covered with pollen from the blackberry flowers, she will use her legs to brush it in to the pollen baskets on her back legs. Click to enlarge the photos in a new window.

Is this lovely weather a classic British summer heatwave or climate change?

I’m not sure which but it looks to be suiting the bees.

I’ve had a couple of swarms early on but managed to collect them and my hives luckily are looking reasonably strong and busy.

My spring honey was good as well, between 20 and 30lbs per hive and, cross fingers, hopefully looking all right for the summer flow as well.

One of Guildford’s more experienced beekeepers keeps one of his hives on a weighing scale and he reported a rapid weight gain on the 10th of June. That’s quite early considering that a lack of forage for the bees is common in June.

Bumper season to come? We shall see what the bees decide.

Incredibly delicate creature. Could be a male meadow brown?

Another bit of good news – not quite on the scale of ‘England wins the World Cup’ or ‘Brexit talks finished and every country is happy’ but good for me nonetheless.

A couple of weeks ago, I opened up the honesty box outside our front door to see a jar of honey gone and no money. Small beer to lose a jar of honey but my little heart sank.

Next day, a man knocked on the door with the fiver he had forgotten to leave.

My faith in the honesty of Guildfordians has been confirmed.

What a month!

Buff tailed bumble bee coming in to land.

It can get a bit crowded at times. Two bees on a blackberry flower.

Fellow workers at the coal face.


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Responses to Beekeeper’s Notes July 2018: Heatwave Harvest On The Horizon?

  1. Harry Eve Reply

    July 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    It is always good to hear about individual acts of honesty when many of our politicians seem to find it difficult to achieve.

    I thought there were fewer bumblebees than normal earlier in the season but the weather, and plenty of blossom, seems to be helping them to recover.

    If the heatwave continues much longer then, sadly, it may have a sting in its tail (sorry!) as plants suffer from the drought.

    There may be plenty of butterflies around now but they could be followed by some very hungry caterpillars.

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