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Beekeeper’s Notes March 2019: Bees Back In Early Action

Published on: 1 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 1 Mar, 2019

Hugh Coakley keeps bees in Worplesdon.

The beautifully warm if unseasonal weather has brought the honey bees out in force. We are just starting to see the bumblebee queens emerging after their winter hibernation as well.

All my hives have survived the winter – so far. That could change if we get a prolonged cold or wet period following on.

Looking very spring like with the sun and the crocuses.

I’ve taken the precaution of putting some fondant feed onto the top of the hives – just in case. I would hate to open up a hive in a month’s time to find them starving or dead because they have just run out of food.

There’s loads of pollen coming in which is a good sign that all is well.

Plenty of pollen going in, light grey and yellow. But where is it coming from?

Mainly grey and a yellowy orange, it is hard to know where it is coming from as I haven’t seen any bees around the garden or on the common or even on the allotment where some of my hives are kept.

My very knowledgeable colleagues in the Guildford Beekeepers Association have come up with some suggestions.

Hazel which has grey pollen and yew which is a light brown could be candidates. It could also be crocus which is yellowy orange or snowdrops which, I am told have a pale greyish or greenish pollen. And loads of other possibilities such as sweet box, winter flowering honeysuckle and pussy willow.

Or combinations of the above. The only way you can tell is either by direct observation which is very difficult, or looking at the pollen under a microscope.

And speaking of direct observations, Superman or Super Gardener was spotted on the Aldershot Road allotment.

A beautiful day on the allotments. Down to earth ‘Super Gardener’ is there keeping the allotment safe.

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