6 April 2024 · A few surprises.

Although today was the warmest day so far this year, the wind was gusty. Undeterred, we fired up the smoker and got out to the apiary. The goal was to check whether the bees had enough room and to determine whether their stores were enough for us to take a little. In the end, though, we dealt with a few surprises left over from winter.

In one hive we came across two tree wasps, successfully killed by the bees. Also in there was a huge spider with her egg sac. The lesson here, then, is that entrance blocks are required and should be installed early. In the next hive we found the bees doing well but also evidence of mould and frames that were in need of replacement, so we substituted seven of them for some newly-constructed ones. All the interference was upsetting the bees, so we called it a day at that point and spent the rest of the afternoon at a nearby country pub.