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Sunday, 6 February 2011

All three colonies are through the winter

It was about 8 degrees C when I inspected my three colonies last week.
I was expecting one or more to be dead, given the very harsh winter, but all three were very much alive.

It was a bit late, but I gave them their Oxalic Acid treatment.

Two colonies were very docile, but the third was very aggressive. I wore just a smock top and several bees burrowed into my pocket and stung me through the lining. Luckily, just my leg. Could have been worse.

This colony has always been feisty, even though they superseded the queen last autumn. I was hoping their disposition would improve.

This is the colony that I might move. It produced no excess honey last year and I think it's because it is just too exposed a position. They had plenty to eat, with a field of Oil Seed Rape just next door. But they never thrived.


  1. Good to hear they survived, and interesting what you say about the colonies differing temperaments, something I was learning about last week.

    I leaned that March is the month you have to be extra careful of them as this is when they can starve, despite all the flowers beginning to bloom. What do you feed yours?

  2. Hello Zoe, yes March is a tricky month. Bees can be flying and you assume that they can find food, but in fact they are just using stores, which then run out.

    Better to have a freezing cold March to kep them in the hives and then turn on the sun on April 1st!

    I feed mine with Apifonda. It's simple. It doesn't freeze or crystalise like sugar solution.

  3. Oh yay! So glad to hear they are doing well!

  4. Glad to hear they made it through. I find your posts so wonderfully interesting. We (hubby) kept bees when we lived in western Canada but we moved and never had them again. How I miss the honey.

  5. Hello Bren, just looked you up. My cousin has just built a house in Novia Scotia, moving from California. Sounds crazy to me! He says that the climate is just like the North East of England, where he was brought up. Could you keep bees in a sheltered spot?

    Thanks for your kind comments!


  6. Bren, I see you follow my friend Vegplotting. She lives a short distance away and is a VERY old friend of some 25 years.

    How Does she manage to blog every day? Beats me.


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