Almost into May and finally the trees and bushes have some colour.
Inside the hive progress is being made as the colony starts to grow, the eggs and brood are now spread over five frames and there is plenty of pollen and enough stores to support the young, emerging bees. Hopefully these will be strong enough to start working the ever increasing cherry, pear and currant blossom. The bees are still predominantly working the hazel and willow for pollen, and the dandelion and gooseberry for nectar.
May is a busy month for the bees; they need to produce a strong colony of flying bees to take full advantage of the first significant nectar flow, storing provisions for the less productive month of June.
A few marigolds planted between the carrots not only help to stop carrot fly but also provide a useful source of food for our pollinating insects. The planting of a few sweet peas and some lovely scented poppies give a wonderful bouquet to a floral honey.
A few bee facts:
- A colony is made up of one queen, lots worker bees (female)and a few drones (male)
- Brood comes in three stages: eggs, larvae and capped
- The bees are living in a type of hive known as ‘British National’, a popular choice in Warwickshire – see picture below