Springtime and bees.
In concentrating on our own housing, I almost forgot that with the spring, I’d need to expand the bee quarters. I’ve decided not to go with the accepted industry norm – ie is to soak the boxes in a wood preservative and paint the outside with a exterior gloss paints…instead I (we’ve) been coating the boxes with a combination of raw linseed oil thinned out with some gum turpentine. I know this means much more work but I think that it is also less toxic all round. Not sure how it will affect the longevity of the boxes but there is only one way to find out.
Later this week, I’ll open the hive for the first time since the beginning of winter and I will move the frames into the new boxes. Then in a couple of weeks,I’ll re-queen the hive – it was after all an autumn swarm and the queen in the hive is old. It does sound sinister, I know. Also I need to prepare more boxes and frames in the event that we have good nectar flow – so fingers crossed because really, it is RANK amateur hour here. I’ll try to take pictures to record it all.
The other day as I watched the bees coming and going, landing heavy with yellow pollen I couldn’t get over how amazing they are. Such activity and work. Not sure I’ll be marvelling so much after the first sting!