It’s been a beautiful, warm day at the farm, and the bees are responding by both working hard and by thinking about swarming.
Warm weather makes life easier for bees. They spend less energy keeping warm, can fly for longer and the flowers secrete more ‘nectar’ for them to collect. One useful type of flower in early May is Hawthorn pictured to the left – there are thousands of flowers in the picture, and many such trees near the farm.
The picture to the right shows a frame part filled with nectar collected by the bees that they will slowly turn into honey in the next week or so. Nectar is a sweet liquid produced by flowers in tiny amounts to attract insects for pollination – so the picture shows the result of thousands of visits to individual flowers (the nectar is easier to see if you click the picture for a bigger image). When fully filled each frame can hold a kg of honey, but, the weather has to hold for this to happen, if it rains a lot the bees might have to eat the honey instead…
When bees swarm they prepare special cells to produce queen bees so the colony can then divide. If that happens we’ll post a picture here but for the moment here is a picture of one of the beehives full of bees.