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  1. Curate's egg

    15c today so I checked the 10 I have at my allotment.

    The good news is that all the queens are there but the bad news is colony strength.
    I have about 6 colonies on around 3 frames with a bit of sealed brood and another 4 which might be better off in apideas.

    Other than that I have a couple of tiddlers in the garden and a few at the association apiary which are not too strong either.

    I had an e-mail earlier this evening from someone in my BKA who ...
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  2. Wey-hey!

    It briefly touched 8C today, and this is what it did for the bees at the apiary. The traditional early spring picture of Gavin's bees properly wakening up. It is 3rd April and they are still bringing in some (very) late snowdrop pollen and also something that looks very like willow. On my way back to work the willow trees near the association apiary were in flower with their silver pom-poms now yellow here and there.

    First off, see what was trotting along the track on the way into ...

    Updated 03-04-2013 at 06:31 PM by gavin

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  3. Changes at Minnowburn Apiary

    Nipped over to check bees at lunchtime today accompanied by the dog.

    It is still quite wintery looking and the temperature was about 4c in the sunshine. Not much leaf to be seen although there are willow catkins bearing pollen.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I bumped into one of the National Trust wardens and they have planted a little orchard of Native Irish Apple Trees between the allotments and our Apiary. The orchard will be fenced in so we will now ...

    Updated 27-03-2013 at 05:42 PM by Jon

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  4. Time to start 2013 blog

    Just had a look at what I was writing this time last year and it was all so much better. Strong colonies and it was over 20c apparently on 27th March and a colony had 7 frames of brood.

    I have about the same number of colonies I had this time last year but they are nowhere near as strong.
    A lot of the nucs I made up in July and August just dwindled to nothing by mid January which was a disappointment.

    This has been a rough year for bees.
    The weather turned ...
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  5. Sitting tight

    Had a quick lunchtime visit to the apiary today now that the snow is nearly gone. The recent cold snap has held the snowdrops back so they are still waiting there for a warmish day to open up shop for the pollinators. The Japanese quince in the walled garden is starting to come out now (always a favourite perhaps because of the warmth in that corner, see last year's photos), and the bees in the cavity of the wall of the walled garden were just as vigorous as the best of my hives (slightly sheepish ...
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