Synopsis : Weather, nucs, queens, swarms and wax. A potpourri of topics that have entertained me while waiting for the heather flow to start … if it starts.
Maybe it’s old age 1 but the calendar seems to be speeding up these days. The dawn chorus is just a chirrup or two, there are mushrooms appearing everywhere, and I can sense the end of the season galloping towards me.
Or, maybe this is just a bit of a weird season.
It barely seems to have got started before it feels like it’s about to end.
The peak swarming period in my part(s) of Scotland has long gone 2 and the ‘June gap’ didn’t really happen, perhaps because the summer flowers started early. It’s now late July and the lime and blackberry are over. There’s some rosebay willow herb left, though not much and the heather has yet to properly start.
These are the summer doldrums; the time between the end of swarming and taking the summer honey off. It’s a relatively quiet time for my beekeeping. It’s too late (in Scotland, at least in my experience) for dependable queen rearing and it’s too early for any serious winter preparations.
There’s no longer a need to conduct weekly colony inspections. I’m reasonably confident that my colonies won’t swarm now, though I expect a few might supersede 3.
That doesn’t mean they won’t swarm … it just means my confidence might be misplaced 😉 .
Of course, that doesn’t mean that there’s no beekeeping to do … it’s just that I’ve got a little more time to complete what I need to do, and a bit of spare time to do a few other related activities.