Well, first of all I'm happy to report that the bees are still there after the 35°C heat we had on Thursday. I was up in Yorkshire and kept thinking about how they'd built their comb on the north side of the hive, and how that might mean they were looking for a cool corner of the hive even before all these record-breaking temperatures.

While up visiting friends, I've signed up for the National Bee Unit's BeeBase, so I can be up to date on any local disease and pest outbreaks and I can arrange for a bee inspector to visit, should any serious problems come along. I explored the site a bit more and found some useful disease inspection maps and stats. Among all there is to read there, their advisory publications are available to download along with photos depicting signs of common diseases and pests. Both of these were useful in going over what I'd learned on courses about spotting signs of trouble early, though of course there are many other guides to bee diseases with clear pictures out there.

Related to this, I'm told by friends visiting the Isle of Man that there's no Varroa mite on the Island, nor do they need to treat for the majority of bee diseases. This surprising fact is in part due to the strict controls on the import of bees, bee products or hive equipment.