7 January 2020


Today was a beautifully mild day. With the temperature at 13°C, a few of the bees were buzzing about, and I only needed a t-shirt under my bee suit. The boggy ground had drained somewhat, and the rain held off, despite heavy, pendulous clouds over the Mendips.

Last time I wrote, I had a colony of bees without much of an appetite. This time, I could see that the Fondabee left three weeks ago had been started on, with about a third having been taken. There were hundreds of bees feasting on the upturned bag. The Candipolline, however, hadn't been touched, but it had melted a little, making a sugary mess everywhere. I turned it over, open side up, and a few bees made a start on it. There was entirely too much sugar around to warrant adding another bag for now, but I suspect when I check on them next they'll need one.

In the other colony, a huge number of bees were going at the Fondabee, which by now was quite depleted and dried up. Again, there was no interest in the Candipolline. I added another 1kg bag of Fondabee, and cleaned out the entranceway of dead bees with a knife before the guard bees decided to tell me to be on my way. Today was the first time that my bees were more chilled out than Dave and Ⓓ's bees.

My everyday phone for voice calls is a simple Doro 1360, mostly because it has two SIM slots and the battery lasts for a long time. Because it's designed partly for those with reduced finger dexterity, I can — unlike my iPhone — operate it easily in my beekeeping gloves. Attached to this blog entry is the result of attempting to take a photo of two of my bees on a dinner date. As you can see, the quality is very poor, but at least it means that I can get a quick photo on each visit to the apiary from now on. Then, each entry will at least not be a wall of text.

On the walk back to my house, I saw a few hundred starlings, swooping in the sky. They did it just as I was taking photos (this time with my iPhone). It was like a mini-murmuration just for me.

Colony ID
Queen seen?
Queen cells
Framefuls of stores
Frames available for brood
Estimated mites
Temper / docility
Feed given
Treatment given
Supers added
C1913°C ☁