The sun broke through the light mist of raindrops as I walked up the leafy path to the apiary. It was late in the day and there was a chill wind in the air.
I put on my bee suit to avoid late-returning foragers flying home to the hives with the last drops of nectar.
There was no need to light my smoker as I had no intention of disturbing the bees. I was here to begin preparations for the start of the beekeeping season. Winter had stretched far into spring this year and the bailey comb change was late. But the sun was coming and the bees needed to be ready.
I collected brood boxes, supers, floors, crownboards and roofs to carry back to the apiary long table where my dad stood ready with a scraper and blowtorch. He made fast work of cleaning up the wood, which I then placed above our two hives ready for the bees to move into their new homes.
The bluebells were out late too.
This was a few weeks ago and things have moved on. Emily and I have now started the bailey comb change and we will soon find out what sort of bees will be made by Myrtle, last year’s late summer queen, and the unnamed queens in our two new hives.
It’s all about to begin.
This post is in memory of my grandmother Antoiné Dees who passed away yesterday after a long illness. May she find peace and a new beginning in some other life.