Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Changing climate affecting beekeeping

This year we are experiencing yet another change in weather patterns. We have had almost no frost and a season which has started 4 weeks earlier than average and is perhaps 7weeks ahead of last year. Colonies have been swarming in higher numbers and earlier than I have ever known in 30 years of keeping bees. When I lived in the South of England 20 years ago we were always surprised to see a swarm in April yet this years 200 miles north I have 70% of my colonies making preparations to swarm.
The lesson seems to be that we have to ready for any eventuality and that past experience doesn't necessarily give us any clues to future patterns. We wait and see what the rest of the season brings.

Another first for me, I was working hives in Herefordshire and I moved an empty hive with its floor went back to pick up more equipment and came across this

Its I think a smooth snake non verminous but that didn't stop him doing the full Cobra act as I got near, luckily he hung around long enough for me grab my phone and take the picture.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I have just come across your web page and saw the snake photo. From the features shown in the photo it is more likely to be a grass snake, Natrix natrix. The smooth snake has a narrow band through the eye, the grass snake does not have the feature. You can also just see the light colouration of the distinctive band behind the head.

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