Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Books and Bees

On Thursday 17 August I'll be taking part in a discussion at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I'll be talking about The Essential Paradise Lost and sharing a platform with John Stubbs whose Jonathan Swift, The Reluctant Rebel was published earlier this year. So this will be a chance to compare and contrast two literary giants. It will be chaired by James Runcie and will take place in the Baillie Gifford Corner Theatre at 14.00.
It has not been a bad year for the bees. The hive containing the swarm that John Heathcote captured is thriving, and so is the new  colony bought from Paynes. We did a varroa test on the hives a few weeks back and found that mites were present. So I put MAQS on both these hives, having checked that they had six frames of brood (the minimum for MAQS treatment). The bees did not seem at all disturbed by this. The queen we introduced to the third hive has been accepted and started laying about a week after she was introduced. But the colony is now very small and I am afraid they may not have time to build up survival strength before the winter. I'm feeding all three hives as foraging seems to be almost over for the year. The blackberry flowers came early and have now finished and the ivy is forming tods but is not yet flowering.