Wednesday 12 June 2013

Bees and Books

The bee season is turning out to be better than last year - it could hardly be worse. The oilseed rape is in full flower and the weather has been fine for several weeks. My over-wintered colony is foraging enthusiastically. I've recently replaced the old floor unit of its hive with a mesh floor from Thornes. I did this partly because it is said to be an anti-varroa measure, since the bees groom each other and the varroa mites drop off through the mesh, and partly because a mesh floor and the extra ventilation it provides is vital if you intend to use the new wonder anti-varroa formic acid treatment from Canada - which I do. Last week I installed a new colony from Mr Perrin at Enstone in one of my two empty hives. They have a vigorous over-wintered queen and seem to be doing very well, having almost filled a super in just under a week.
Next week on 20 June at 3.00 I'll be giving a talk about "Dickens and Murder" to the Friends of the Bodleian at their Annual GeneraL meeting, and the next day at 12.20 in the Driver Lecture Room at Wellington College I'll be giving a talk on "Why Study English in the Sixth Form" as part of the Sunday Times Festival of Education.