Sunday 8 March 2015

Bees and Books

In the spring sunshine yesterday I went up to the hives and found the bees jubilantly coming and going. So at least they've survived the winter, and they really looked - and sounded - glad to be alive. None of them seemed to be taking pollen in, which was a bit surprising as there are a lot of crocuses out, but maybe they had decided to concentrate on something else.  A bad moment was when I found that a mouse had climbed up under the roof of one hive and made a nest for itself by nibbling off the corner of a plastic quilt so that it could creep inside. I can't work out how it got in - the hive had a mouse guard on from early in September, and surely even a mouse can't squeeze through the mesh of a mesh floor. It's easy to think of mice as innocent little creatures, but the stink they make is disgusting, and I felt sorry for the bees for being forced to put up with it. Maybe what they can and can't smell is determined by some sort of filter which shuts out the really noxious stuff. I hope so.
On Thursday (5 February) i was at the Bath Literary Festival talking about the joys of beekeeping in one of their "Bliss" lectures and in conversation with Sarah Le Fanu. There were quite a few beekeepers in the audience, so the question-and-answer session was fascinating - for me, anyway.