This being our first year as beekeepers, I entered winter with some trepidation. We were told that during the four to five months of winter the queen bees stop laying eggs and the bees stay mostly in their hives in a tight bunch to stay warm and economise their precious stock of honey.
Even by the standards of this region of France, our winter has been so far very mild and there has not been a single week that the bees have not been in and out of their hives at least for a short period during the sunny days.
There is evidently plenty of pollen on the gorse less than a kilometer from our house,
The back lawn (well it’s hardly a lawn) is now full of speedwell (veronica) in flower and the bees appear interested by those too.
Last week, on 24th of January 2016, the sun shone all day and the temperature for most of the day was around 17 degrees C (nearly 63F). Our girls were really busy. You can see the entrance of our Sunflower Hive in this short clip.
It is lovely to see you, girls, and I am dying to open up the hive for a quick inspection, and see how much brood your queen has made. But I must have patience. It is too early!