Letter from the HIVE : July 2013
The hive suffered a set back in mid June when the Queen failed and the colony had to make an emergency Queen cell. This will set them back two to three weeks.
July is traditionally the main month for honey making. The bees will be working extra hard foraging from early morning until late evening. If they are to survive next winter this is the time they must make provisions plus we hope a little extra for us!
Trees such as the lime that usually flower in late June/early July are a good source of nectar. These trees however are very much weather dependant and sometimes only produce nectar for a couple of hours a day. On the allotment we should see lots of activity around the sunflowers and poppies, the bees will also be visiting courgettes, squashes and the odd onion that has decided to flower early.
The bees will sometimes work the climbing beans however this task is usually performed by the bumble bee as she has a much longer tongue to get inside these deep flowers.
A couple more bee facts:
- The honey bee does not hibernate during the winter and the colony will need around 30kg of honey to survive.
- To maintain the correct temperature the bees cluster around the queen and brood (core temperature is 35 degrees C).
Kind regards from the HIVE