I set my camera up in front of Beresford’s hive, and after getting stung and dropping the camera, we all got used to it and took some pictures. It was a sunny late morning so there was a steady stream of bees leaving and returning, although not nearly as many as in Summer.
The pattern seemed to be that the bees would arrive and clean themselves outside the hive before being checked by the guard and allowed in. You wouldn’t want to be a bee arriving back without the right credentials.
After last year’s loss of the queen and decimation of the hive, I was feeling a little nervous when we opened the hives at the start of Winter in late May. There was almost no brood, and less honey than we had expected. So it was a great relief when our bee keeper friend showed up unexpectedly and offered to check out the hives.
Wow, last year at this time I had tulips and hyacinths, no roses in sight. The tulips are still only small, and daily being eaten by a stoat, I think. So there may be none at all at this rate.
While much of the country has had record snow falls last week and some are still without power, we didn’t even have a frost, which was nice for the new twin lambs frisking around the next door paddock. There must have been strong winds though, and the olive branches in my vase are from the olive tree which was on the ground when we arrived.
I’m assuming she is a queen, since only the queens are supposed to last through the Winter. In any case, when I first encountered her on a cold morning she looked still and dead, hanging from the Lavender ‘Sidonie’ flower by her front legs.
The first Dutch Iris bloomed amid alternating rain and sun this weekend. Something is digging up my tulips and eating them one by one, so I’m glad that the irises are so far untouched.