Sunday, February 20, 2011
The Bee Master
Today Elva and I were very privileged. The renowned English beekeeper Mr. Clive de Bruyn, as part of his Irish speaking tour, was visiting one of the local bee associations. Luckily, it was an opportunity for all-comers from around Ireland to come and listen to his talk about his beekeeping experiences.
As a communicator I would say that he would be hard to beat. He struck the perfect balance between common sense, humour, practical advice and an insight into the future. With over 30 years experience, he had an awful lot of information to impart and a couple of hours in his company was far too little.
I would have to recommend that if the chance comes around and, as the ads say, if he is coming to a town near you then do your very best because you won't regret it.
On a practical basis, my two hives from last autumn seem so far to have made it through the extremely hard winter months. It's far too early to tell for sure but bees were flying out yesterday and we took the chance to have a quick check on stores. One of the hives did have a good number of dead bees and we removed these and replaced the floor with a fresh one. It's still far too cold to do anything at all intrusive besides ensuring that the bees aren't going to starve to death. It would be such a pity to have got this far for them to run out of food at this late stage.
The spring bulbs in the gardens now are really getting ready to burst out. Snowdrops and the early daffodils are visible in some parts. The willow buds are developing the fine hairs which precede the pollen-laden catkins which give the bees that huge protein fix.