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Six of the hives have now been spring-cleaned which puts me way ahead of last year. Several new frames of foundation were introduced and several 2018 queens clipped and marked.

Hive 2 is a disappointment as the queen was a late hatching in 2018 and failed to mate successfully. Although she is laying, she is a poor little specimen, hardly bigger than a worker and is trying valiantly to keep the colony going. Deformed Wing Virus is also clearly visible. There are four little hand-size patches of brood and a small quantity of bees so I’ll move them into a nucleus hive and keep them going until I can re-queen with a better specimen. This was one of the beegym hives so the gyms have now been moved to hive three which is of a more respectable size.

On the 13th March a most enjoyable evening was held at Thaxted Day Centre when we had a DIY session on making your own Asian Hornet trap. Following my demonstration, members of Saffron Walden Beekeepers each used plastic bottles and coat hangers to manufacture their own and then went home proudly carrying their evening’s efforts. My two traps are now baited with home-pressed apple juice with one hanging in the apiary and the other by the bee shed.