Beekeepers have sugar syrup tanks on and are out looking into their hives, feeding where necessary and putting varroa treatments in.

The season is getting under way up to a month earlier than usual due to the mild winter weather. Most hives I have looked at still have adequate stores of honey.

Rainfall for July was a heavy downpour of around 60 millimetres; otherwise quite dry, with some sunny summer-like afternoons, especially in early August.

In the garden daffodils are flowering, snowdrops have been flowering for some time, and the winter roses (hellebores) give a lift and some colour to an otherwise drab winter garden. They’re quite nice to observe when in the garden doing those winter clean-up jobs, pruning etc. Grass growth also is getting under way.

Beehives have up to two to three part-frames of brood and are getting going, with wattle and gorse pollen coming in where there is any. From reports I have had, this seems to be fairly generalised.

With Bee Aware Month coming up, it is a good time to remind the general public about the dangers of feeding honey water to birds,
to dispose of honey containers properly (i.e., wash out after use) and to plant nectar- and pollen-bearing trees in the garden or wherever suitable. Small things but they are easy for people to do and can make a difference.

That’s it for now; I have bees to look at. Best of luck for the start of spring.

- Noel Trezise