Queen’s Birthday weekend was the start of winter for us. With it came 61 millimetres of torrential rain overnight, and a good dusting of snow on the foothills that all too quickly melted away. Since then June has been sunny and dry, with some uninspiring overcast days and a couple of brief nor’west showers.

We haven’t had the biting cold we would normally experience at this time of year. Beehives have slowed down in activity but are still collecting pollen from here and there. Gorse and Spanish heath are flowering in the outskirts of forested areas.

Rosemary is in full flower and attracting bees. I have had reports of hives supporting up to three frames of brood still with available pollen helping this. The number of passing tourists had slowed, possibly because of recent events in Christchurch. This affected local honey sales but tourism now seems to be on the increase.

There is not a lot of other to report on for this column this month. I would welcome any comments or interesting stories, observations bee- wise from any South Canterbury beekeepers or others in close proximity that you think might be suitable.

Keep warm.

Noel Trezise