Morning broke full of mist or fog – what a disappointment. I could only see as far as the closest bird feeder.
But soon it seemed bright fog – and then the sun broke through. At last it seemed to have been warm for long enough to go and see how active the bees were. Videos say more – so I’ll add a link as I don’t have the video upgrade on here.
Activity was purposeful: more around hive 2 than hive 1 though each faces a similar direction and gets as much sun. Hive 2 was the one I got from a swarm last April; it was on the boys grammar school playing fields when they returned from ?Easter holiday. I watched each in turn, looking for signs of pollen and cursing aging eyesight but thinking there was some yellow and hoping it would show on some of the pictures or video.
The visual image always hits my senses first. Then I thought about the sound. My hearing is better than most whilst my eyesight is getting worse. It may be fanciful, even pure madness, but over the time I have had the bees I seem to feel a sense of tehir mood through their sound. When conditions change it sounds more urgent and high pitched. In a period of steady, warm weather it takes on the soothing, deeper tones of a contented cat in comparison. After workmen have been busy with diggers, the air of annoyance or concern seems to accelerate.
Hive 2 has an air of excitement, not anger. Is it just that they are as happy to see the sun and anticipate summer as I am? Or do I detect the sort of excitement humans show when they are off on a trip or moving house? See video I think of the Woods apidector I have read about. See here. It is a device invented by a beekeeper in 1964 claiming to help keepers identify what were claimed to be different pitched sounds of a hive thinking to swarm. Getting a swarm seems like a special gift – but by definition they must be swarmy bees if there is such a thing. On the other hand, if it was the new queen that left with the swarm last year would they really need to swarm so soon?
I better read up about artificial swarms and renew the lemon grass oil in my bait hive just in case.
Walking back to the house I realised how hard the resident robin finds it to take food from the new bird feeder. He has to keep his wings going the whole time so that he remains balanced while getting some seed. He must use more energy than he gains. It comes to me that two wooden chopsticks wedged through the ‘cage’ of the feeder may make his task easier. And I resolve to be less selfish and move one of the feeders to the front garden. I won’t be able to see the birds on it as much but I am aware that different parts of the garden seem to harbour different birds – and being just a little selfish I’ll place it somewhere I can see when I am at the kitchen sink. One of our newly established regulars is a little bullfinch that looks as though it is a Worcester porcelain bird given life. His colour is particularly pretty and brighter than some of his fellows.
Around the chimney pot on the main house roof I see that the feral bees have survived the winter, too.