We have had the most terrific spring and summer so far and the bees are going forth and multiplying like mad. Having started the season with four really viable colonies we are now up 9 and counting. My garden (at home) hive swarmed and this gave my husband much fun in saying that he ‘told me so’ any way, the swarm was caught and is now safely ensconced at our apiary 4 miles away.

Last Saturday we had our bee-meeting at Pluscarden Abbey which is Benedictine and it was good to know that despite somewhat drizzly weather and overcast skies the bees were comparatively friendly and gave no ‘up-hill’. As always we all took masses of cakes and biscuits for our tea afterwards and were able to leave our dear and friendly monks lots of goodies to feast on at a later time – a sugar-rush might have happened methinks.

Up here, with out well spread our colonies, we are beginning to experience a lot less varroa and in fact several of us have had little or no problem at all – so far any way. We must hope that it is a continuing trend.

The swarm out of my hive at home is going to a new bee-keeper who is taking the trouble to learn as much and as quickly as possible – he is excited about having his first colony – and a good sized swarm it was too.

Many of our friends are experimenting with Warre-hives and also with top bar ones too, we are all interested. I have read The Barefoot Beekeeper and his comments about top bar hives are most encouraging – a lot less trouble making up frames ad nauseum so to speak. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy bee keeping to one and all – it is really good and happy up here in Scotland.