British Summer Time is here and with it, in my area at least, the fields of oil seed rape (or OSR if you prefer abbreviations!) are in full bloom and looking spectacular! For the first year we are pleased to see it and hope it might be the fountain of youth for our expanding colonies. Time will tell.  At present the pungent smell of manure is overpowering what is generally a heady aroma from this crop!

There have been all sorts of recommendations on how to occupy ourselves while we are under ‘Stay at Home’ lockdown.  I have heard many things suggested - board games, jigsaw puzzles, learn a language, study for a qualification.   We are luckier than most don’t you think with our bees to care for?

One of my colleagues had “a lovely weekend painting beehives”;  another friend sowing seeds for flowers for the bees and vegetables for themselves.   

For those fortunate enough to have a microscope, pollen identification is a more pleasant occupation than checking your bees for nosema, despite that being a useful thing to do.  Our publication “Practical Microscopy” is available from our shop and is the perfect reference book.

You may have heard me say this before, but now really is a great time to buy our Apiary Guide Multipack. You can start the season with new record cards easily kept in one place with advice on integrated pest management, swarming/swarm control, and helpful photographs which will be of great use given the social distancing to which we must all adhere. 

I expect quite a number of people will have inspected their colonies now.  So how are things?   Do you have any immediate concerns or queries that we can help with?  You can always email our editors and maybe have your query included in the ‘Ask BeeCraft’ section of our magazine.  Their email is  They are always pleased to hear from anyone who would like to offer an article for publication, so do get in touch if you can offer an insight into something with maybe a different approach.

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