My first season as a beekeeper draws to a close

I've jetted off on holiday to my home country of South Africa for a couple of weeks. While I'm basking in warmer climes I'm hoping my bees are hunkering down for the winter months. It makes me nervous with all this talk about the dreadful summer we've had and the effect it's had on the bees - I would just like my little nucleus, which I've nurtured since Spring, to survive the winter. I've listened to fellow beekeepers and treated for the varroa mite by giving apiguard for a month and then I've fed them a couple of gallons of ambrosia, the last of which I gave them on Monday before I jetted off.

But I guess there is no point stressing while I'm away. So I am going to rather think about the bee activity I'll be partaking in here. My dad has arranged for me to go see some local beehives. Port Alfred, in the Eastern Cape, is pineapple country and one of the local farmers keeps a number of hives on his farm. He says that he'll take me along one day on his inspections (I washed and packed my bright orange beesuit just in case). I'm very interested in seeing African bees and how they compare to those I've encountered in the UK. I spotted a few in my dad's lavender today and they seem bigger and more buzzy somehow. It should bee fun :)


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