Yesterday was quite warm and sunny so the bees could make the most of the rosebay willowherb which is still in flower as well as the clover. There is a strong smell of clover in the air.
Unfortunately today is a no-fly day as we have had persistent rain since midnight and it will continue into the evening. Looking at the local "vaakapesa" the hives are still increasing in weight, maybe dropping slightly when there are 2-3 rainy days in a row. We definitely have "honey cakes" ie frames that are full of honey and sealed, but it is difficult to estimate the quantities. Planning ahead, we will go to Tampere next week to pick up the pots and jars and think about harvesting in the first two weeks of August. This is problematic from a logistics point of view since we have so much else going on in August -we will have to recruit the kids to help!
This is getting boring.
They are quite docile when they swarm, I could get up really close to take this picture and I wasn't even wearing a hat. They fill themselves with food before they fly out with the queen.
It is always the same hive that swarms (this was the first warm, sunny day for weeks) so there is definitely a rogue gene pool in this colony. It means we should really think about buying in a new queen.
We only had one suit here so Peter had to sweep them up himself. He put them into a small temporary hive (a lure) with a frame of brood from the old hive. Now we have to decide whether to merge the temporary hive back in with the old hive or not. Swarming really disrupts the honey production cycle. With the bad weather we are looking a meager harvests this year.