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A review of February 2021 in the apiary 
 
The bee calendar starts after the shortest day of the year so February often marks an increase in the queens’ laying particularly here in Windsor compared to our colleagues in the North. The variable weather is our biggest concern. 
 
Bees are busy foregoing on early flowers such as snowdrops, crocus, aconites and hazel which provide a useful source of pollen (protein). Bees will come out as the weather warms. So please think about how you can provide the Bees with a year-round buffet when deciding on your garden planting scheme. Also please make sure water remains available throughout. 
 
Winter honeybees can live for up to six months unlike the busy summer bees that sadly die after six weeks from exhaustion due to their constant work load (nature at is extreme). 
The beekeeper is busy cleaning and sterilising equipment, building frames in particular new brood frames. Reading lots of reading including us here at Oakdale undertaking a brilliant Diploma in Natural Beekeeping (more to follow on this). 
 
My top tip: Succession planting is key to the welfare of bees and not just flowers but trees such as February flowering Silver Wattle, Pussy Willow, Alder and winter flowering Cherry are brilliant for the bee population. 
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