“The school bees were checked in the first week of term and given some food in the form of sugar syrup to supplement their stored honey. The snow and cold weather has stopped them from flying and they will carry on using their stored food until the blossom from spring shrubs and flowers from bulbs provide the next natural food source.
“I will keep an eye on the weather and look in the hive when the temperature is high enough. The bees cluster together around the queen to keep her at a temperature of about thirty degrees centigrade, so I need to make sure I don’t chill them when I open the hive.
“The bees live for about twelve weeks in the winter as they do so little work and about six weeks in the summer, as they spend most of their time flying and collecting food. There are about ten thousand bees in the hive during winter and this builds up to about fifty thousand in summer. The queen lives for about five years and lays eggs for all that time, more in the summer less in the winter. She will start to build up numbers as food becomes available.”