I don’t know why, but there is a wonderful feeling when we are near water. Even the approach to a river is somehow relaxing, as if stepping into another world. I am glad to say that we spent the last few days beside a river, relaxing and letting the feeling of it soak into our bones. Even at night the roaring sound of the weir filled our ears and dreams.
It was a beautiful view from the window. The only small problem was that the water also kept falling from the sky and therefore the view was usually through a rainy window pane.
We were not the only ones thinking of water. It was only a few days ago that the bees had their winter coat of snow on their homes. Today there was no snow, in fact their was a few brief moments of sunshine and warmer air. It was warm enough for the bees to venture out and find water to quench their thirst. They weren’t just thinking of water though, they were thinking of poo. After months of being stuck inside with the outside too cold to go to the toilet they simply saved it up. There were lots of bees not venturing very far, instead they simply did a few loops and relieved themselves mid-flight.
As I removed the mouse guards I got a chance to do a few more observations. One of the hives seems more tolerant of the cold. They were the ones I spotted doing cleansing flights (the technical term for it) earlier in the winter. The cold tolerant hive seemed calmer and with less bees about the entrance. The other hive were taking advantage of the warm day and there were a lot of bees about the front. This hive is the one that I felt were a bit aggressive at the end of the autumn. As I removed the mouse guard I got my suspicions confirmed with a bit of aggressive face dive bombing from one individual bee. I think I will have to make preparations to re-queen this hive if they turn out to be as aggressive as I suspect.