It’s time to pack away the tools of war – the scorching blow-torch, the sharp-biting, disinfectant soda and the rusty hive-tool, which has scraped the last of the wax from the queen excluders. In the Apiary, no more clang of metal on metal, nor the fiery rasp of flame, nor the insidious dissolution of the soda-bath. The undertaker’s work is done.
As the days start to lengthen into Spring and the sodden earth ahoys with green shoots, we beekeepers start turning swords into ploughshares, building new frames of sweet-smelling wax foundation for the spring surge of bee-population. The nursery nurse is preparing to make her rounds on Ward B.
I love this time of year – lifting the lid of possibility and peeking inside – figuratively, I mean (and certainly not disturbing the beehives themselves). An aroma of mulled wax seeps from the warming hives, as the bees become ardent propagators of their embryonic sisters. The brood area will soon open up like a flower. Its impetus needs no help from me.
This is when all things are beautiful and bright. For all creatures, small and great.