The bees had been on the moors for over three weeks, and I am in the habit of moving to the sites around mid July as there are considerable number of small flowers nestling in the heather stalks to support the colonies.
I arrived about 7pm, and the access was over a stretch of rabbit and sheep clipped lawn like turf, I parked the van and got out some 300 yds from the hives to put on my kit, and thought goodness I can smell heather. There was then a puff of breeze and the odour was powerful to say the least.
I walked over to the bees and they were roaring, hanging out the doors in great bunches and fanning like there was no tomorrow. The smell of heather honey was near over powering. Flow they yelled as the foragers landed plumply, flow flow flow. And so it was, the most magnificent flow I have ever had the joy to see.
Time though to do some checking and it was as well, by the time I had gone round the lot, some 50 hives, the stack of spare supers was sadly diminished and the average height of each box of bees increased by mostly one super but the odd one had an extra two. They were stuffed full, needing room, and the following week they used most of it up.
The weather needs a word or three here. It was not sunny, nor windy, it was warm and humid. Very warm. Very humid, and the Ling gushed. The site it’s self was not I freely admit the best, but the access was good, the land owner co-operation personified, and when I arrived in a different van one day he appeared in his Landy with his shotgun to make sure I was allowed to be at the bees. And then the flow came to prove that the site was actually better than I thought. Well over a ton of extracted heather and goodness knows how much cut comb as every super had at least three frames of it for the bees to draw.
What a season, what an evening, what a gorgeous smell.