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Posted: 28 February 2019 by Anne Ashford (aka Pike)

Getting media support

Thanks to the exceptionally high temperatures and still sunny conditions this month, I was able to play ball with leading SW newspaper the Western Morning News.

February is not normally a month when a beekeeper in England, even here in Somerset, can open up a hive and examine the brood box.

Not even when asked by the uber-talented photographer Richard Austin on behalf of the Western Morning News.

But the weather gods beamed at us and, with the thermometer tipping 18 deg C and glorious sunshine all around, we headed for one of my apiaries hidden away in a copse.

There we found the honeybees buzzing busily with bulging pollen sacks packed with brightly coloured spoils from early spring flowers like hellebores and crocus.

Conscious that Richard was only wearing a half bee suit - his face and upper body were protected - and waterproof trousers, I opened the smallest of my colonies. It originates from a small swarm caught fairly late on last season but has managed to survive the winter so far with the addition of plenty of feed and  treatment for the varroa mite.

Fortunately the bees were sweet tempered and seemed to be unbothered by the odd angle I held the comb (to catch the light) and Richard's collection of cameras.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable photo session made all the more so by the page feature in Tuesday's paper.

Thank you to all!