Summer honey is in production.
There's a buzz in the air. A short walk up the lane here at Bouchland will reward you with the reassuring hum of the buzzy miracles enjoying the blackberry bushes. Seeing the blackberry and clover come into flower with all colonies alive and well is heartening for a beekeeper. The 'June Gap' between the end of the spring flowers and the start of the summer ones is notorious in catching out 'beeks' and before they realise it, their colonies have starved. There is nothing sadder than seeing hundreds of rear ends sticking out of the comb as the poor creatures lick the very last drop of honey from the cell before expiring. Pitiful; you have to be vigilant as it can happen very quickly. I leave plenty of their honey stores in place to get them through, particularly as I have an aversion to feeding them sugar syrup. If they don't have enough stores then emergency feeding with syrup may be necessary, but mine have all made it through without it. That means that the bees have survived on the best thing for them, their own honey, and that the only thing going into our jars at harvest time is honey.
Seeing the bees on the blackberry is mouth-watering as I look forward experiencing the honey in a few weeks time, all being well. Will it be light and fruity like last year or have the conditions brought about a different blend for us to enjoy? No matter when I have extracted honey I always find it delicious. I can't wait.
I'm happy to take anything they don't need when the time comes.