I wonder. Is it only my Queens that seem to stop and have a rest at the end of September?

I’ve noticed over the last few years that this end of season holiday appears to be what my 13 year old son would call ‘a thing

It is common for Queens to go off lay during varroa treatments such as apigaurd or MAQS. But, I’ve noticed it isn’t uncommon for the Queen to go off lay naturally just before the Ivy flow begins. You can’t really blame her, she’s been working damn hard since April and the poor gal deserves to kick back and relax for a while.

But. Whilst her highness is perusing the bee edition of Vogue her keeper may be losing their mind.Those lucky to be blessed with a well marked and easy to find Queen begin to take on mannerisms of a expectant father; pacing, wringing of hands and heavy smoking persist until pearly white eggs are spotted glinting at the bottom of cells.

For the unlucky, cursed with an elusive and hard to find Queen it is a much more fraught experience. Feelings of doubt, worry and even panic can plague the poor Beek. This time of year many people are asking for spare Queens only the find theirs chilling out in the hive a few days later. Until recently I was firmly in the panicky chap camp.

I would like to claim that this insight as my own. That I, in a masterful piece of beekeeping analysis reviewing my meticulous records came to this Sherlock Holmes-like deduction.

I didn’t – one of the more senior association members at my bee club explained this little nugget of beekeeping goodness over some tea and cake.

It’s amazing how much I learn discussing bees over tea and cake – I wonder if it is alchemy?