Sunday, March 30, 2014

First rain of the spring

It has been raining now for 2 days and is expected for another 24 hrs.  Fed the bees again last week when it was warm as not much in the way of flowers yet, although, as mentioned before, I did have a few Snow Drops and Crocus up, which the Bees found right away.  Not many bees left in the hive from the winter and they are right now staying on the sunny side of the hive for the extra warmth.

I believe my bees made it through the winter because it has been so steadily cold that they couldn't venture out as they have been doing the last three years and then never coming back.  Can't wait to get outside to work the gardens.  Bought some Aconite seeds from London to sow in the back yard, they are the first plants to emerge in the spring, about the same time as the Snow Drops.  They are bright yellow so will brighten up my drab back yard before in greens up.  Also found that I need to plant a lot more Crocus as many of mine died for whatever reason, but that's a fall job.   Later

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bees still here

The last cold spell has past and the bees are doing fine.  My Crocus are up and the bees are busy gathering pollen for the hive.  Today we went to the north end of the island so I stopped at the location I caught two swarms last year and the building had bees everywhere, a good sign that maybe I'll get more bees from them this year.  This is the same colony that my wintered over hive had come from so they have good genetics.  I am getting all the equipment ready for the swarm season to begin.  Each year I seem to get more and more calls.  Debra told me that the swarm I gave her last spring is doing well, it came from this colony also.

Started my springtime flower seed buying spree and actually worked the flower beds today, as the temps almost hit 60.  Snow in the forecast again, "come on spring".  Later

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Winter is almost over

Today the temp got to a little over 50f and the bees were out looking for nectar and pollen, unfortunately for them, there is nothing up yet.  Worried I might lose them in the last cold snap, it was a relief to see them out en-mass.   Made some repairs to my top feeder ( it began leaking last fall) and filled it with sugar syrup and HoneyBeeHealthy and added some pollen patties out front.  This should last until the flowers finally perk up. I can see the daffodil heads popping out of the ground now but the snow lilies haven't begun to raise their heads.   This will be the first year in 4 that the bees did not fly away in Jan.  Maybe leaving the screened bottom board open helped.  Looks like most of the bees in the Bee Group made it also, I think the cold may have kept them all home.

The beetles were bad last year so I am inserting a beetle blaster in each box this year to help in controlling them, and am also not going to expand the hives as much as I did last year, as one hive had signs of moths in it. Keeping the hives smaller should give them more control over whats inside.  I am even going to try my hand at splitting this summer, I broke down and bought a Langstrop hive for the purpose, we'll see how that goes.

Have more time this year as my camper got smashed by a semi and my boat sank from a drifting ice flow on Valentines day.  Later

PS for those interested, my daughter is 4 days out of Qingdau China sailing in 50 knots winds and 6 meter seas, quite the bumpy ride.