Cold, Wet, and Cloudy Spring

This spring has been very wet and cold. There has been so much rain and almost constant cloud cover. The benefit of this has been that we are no longer in a drought, but the downside is that inspecting beehives in this weather is a challenge. The bees really don’t like when I open up their home in cloudy, cool weather. It seems like it has been raining everyday and I am sure that the bees sense that the rain is going to pour into their house.

Today is like all of the others, cool and cloudy. It looks like it might rain, but I am hoping it will hold out until I am done checking in on the bees. Since the Willow Hive is having issues, I decided to start there. That way if I can only get to one hive, it will be the Willow. Before I could even check on the bees, I had to deal with the wasps that have decided they really want to live in the hive lid. They seem to be determined to build here even though I remove their nests each time. Hopefully they will get it soon that they are not wanted here.

It has only been five days since the new queen was released into the hive. I did a little research and found that the new queen will typically start laying eggs within seven to fourteen days after her release. This new queen is not laying eggs yet, hopefully it will not be long before she does. She looks well and the colony has accepted her.

The hive has plenty of capped honey, nectar, and pollen. Now I just need to make sure that they do not become nectar bound like last year. I need to watch and make sure that the queen has room to continue to lay eggs. Avoiding late season swarms is a big goal of mine this year. I added two empty bars for them to build on.

The colony is still very grumpy. I was hoping that once they had a new queen they would feel better, but maybe they want new brood too. It’s just not as fun to work with angry bees. The bad weather doesn’t help either. The sun has to come out at some point!

I came back to the farm two days later to check in on the Orchard Hive. The weather is still not good for beekeeping. My plan is to do a quick check and give them a couple of bars. They are growing very well and the colony looks great. I only checked five of the nineteen bars since it is pretty windy.

I was able to find the queen, but I did not take the comb that she was on all the way out of the hive. There was a gust of wind and I didn’t want the comb to snap off of the bar. I found everything that I needed to see and I added two empty bars for them. I am feeling good about the Orchard Hive and how they are doing. The bees were calm even with the yucky weather. It is so nice to visit this colony, they help me to feel so much better about beekeeping.

Beginning of a wasps nest
This interesting bug greeted me from the top of the Willow Hive (on the outside)

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