Winter has been very long and hard for most beekeepers in Ohio and many of the northern states. I’m commonly hearing losses in the range of 40 to 90% and beekeepers with many losses occurring in the past 5 weeks. At Honey Run Apiaries we have not been immune to the arctic winter and record levels of snow and record long periods of sub zero weather. But what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and we’re excited about the breeding stock that survived with winter and are strong and growing now.
However, the cold did linger into April with one of the latest maple blooms I can remember and we even had an inch of snow this week. Silver maples were blooming from about April 1st through the 10th, 2 to 3 weeks behind normal. Unfortunately this means that drone production in colonies is also 2-3 weeks behind schedule because hives will not raise large quantities of drones unless pollen is plentiful. I’m optimistic we’ll find drone cells in the hives this weekend which means we may be able to start grafting this coming week.