I’m still here in spite of my absence from the blog for about a month. Not to worry, I’ve suffered no tragic accident, I’ve simply been busy with work and bees from dawn till dusk and sometimes much later.
The weather here has been cool and wet and we are still consistently well below the average temperature for this time of year. It has made it difficult to keep the queen rearing on schedule because there have been very few days warm enough for mating flights. It hasn’t been as bad as it was a few years ago where a 3 week cold spell April and May caused a complete halt to production and loss of all queens in the mating nucs because it simply took too long for them to get mated, though I did have one batch of queens that was about a 50% loss. Fortunately it looks like things may break this weekend and temperatures may be above normal for awhile at least. I’m looking forward to it. We shouldn’t have to be running the pellet stove in May.
It’s always a busy time of the year, inspecting hives, splitting up hives for mating nucs and for sale, grafting, etc. and the weather can make it even more difficult. Still, it’s nearly done….nearly 200 mating nucs are in production, hives have been inspected and supered if needed, nucs for sale have virgins running around in them just waiting for a warm day later this week to mate, and I’m starting the first batch of II queens this week. It’s a couple weeks behind because there have been very few days were drones were flying to collect for II.
One thing I would change for next year…If we have such a wet spring, I need to buy a pair of waterproof boots. Carrying equipment and bees though water because you can’t get the truck back to the apiary isn’t fun, but it’s worse with wet feet.