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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    Were having unseasonably warm weather in western WA. We have been touching the 50's and sun shine. Yesterday in fact there were Robbins in the tree and during a drive out and about I noticed a flowering plum with flowers on it. Were at least a month ahead of schedule.

    This leads me to ask.... is there greater chance of starvation if the bees are active and flying collecting pollen only? Or are they more likely to starve when its cool out and they are in a tight cluster?

    I'm doing my part in feeding as needed and hope everyone is at least checking their stores.

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    It can...so we need to keep lifting questionable hives. Mine were quite heavy from last summer and are still looking good.

    If there are frequent flying days, an early spring won't be much of a danger. The problem with our early springs is that the bees can build up and then we have a whole month of rain. As you know our rain isn't the kind where it rains at night and then we have a sunny spell each day. Our rains are constant for days or weeks. That's when you have to feed. So be very careful of warm raining spells.

    So as long as they can fly, we have pollen and nectar sources from about this time on. As you note, our flowering fruit trees are about the start. Maples will start soon after.

    I normally assume that I will feed at least some hives in March.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Gardiner, WA, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    It does look like an early spring. Unfortunately nothing is in bloom just yet, so I think it would be prudent to feed some dry sugar and pollen subs, if for nothing else than insurance. Last year I had a hive starve because it was early spring and nothing was available for them to forage.
    I kept them all through the winter and then to my dismay, they starved in mid April a little bit of feed and they would have most likely made it just fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    I just discovered yesterday that one of my hives that was very active just a few weeks ago was completely dead. I'm kicking myself because I know I could have prevented it. It just never occurred to me to open up a hive in January.

    This hobby certainly does have it's up's and down's, and there's always room to learn and improve.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    Hey Joe

    havent seen you on Facebook lately to talk with you about this same thing
    im just feeding them dry sugar and a pollen patty on the inner cover and they seem to be thriving but yeah very warm - very bad news
    if we have a cold snap in the next month our raspberries screwed and as is our bees -
    its sad -

    how many survivers do haves still???

    oh and Hank in Burlington said HI

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Ferndale, Washington
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    The Bees been flyin up here in Ferndale also.
    Been feeden pollen patties about 3 weaks now.
    Some hives were light, there getting sugar syrup and P. patties.
    Its way early.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    Quote Originally Posted by concrete-bees View Post
    Hey Joe

    havent seen you on Facebook lately to talk with you about this same thing
    im just feeding them dry sugar and a pollen patty on the inner cover and they seem to be thriving but yeah very warm - very bad news
    if we have a cold snap in the next month our raspberries screwed and as is our bees -
    its sad -

    how many survivers do haves still???

    oh and Hank in Burlington said HI
    Hi Hank... I gota see if he has any pollen sub.... i need to get a couple bags.

    Out of 28 wintered hives I have lost 1 and one has bad dysentary... im not sure if they will make it.

    I have been feeding dry sugar too. The bees have been brining in pollen on the warm days from the nut trees.

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    West Richland, Washignton USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    Early spring as well over here on the east side. Bees have been out and about almost daily. Several other beeks in the area have reported bees coming back with pollen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Brady, washington
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    Yes I worry about the other foot falling as a snap freeze and killing the buds and bees and brood.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    West Richland, Washignton USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    The bees should be fine with a snap freeze. If there are honey stores in the hive they will be fine. Last year we had a snap freeze and all the trees came right back. Bees went back to work like nothing happened.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Brady, washington
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    my bees are pacing in fresh pollen today
    99.99% of questions can be answered by Just reading books.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pasco, Wa.
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    In the Columbia Basin, we have the milder winters than the west side, or especially Spokane. However, it is early Spring here, as well. The bees are out flying every day, bringing in lots of pollen and are very active. 6 hives, no losses (yet).

    It could be cold freezy and we'd be afraid for them just the same. I'm kind of glad they can go out and do what they need to do. However, I know we won't get the kind of rain Beedeetee talks about. I'm hoping to start Nectar Management this coming weekend (checkerboarding).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    Quote Originally Posted by Budvar View Post
    I'm hoping to start Nectar Management this coming weekend (checkerboarding).
    Already? Wow you guys must really be having good weather over there to start checker boarding. I have friends feeding syrup but Im a little affraid to since there is always a chance of freezing weather still. So, I mountain camped them.

    Also Im a little confused on checkerboarding. For some reason I was thinking that it was something you did later just before the honey flow. If done too early wouldnt the queen brood up there. I better go read... maybe it is inteneded for brood nest expansion....

    Off to read about checkerboarding....

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    I have 2 hives I started n 2:1 syrup. The rest are on dry sugar and bee candy. I figured 2:1 was good food, but wouldn't stimulate brood production like 1:1. They're bringing in tons of pollen, so no pollen patties.

    Just waiting for the maples.

    Lost one of my nucs due to a leaky migratory top and big winds/rain last week. The inside was simply drenched. I think I'll ditch the migratory tops on the nucs this year and go with telescoping on everything. It's happened too many times.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pasco, Wa.
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Early Spring in Washington State...More likely to starve?

    Joe,

    Checkerboarding is new to me, too. Been reading about it for the last 3 yrs, this is the first year have had enough comb/hives to try.

    According to various interpretationss of Walt, you can checkerboard anytime in late winter. Or, a couple brood cycles before dandelion bloom according to bwrangler

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