Rain, rain, go away and the importance of local queens
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Rain, rain, go away and the importance of local queens

    I am sure everyone has issues in the winter with cold weather and snow but it has been an interesting month here. It is now January 31st and here in Seattle it has rained (or snowed) every day this month. I truly wish I was kidding. In fact, the last day we did not have precipitation was Christmas. Through it all, the bees are doing just fine. Some of the woodenware has mushrooms growing on it (still not kidding) but inside the hives the bees are happily going about their business. Quillayte airport over on the Olympic peninsula here in WA state has already received 26.77 inches of rain for the month (still not kidding). I am glad I don't live there. So why am I telling you all about the rain here in Seattle? All of my queens originally came from the Olympic Wilderness Apiary which just happens to be on the Olympic Peninsula just north of Quillayute. Their queens and hives were raised in a temperate rain forest and over the years became totally suited to this kind of climate. My current queens are all either directly from there or are their descendants through queen rearing. I did have 2 hives this fall with southern California queens and neither made it through January. I wonder if there is a reason for that? In my opinion, If you live in an area with unique or harsh weather conditions, it really pays to get your queens locally or raise your own.

    Happy beekeeping!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Rain, rain, go away and the importance of local queens

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    I am sure everyone has issues in the winter with cold weather and snow but it has been an interesting month here. It is now January 31st and here in Seattle it has rained (or snowed) every day this month. I truly wish I was kidding. In fact, the last day we did not have precipitation was Christmas. Through it all, the bees are doing just fine. Some of the woodenware has mushrooms growing on it (still not kidding) but inside the hives the bees are happily going about their business. Quillayte airport over on the Olympic peninsula here in WA state has already received 26.77 inches of rain for the month (still not kidding). I am glad I don't live there. So why am I telling you all about the rain here in Seattle? All of my queens originally came from the Olympic Wilderness Apiary which just happens to be on the Olympic Peninsula just north of Quillayute. Their queens and hives were raised in a temperate rain forest and over the years became totally suited to this kind of climate. My current queens are all either directly from there or are their descendants through queen rearing. I did have 2 hives this fall with southern California queens and neither made it through January. I wonder if there is a reason for that? In my opinion, If you live in an area with unique or harsh weather conditions, it really pays to get your queens locally or raise your own.

    Happy beekeeping!
    South of you we had a couple of breaks last weekend that let the bees fly. But it did rain those days, just not in the afternoon when it warmed up.


    Food, moisture, and mites are what are important in the Winter at my place.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Wimer, Oregon
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Rain, rain, go away and the importance of local queens

    something we deal with every year, it's the mud driving a 1/2 mile+ into the yards that really sucks for me
    DavidZ

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lake Forest Park, WA
    Posts
    617

    Default Re: Rain, rain, go away and the importance of local queens

    Yes it has been very depressing. Burlaps in the quilt boxes turned white with molds. Huge slugs live under the telescoping covers. I began to offer a small amount of pollen sub and warm water in my roofed BBQ area ~50 ft away from the hives and the bees come to collect them every day in light rain.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    687

    Default Re: Rain, rain, go away and the importance of local queens

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    Some of the woodenware has mushrooms growing on it
    Any pictures?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Rain, rain, go away and the importance of local queens

    Here on Vancouver Island it has rained everyday since Christmas. All my queens are raised locally and appear well adapted to our wet winters. So far, my four hives are doing well despite some white mould growing under the inner cover.

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