Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.
"What a fabulous place Hawaii is, i could live there in a heartbeat." If I was younger I would have moved to the Big Island - maybe - not sure as living there is too easy except for the larva flows. I saw my first feral hive there, then there was the humming tree, next I had a bee hive.....................now nine colonies.................. still have a Hawaiian carni-queen descendant in RI.
We have another month or so before the temps start stabilizing. Otherwise, its been wet & windy with intermittent cold snaps- not how our winters should be. I'll be building a new yard (small one) this spring, so I'm just looking forward to that.
Year 2 Zone 6a
In the 50s today and the bees are bringing in a lot of yellow and orange pollen, probably maples and alder. Seems about 3 -4 weeks early this year. When I first looked at my two strongest hives today I thought they were doing a cleansing flight there were so many foragers coming back.
It's 62 F today! But spring is not here yet. Weather people say that we are dropping back into the 30s and 40s tomorrow and through next week.
I just put a pollen patty on as we are 3 weeks away from maple bloom. At least that what happened last year. The girls were flying but no pollen coming in yet. I only looked at my home hive and I am in the middle of corn/soy area. My other yard has more woods by it so it may have some pollen, I didn't sit and watch.
I had some white pollen coming in and seen a very few bees working the yard maples today for the first time. They will make use of a few hours and then it will be over for a while. They are still on the chicken feed and all still alive, knock on wood.
Ps Activity was not the same on all the hives and I only saw lots of pollen coming into my oldest hive with nothing coming in others.
"It would take a lot bees to make a larva flow." - I am sure the volcano goddess who oblige after a few stings. I loved throwing a snowball at my wife, then we went to the beach!
Thanks for starting this thread- it has been neat to see where everyone's colony development is in the various regions of the US (and abroad).
Are you yet ready to conclude that you won't need to supplementally feed in the fall as a rule going forward based on your experiment this winter?
Way to go with an incredible run of excellent hive survival year-over-year.
I am not ready yet but am trying to keep watch and thinking it is possible to not feed.Are you yet ready to conclude that you won't need to supplementally feed in the fall as a rule going forward based on your experiment this winter?
Over my four years, I have not seen such a likeness in individual year, as they relate to each other, to form a pattern I can rely on. This winter was warmer and is plenty wet but also seems to have fewer days above 50 for this time of year and so is closer to last year then the year before. It was wet all year long last year with no big drought and I believe a better then normal fall flow.
So I am confident that no feeding can be done if you can forecast what the year is really doing but am not sure I can forecast well enough.
It is going to be my goal to not feed and my hope to recognize when that is not going to work. If I recognize a bad fall, I can take less honey. If I mess up, I hope to recognize I need to feed. My goal is not to feed though.
Wish me luck.
Time will tell. Good luck this year and I hope to keep reading about your adventures.
my winter has not gone to well. Build up last summer and started selling nucs (32). went into winter with 9 very strong "mother hives" that I hoped to do some major splits from come spring. Well thats not happening as a bear decided to come and visit. Complete disaster and nothing was left, lost them all. So, I will be starting from scratch this spring.
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.