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Up in this neck of the frozen hillsides, some colonies are slowly inching their way towards swarming. Found a couple of laid queen cells, so I was happy. Will likely make a couple of splits, those are my best queens.

Healthy, overwintered, frozen northern queens are a luxury item.

Some rain forecasted, so keeping my fingers crossed, we're about 2 inches behind schedule.
 

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Vance, I will concede, even though the rivers are just now back in their banks, the hills are getting dry.
I have a survey marker that is supposed to be 50' from the streambank...it's still under water. Part of that is due to beavers, I had a fella here a while back wanting to do some trapping but I turned him down at the time. I may have to see if I can find him.

Still debating on whether to blow up their work, they did create some very nice trout pools that are teaming with good sized fish (it's a secret, no one knows there are any worthwhile fish here).
 

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We look like a week of mixed rain and sun ahead. It' been warm 60's F, nights a little cooler but there's a good Spring flow going and they're flying even in the rain showers from dawn to dusk. All of the new nucs (April 7th) have expanded into double deeps as of last weekend. Tomorrow is a little equalization and manipulation (if and as needed). As JW used to say, "Despite my best efforts..."
 

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I have a survey marker that is supposed to be 50' from the streambank...it's still under water. Part of that is due to beavers, I had a fella here a while back wanting to do some trapping but I turned him down at the time. I may have to see if I can find him.

Still debating on whether to blow up their work, they did create some very nice trout pools that are teaming with good sized fish (it's a secret, no one knows there are any worthwhile fish here).

Surf and turf!!!
 

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Rain on this past Sunday afternoon and then yesterday, Tuesday. Loads of tulip popular blooms on the ground as these rains were from thunderstorms (Had a tornado about 12 miles from me). Call Dick Vitale, its gonna be a nail bitter folks.

And then we start feeding......
 

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Just looked at the long term forecast for for my locality in Central NJ. Heavy soaking rain today and 7 out of the next 10 days. Also just got back from Mann Lake with two pallets of UNPAINTED medium supers that I'm going to have to hand unload in the rain-50 feet of wet lawn Momma will not want the Land Rover and a trailer of supers driving on. Got to get the gorilla wagon out.

Seriously, we just did a bunch of splits with swarm cells and this forecast is not promising for a virgin queen.

On the upside, if the river don't rise (much more) we are going to have a heck of a flow when this is done!

IMG_3525.JPG
 

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Back to winter again, we got (celebration), a couple of inches of rain, which ended the regional dry spring in this location.

Next 2 weeks is cold, frosts at night.

Hopefully the queens that need to get mated already did, because we have a long cold snap incoming.
 

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And so it begins, the dearth. A month and a half before usual!

Checked a few hives today where I pulled a few frames for nucs and replaced with foundationless. In our flow they will draw these out in 2 days. A week later and the frames are only 25% drawn without much activity on them.

I have one more round of queens going into the mating nucs this weekend and then I'll have to shut down queen production for the year. I went too late late last year and they started to get robbed out, but that was into the end of June, not the beginning of May.

If we don't see nectar again until November this is going to be the longest summer of trying to keep the bees alive I've ever had. 7 months of feeding...yay...

This may also finally push me to the edge of finding a summer home for the bees. Somewhere next to the city where people irrigate and maintain flowering plants?
 
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