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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wanted to continue a Western Washington Beekeepers thread to see how other beekeepers doing for the year.

To start:

After the last cold spell, I still have my hives both alive and bustling, each in three mediums and the bees were out yesterday in the 50+ weather (officially 54, I think near Oak Harbor) - they were just loving the sunny warm weather. My dwarf Iris are flowering (wow - but bees don't visit it) and I even saw one (yup, one) little dandelion in full bloom. That's all I saw blooming yet the bees were bringing in a small amount of dark orange yellow pollen and some light yellow pollen ...not much, maybe one in 10-20 bees coming back into the hive. I have no idea from what or where.

I'm on Whidbey Island, near Oak Harbor ...hope to hear from the rest of you in Western, Wa.

..Now back to the rain...
 

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I'm south of you, and don't have any hives yet. But I do have a feral colony living in a tree that I noticed were out yesterday. They were pretty high up so I couldn't tell if they were bringing in anything, or just taking cleansing flights, but it sure was good to see them out. I can't wait for spring to get here so I can get started on my own hives.
 

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Bellevue checking in. The other day I opened my only hive, that I started last spring, to take a look at their stores. They sure were pissed about it. I got my second-ever bee sting, on my ankle, and did a comic ouchy-dance for a few seconds while trying to smoke the area and fend off her partners. They used to be so very gentle-- I hope their tempers improve with the weather.

No more yellow pollen coming in like we had last month, but they looked to be working hard to bring in small amounts of white stuff.
 

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I am fairly close to you guys and the temps here were about 12C today. The bees were all out and I put on some pollen patties. They seem to be doing well. One hive is weak and the rest are robust. I lost 2 of my 21 hives. I saw one bee with some silver-grey pollen, so something is blooming here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Pannu96 - you're quite close to us! Welcome!

It's great to see the updates. With the second day of 50+ degree weather the bees were bringing in a lot more pollen than yesterday. About 1 in every 5 bees and a good load of light yellow orange pollen with a few bringing in what looks to be dandelion pollen (like 1 in 50 bees) - and to my surprise they were visiting the Iris today, they weren't getting much pollen from the Iris, just a bit.

CAM00256_web.jpg
If anyone has an idea of what this pollen comes from, please let me know. (click on the image for a larger version)
 

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Im in two locations
Seattle and Toledo
11 hives total

Last weeks cold snap did in one of my hives, they were weak to begin with so i was not suprised..... The Seattle hives got a pollen patie added and i found four of them were absolutely booming. I was very suprised to see the numbers..... No pollen legs yet for my girls but they were out in full force yeasterday. Lets just hope for a quick warm trend and a big maple flow.
 

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I am close enough to count (I can see Western Washington from work just like Sara Palin). I am getting hammered this year. It hit 50 and I asked my wife to go knock on a hive of mean black bees that I trapped last year. She called me back and said she was standing by it with the lid in her hand and it was bad news. I thought it was good news since she would have had 20 stings if they were alive. Lost both in Corbet, 2 here in Damascus, 4 overwinter nucs of 5, last check none lost in Estacada or Kelso.
Did you guys not get this last snow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not like you all down in Oregon! And the southern half of Washington ... but it was cold! At least for wimpy me 20s and 30s ..not like that eastern side cold.

Thor: A maple flow would be awesome!
 

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So far so good here in the Columbia River Gorge! Lost two hives I thought might not make it, and one nuc. A couple I thought were goners are still hanging on. 15 of 18 still alive, flying, but no pollen yet. Hoping for another good spring!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As a newbee, I'm glad to say that I kept both my beehives alive. Blind, dumb luck, I'm sure.

After a few fantastic days of warmer weather and watching bees bringing in what looked to be LOTS of pollen, I'm just not seeing a big increase in my hive ..or I'm having over-expectations. The book says that I should see an increase of up to 5 lbs a day during a strong dandelion bloom ...They're working, sure, but they don't even have one fully capped frame.

I use 8 frame mediums and I have syrup on but they're not taking much. Lots of traffic with pollen coming in and here's what I found during my inspection:

One hive is three boxes, top box was full of brood, some honey and nectar. Second box had some brood in the middle with a bit of nectar and pollen then empty combs on the outside. Bottom box was just come, very little nectar or pollen.

The other hive has two boxes (three really but I'll get to that in a moment), the top box has drone on the outside comb of the top box, then brood in the middle (few spots of drone), with some nectar and pollen. The bottom box has empty comb on the outside then some nectar and pollen, then a couple frames of brood. I did see the queen ..and lots of drones. I had thrown a top box with foundationless frames and also a syrup feeder ...but in 14 days, they haven't done anything to draw any comb.

Any thoughts? How do your hives compare?
 

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I wanted to continue a Western Washington Beekeepers thread to see how other beekeepers doing for the year.

To start:

After the last cold spell, I still have my hives both alive and bustling, each in three mediums and the bees were out yesterday in the 50+ weather (officially 54, I think near Oak Harbor) - they were just loving the sunny warm weather. My dwarf Iris are flowering (wow - but bees don't visit it) and I even saw one (yup, one) little dandelion in full bloom. That's all I saw blooming yet the bees were bringing in a small amount of dark orange yellow pollen and some light yellow pollen ...not much, maybe one in 10-20 bees coming back into the hive. I have no idea from what or where.

I'm on Whidbey Island, near Oak Harbor ...hope to hear from the rest of you in Western, Wa.

..Now back to the rain...
What about folks just north of the border...similar climate so likely similar issues.
 

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I don't expect to see any excess honey in my southern Washington hives until the first of June in normal years and maybe mid-May in early years. I don't think our weather is warm enough for a strong dandelion flow. My bees use everything they bring in to make more bees (and try to trick me into letting them swarm) until then. I've been equalizing hives to strengthen weak ones and weaken strong ones that are on the path to swarming.
 

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I'm so glad this thread showed up again. Thorbuilt I'm in Toledo too, and the girls are busy! Well, the feral hive I have in my tree is, at least. They sure seem to be enjoying the blossoms on my cherry trees.

I'm still waiting on my first swarm to come through and hopefully trap and fill my hives. They usually start swarming in late April, or early May.
 

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Great to see all these other Washingtonians! I'm brand new to beekeeping and am really happy to be able to talk with other locals.

Quick question? Are other people bee's taking a lot of syrup right now? I just installed my first two packages last week and they don't seem to be eating a lot of the syrup I gave them. They have been flying a lot during the nice weather of the last few days and seem super interested in the Big Leaf Maples around my neighborhood but I am still a little concerned that I am not doing something right.
 

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From what I've been told they prefer pollen over syrup, and my guess is that they are having a feast on the Maples. I'd remove the syrup if they aren't showing any interest in it.
 

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The girls were very happy on Sunday 4-13-14,
they have been bring in the pollen for about a month now,

2014-04-06_15-29-42_611.jpg
 
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