Continuing on the theme of the season, yes the bees are healthy, they remain fairly ‘unhappy’. The nectar flows of summer have not eventuated, or been patchy at best. The weather has been moodier than a cat in a bath, and this is reflected in dry flowering, over-pollened brood boxes (excess pollen in light of no nectar that are laid down in the brood combs instead of brood) or the absence of flowers in general.
Mr T has been doing alot of driving – about 30% extra this season – and visiting site after site. Most Beeks have done this all season. The general consensus is – no flowers. The hot-cold-hot of spring and summer has cause many trees to abort their flowering cycle, the dry winter of 2017 and 2018 has caused certain species not flower at all. The wet spring meant little spring stores and poorer health moving into the heights of the heatwaves in December, January and February. The upshot of all this weird weather is very little honey has been harvested across the state this season and there will be shortages over the coming months.
Bees are holding steady and there is enough time over the next month or so for them to build stores for the winter.
Honey Month is only a short time away, so mark in your diaries:
15th May – Honey Degustation Dinner with Rendezvous Hotel
24-25th May – BICWA Beekeeping Conference
26th May – Honey Festival at the Gidgie Small Farm Field Day