This cold weather is really spoiling my fast start to the new season. Time to get the microphone out and record something!
I had started to feel somewhat excited by the warmth of the midday sunshine recently. It was a sure sign that Spring was not too far away. Then, almost as quickly as the blue skies appeared they were gone and replaced with cold, damp, grey days again. I didn't mind the snow and the cold and I'm sure the bees were perfectly happy with the colder weather but I know they really don't like the damp. It gets into the hive and makes everything uncomfortable. Smaller colonies fail to maintain their core temperature and slowly die out.
The telltale signs of bees with their heads buried deep into the cells with a small cluster of bees around them and a large pile of bees on the hive floor. Always a sad sight and one that beekeepers dread.
“Where did the warm Spring sunshine disappear to? One minute it was here and the next, gone!”
The best we can do is to make sure the bees have some food directly around them and if in doubt, a small parcel of fondant placed directly above them should give them enough food stores to be able to maintain enough energy to keep the colony warm through this last nasty blast from the cold East.
I'll be back with more updates in the coming days and weeks as we progress into the new season.