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The Weather and Your Hive
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We cannot control the weather no matter how much we want to. This winter has proven to be unusual across the states. Some areas are experiencing heavy rain fall, while others are reading 70+ degrees on their thermometer. The warm weather running up the East Coast has hastened bud development for many plants and trees. Because of this unseasonable weather, the trees and plants think that spring has begun and many have started to break dormancy and begin to bud and, sometimes even, bloom. However, a sudden cold snap in the forecast can make these buds vulnerable to being damaged.

Why should beekeepers be concerned? Bees will not be able to acquire the resources they need from damaged buds.

Beekeepers need to be cognizant of the bigger picture and understand the blooming cycles of nectar/pollen producing plants in their region. Even though you may look out and see luscious green plants, you need to be aware that pollen producing plants bloom before nectar producing plants. Don't just assume your bees are able to obtain the resources they need!

To help you be aware of the bloom cycle of the plants in your area, you need to pay attention to the weather patterns. Rain plays an important role that can either benefit or discourage nectar gathering. Rain is beneficial in the correct dosage and at the opportune time. A week of rain, however, will not only confine the bees to their hive, but can knock off or wash away the buds from the plants and trees as well as dilute the nectar produced, which can also prevent the bees from bringing in new resources. With little natural resources available, the bees will quickly depleting their current reserves.

Over wintered colonies that starve usually do so in early spring. Bees are dependent on the weather and nectar producing flowers to be in bloom. Early blooms that have been stimulated due to the warm temperatures may be lost after an overnight frost. Be mindful, observant, and make sure you provide the feed your bees need.