Winter’s a tough time for a beekeeper, but March can be even worse.
Unsettled is a good word to describe March weather. The temperature’s been up and down like a yo-yo and we have a big storm bearing down on us. The warm days have been amazing: flying bees, dead being carried out and I’ve been able to sit and get my fix of listening to the hive. The cold days are brutal, though.
It’s been all the way up to +16, but also as low as -23. That low is the dangerous part. Once it’s warm enough to start flying, the bees will break out of their winter cluster and start doing their thing. The queen will start laying again and the hive gets ready to kick into spring building mode.
A cold snap doesn’t send them back into cluster, though. Once they move into Spring mode, if it turns cold and stays that way for long enough, the hive can just die. There just aren’t enough bees to keep the temperature up inside.
Every beekeeper has lost colonies this way and it really sucks. There’s literally nothing you can do but keep your fingers crossed and hope.
Then, this surprise was dropped on the region this morning. They’re literally talking about up to a cm of ice on everything by the time it’s done. Sigh. I’ll be hunkering down for a day or so and hoping. The good news is that once we make it past this, it looks really good: +5 Friday, 6 on Saturday and 11C on Sunday!
We just have to survive the next day or so. Sigh.