The cool spring has really set back our traditional season. This season as of now seems about two weeks behind. My dandelions were two weeks behind. I still have some blooming even now. The apple orchard down the road from me is in full bloom. Normally the fruit bloom is around May 15th in our area and here it is almost June. Many hives have been a little slow to build up early because the cool weather prevented the bees from expanding the brood cluster. The bees had to hold tight to cover 4 frames for example instead of doing 6 frames. This held back the numbers of bees in a colony that only now, for many beekeepers, have finally turned the corner and are really only now getting a good population.
Divides have been postponed due to low numbers of bees. Now what will happen? The nectar flow more than likely will be delayed. Maybe two weeks. That will start the major nectar flow starting more towards July 1st. The hive populations will be ready early, possibly before the flow starts.
Now the fruit bloom is on the wane there will be a dearth of available nectar until hay starts blooming. After the hay crop is in there will be nothing until clover starts the flow. I think this may be a big swarming season. Beekeepers will have to be vigilant on checking for swarming behavior in their colonies and applying proper management to get to the nectar flow with all of our bees.
Having this large population when the flow hits should give all beekeepers a great crop of honey this season.