This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

What is happening in our bee world

Got Dandelions? We need them for pollen and nectar

Packages right now are building up. The first delivery bees have had emerging brood now, so their populations are rising. The second delivery bees have capped brood now and should be having emerging brood in a few days.
 The cool weather has prevented weaker overwintered colonies from building up as quick as we would like to see. Some overwintered colonies are bursting with bees and divides are happening now. Pollen has been a little hard to forage for with the rain and cool weather limiting collection time for the foraging bees. Pollen patties should still be on all bee colonies at this time.
 The first big nectar flow are dandelions and as of this morning, they are no blooming dandelions in rural Stillwater. Normally dandelions bloom around May 1st.  Beekeepers with strong overwintered colonies should put a super on for the dandelion honey right now.
 The fruit bloom usually happens with Wild Plums around May 1st and Apples around mid May. I looked my Wild Plums and they are bare twigs and the apple orchard down the road from me also, there are only bare tree limbs.
 The cool weather is setting the stage for a delayed main nectar flow. The main nectar flow usually starts around the third week of June. If the weather continues, the slow build up to summer temperatures, the nectar flow start may be more like starting around the first of July.
 This can hurt overwintered colonies because they will have swarming issues,
The late nectar flow will help package bees because it will give them two more weeks to build up. The package bees will be more likely get some excess honey if this happens.