I’m reminded of a line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail that sums up the weather abnormalities nicely: “Winter changed into Spring. Spring changed into Summer. Summer changed back into Winter. And Winter gave Spring and Summer a miss and went straight on into Autumn.”
A wide variety of success has happened honey-wise so far this season. Some members are reporting two or more honey boxes from hives that were nucs in spring and others have had strong hives produce no surplus honey. We are crossing our fingers for a good autumn to come and, on the definite upside, at least the varroa doesn't seem to have built up too early.
I had an interesting report after a 3.8 magnitude earthquake near Christchurch recently. A club member reported that one hive piled out and flew round for nearly an hour before settling down again. A second hive, immediately next to the first one, was completely unfazed, displaying yet another way in which colonies can differ greatly from one to the next.
- Nick Thorp for the NCBC Team