Autumn hasn’t quite decided to set in here as of mid-March. We did enjoy a scattering of snow on the mountains at the beginning of March along with a welcome drop in temperature; however, a burst of rain soon put an end to the lovely fresh mornings as it rudely washed away the snow and restored the ongoing humidity.
It seems the humid conditions have caused all sorts of havoc with nature. Just today we noticed a paddock of dandelions in flower, which is most unusual for this time of year, and this was while we were on our way to investigate two separate reports of swarms in the area! What ever happened to the theory that swarming is all over by Christmas day?
Beekeepers seem to be busy feeding syrup now that the pasture honey has predominantly stopped yielding and wintering down is in full swing. We have noticed quite a variation in the condition of hives, which seems to be relative to their location. Some have gathered a lot of pasture honey and are strong with good stores, whereas the hives in other sites are very strong, very light and in need of a lot of feeding. There is, however, no shortage of pollen, with catsear as the favoured variety at the moment, and gorse just starting to come into flower.
On a whole, the hives seem to be in reasonably good heart with good quantities of healthy young bees coming through to see the colony through the harsh months ahead.
- Carla Glass