Cold, wet & windy

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Joined
Jun 14, 2023
Messages
264
Reaction score
283
Location
Surrey, England
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
14
Just completed my 1st anniversary as a beekeeper. It's almost mid-June and my outdoor thermometer reads 11C. It's also wet and windy.

I have 14 colonies, and was hoping for a reasonable honey crop this year.
But, none of my colonies have enough stores for me to consider harvesting. I'm having to artificially feed some of the smaller ones. Fortunately, I chose not to harvest any spring honey, if I had I think I would have lost bees from starvation by now.

Is this common at this time of year? Are things going to get better?
 
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June gap is a known thing but the weather this year's is ridiculous. Here we have the brambles flowering yet many of my bees are on fumes. There's just nothing of significance coming in. Here's hoping for some hot weather and the plants going crazy with a flow. Queen rearing hasn't been great either.

If we keep having years like this I suspect there will be far few beekeepers in the UK.
 
Its not common, but I'm not sure many years have had a 'standard' repeatable pattern in the last decade + I've been keeping bees. Bramble is starting to flower, but not generating a great surplus at this time. If its warm and humid towards the end of the month, lime can produce substantial amounts of nectar. As for things getting better, no idea, but not feeling very positive about a decent harvest at this time.
 
Is this common at this time of year? Are things going to get better?
Last year spring was good but summer fell off a cliff. We are still at the bottom of this cliff here in my part of Wales a year later.
If we keep having years like this I suspect there will be far few beekeepers in the UK.
I suspect you are right.
I’m starting to buy sugar with my weekly shop.
 
Just completed my 1st anniversary as a beekeeper. It's almost mid-June and my outdoor thermometer reads 11C. It's also wet and windy.

I have 14 colonies, and was hoping for a reasonable honey crop this year.
But, none of my colonies have enough stores for me to consider harvesting. I'm having to artificially feed some of the smaller ones. Fortunately, I chose not to harvest any spring honey, if I had I think I would have lost bees from starvation by now.

Is this common at this time of year? Are things going to get better?
It sounds pretty tough to be honest. A couple of years ago here was really bad ("the worst season ever") up until about a week before Christmas from memory, and then it was good. It stopped raining and warmed up suddenly, so perhaps all is not lost there?
 
It sounds pretty tough to be honest. A couple of years ago here was really bad ("the worst season ever") up until about a week before Christmas from memory, and then it was good. It stopped raining and warmed up suddenly, so perhaps all is not lost there?
We’re in deep do do if we have to wait until the week before Christmas ……..☃️
 
nothing personal @Wilco , but I'm glad you are finding queen rearing results pi$$ poor as well. :LOL:
Was starting to take it personally!
Glad I chose this year to have a go at queen rearing! It’s been abysmal so far - thought it was my diabolical grafting….
 
Just completed my 1st anniversary as a beekeeper. It's almost mid-June and my outdoor thermometer reads 11C. It's also wet and windy.

I have 14 colonies, and was hoping for a reasonable honey crop this year.
But, none of my colonies have enough stores for me to consider harvesting. I'm having to artificially feed some of the smaller ones. Fortunately, I chose not to harvest any spring honey, if I had I think I would have lost bees from starvation by now.

Is this common at this time of year? Are things going to get better?
Hello,
We are in Stanthorpe, Queensland AUSTRALIA. This is the start of our winter in tge centre of a fruit and veg growing rural region. Have been feeding our colonies (all very strong) for the past two months and no honey to harvest for the whole season, little to no eggs present, no drone cells, no queen cups, queens present.

This is a tough time and similar reports have been posted on Northern hemisphere bee forums, particularly in the USA.

Due diligence, don't despair you are not alone, let us all hope and pray things improve for the upcoming season.
Regards
Peter
 
nothing personal @Wilco , but I'm glad you are finding queen rearing results pi$$ poor as well. :LOL:
Was starting to take it personally!
I have 2 newly emerged Q,but the weather has been so poor,I don't think either have mated. How long can they go without mating? At what point do I put another frame of eggs in( which is how I generated these Q )?
 
I have 2 newly emerged Q,but the weather has been so poor,I don't think either have mated. How long can they go without mating? At what point do I put another frame of eggs in( which is how I generated these Q )?
if you haven't got any eggs 3 weeks after emergence of the virgin queen, I'd be getting concerned. Trouble is, if you put a frame of eggs in after that, it will be another 5 weeks + before you have a queen mated and new eggs. Colonies going to be thinned out considerably with no replacement workers. Obviously I dont know your circumstances, but personally I'd be inclined to either combine with another colony, or buy a queen in in this scenario.
 
I’ve waited six weeks successfully but mint bee is right. The mating window is three weeks, after that the queen can’t be mated.
 
Glad I chose this year to have a go at queen rearing! It’s been abysmal so far - thought it was my diabolical grafting….
I found the queen laid up my Jenter kit: left it three days for young larvae .. and found the bees had removed the eggs. Happened twice.

Queens hardly laying despite feeding.. We have had 4 weeks of near continuous dark days/rain and maximum 13C temperatures.. Locals have central heating going at night...in June...

Checked my production colonies: they have eaten over half the honey stored from May..
 
I found the queen laid up my Jenter kit: left it three days for young larvae .. and found the bees had removed the eggs. Happened twice.

Queens hardly laying despite feeding.. We have had 4 weeks of near continuous dark days/rain and maximum 13C temperatures.. Locals have central heating going at night...in June...

Checked my production colonies: they have eaten over half the honey stored from May..
I've actually had success with queens so far this year. It's the stores that are being slowly consumed.

Tomorrow's inspections will be interesting. Over the past few days, we've had intermittent bits of sunshine. The one colony in my back garden has been busy this week. I hope it's a good indication of what lays in store for the out apiary.
 
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