After taking a quick break to visit family in Chicago, It's back to the business of beekeeping for me. Spring has sprung at least 6 weeks early this year, and before you know it it'll be swarm season! In fact, I saw dandelions blooming in seattle today..its february!!!!
We have placed order in for 20 new nucleus hives this year, and have over 2 dozen hives looking strong after a mild winter. We hope to split those strong hives and get up to 75 beehives for summer honey production!
For now, the weather has been warm enough for the bees to be awake and eat their honey reserves, but not warm enough or long enough to put liquid feed in the hives. Because of the rain and cold nights, it's still best to supplement dry sugar for the bees. This gives them a light snack and helps also to pull moisture from the hives.
I was really pleased to see so many hives filled with fresh brood, drones, and really large clusters. I never send my bees to California almond pollination and because of that I always get jealous when I hear about other local beeks having big, heavy, robust hives in early spring. Maybe this year will be different.
As of now, all the hives from the blueberry field are dead, all the hives at gillies rd are dead, but all the hives at Kronge's are thriving as are the river hives. Growing veterans has 1 of 2 still alive, and of course my dear old georgetown hives keep trucking along. I haven't visited sumner since last spring and i don't plan to. If they are alive, god speed and good luck. If not, consider that experiment over!