This is our third year keeping bees, and not one year has been the same, either early heat wave in March and lots of swarms, before we started checking the hives or no spring until May and everything is delayed. What will 2014 bring?
The changeable weather is different this year, so much rain over the winter. This rainy weather meant though, that the bees didn’t starve, as they were not getting too cold to move around and kept alive by eating the stores they build last year. 2013 was a terrible year, we lost 3 hives due to the late freezing conditions in March, it was just too cold for the bees to move and they starved in a hive full of honey, which they couldn’t access.
As soon as there is some sunshine, they are out and flying. Currently they are bringing back lots of pollen, so a good sign, that the Queen has started laying again. We need to get an inspection of the hives done soon, so we can see, if the Queen has enough space to lay her eggs. If the worker bees stuff everything full with stores, it could trigger the impulse to swarm, and the bees will prepare Queen Cells to raise new Queens to take most of the colony with them, once they hatch. Most people think of swarms as a nightmare, others might gain a new colony by catching a swarm.