Early Spring 2016
The mild winter is swiftly turning very springlike. High temperatures for the next ten days range from the upper fifties to seventy, and tree pollen started coming today. I'm nervous for orchard growers who will almost certainly face an early bloom and threat of a frost during the pollination period, but hopefully all goes well on that front. In the meantime, I will focus on the consequences of early spring in the bee yards. Brood production will start to ramp up immediately at the present temperatures with pollen available. This will turnover the overwintered population more quickly, stimulate varroa increase, and consume honey/syrup stores at swifter rates. Since pollen collection precedes nectar availability in our region, there is always a threat that the hive will outstrip its carbohydrate supply when serious brood rearing commences. Overall, however, I'm very happy about the warm temperatures and the opportunity for the bees to get an early jump on 2016 foraging. Here is a video celebrating the moment!