Hello from Bee Team Mount Vernon!
Well here we are in June! It was a long wait for both a new blog platform and for spring to arrive. The winter bees essentially had to live an extra month before they got warmth and pollen in mid-April to revive their populations. Not all of them made it through the additional trial, and I saw more tiny surviving clusters than I’ve ever witnessed in past years. Happily the flowers have returned after a super-speedy explosion through the blossoming of dandelions, fruit trees, and locust. Now the clovers and trefoil are opening up, though we’re not quite to peak bloom yet. The warmth has been more promising for building up good crop potential this year. Northern Iowa has had more rain than they want, but my location in eastern Iowa is actually slightly dry. We will see how the balance of weather and bloom shakes out yet again.
This year I have a new recruit on the bee team….Andrew has his bee suit! Folk buying bees during the past couple of weeks may have witnessed his early-life smoker prowess!
We decided not to make Andrew do all of the work, so there are a few other folks around to help as the picture at the top of the post suggests 🙂
I have quite a number of pictures built up from the last few months of being blogless, so I’ll try to bring everyone up to speed whenever the mood strikes!
For now, I hope everyone in the Midwest is surviving swarm season! I fortunately got through our hives in the nick of time….though it meant catching a couple of swarms as they were departing and splitting a few hives with cells toward the end of May. Here was my joyful swarm catching opportunity from a couple of weeks past. They both stayed in the boxes that nabbed them! I’ve only lost one or two old queens with her bees so far this year. A late spring helped me come out on on top this time around.