What’s BEEn Happening -Beekeeping in Northern Minnesota

It’s May, or is it. That has to be what these poor honeybees are thinking. Traveling here from the California almond orchards, how do they truly handle such swings in temperature, forage, and overall ecosystems. They are mighty to say the least. As my human brain wonders and worries if they are warm, comfortable, is there enough food for them- I am reassured that this has happened for eons now, and we still are able to get more bees. Though honeybees need little from us most of the time, when they are moved across the country to help keep food on our tables, it is up to beekeepers to make sure they are getting all they need. Protection, healthy forage, and a good eye for spotting disease and parasites are the jobs we beekeepers must do for them. Pesticides, wildlife, extreme weather events and lack of forage might ultimately be out of our control, but hive placement can be an easy solution to any of those potential threats. It is the first true lesson you learn as a beekeeper. Having a hive that’s shielded from the elements makes things a little easier on the bees. It is no wonder that beekeepers work so hard. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature, and this year she sure is trying to tell us something. As winter survival numbers are revealed, it was certainly a tough and long winter. Many beekeepers I know personally have lost all if not more than half of their colonies. We lost all 3 of ours this winter, and though it is disheartening, as another snow storm blankets Minnesota this May, I am not so sad to not have to be out tending to bees in the cold snowy air. Well not besides placing the newly arrived colonies in the apiary during the rainy, snowy mix.  IMG_8455

 

Weather sure does effect us all, and though my mood today was not so upbeat, tomorrow the forecast is better, and better for the bees. I look forward to seeing their little bee faces poking out the box entrance to see if they have the all clear for flying. Go get’em little ladies! We are counting on you to bring us hope, joy, healthy colonies, and a little extra honey would be very welcomed. Oh, and to old man winter, you can buzz off already.

What’s BEEn Happening -Beekeeping in Northern Minnesota

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