As we passed winter solstice and the days began to lengthen, the bees begin to shake off their winter slumbering. They will begin to clean out their lifeless sisters that have gathered on the bottom and they will also be scratching into their honey stores, some of which may be crystallized.
In our region, March is notorious for warming up so nicely, duping everyone- plantitas, animalitos and humanoids. And then, as the Rockies begin to melt, the cold air descends down into our valleys, bringing late frosts and extreme temperature fluctuations.
The difference between the warming, sunny days and the crisp, pinon smoke laden, frosty nights poses sincere adapatibility challenges for all. Bees will experience some days of such warmth that they will be out taking cleansing flights and begin sniffing around for crumbs- so to speak 🙂
This is a good time to have a good water source nearby for bees. Check their weight, if they feel light then anticipate offering them some supplemental food (whether that be moving their combs of clean honey closer to their “nest (beware of sharing honey between colonies if from deadouts with disease issues),” or bee tea (a homemade nectar-like tea that includes herbs )-see Supplemental Bee Feed post. Offering at the right time is critical- their internal clock and digestion faculties are on a seasonal calendar of their own that we as stewards must decipher.
We are braving the season humbly…anticipating Mother Nature’s curve balls; which will indeed come without warning.
We will post up pics as we get started this season. This middle of March day, Mark will be out going through our girls in the valley and assessing which are hungry and what other needs they may have. If he comes across any that are small, he will reduce their space so that they can regulate the temp swings a little better as the season commences. Once the bloom hits, they can then be given more space to expand, on their terms.
The weather is a changing…..